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Shanghai residents grapple with termite problem

By Cao Chen | | Updated: 2022-05-31 17:39
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The COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai may have come under control, but another bug has been fast gaining the attention of residents — termites.

Termite infestations have become a problem for many Shanghai residents of late, as evidenced by the deluge of videos and images of the insect flying into homes on social media.

In light of the situation, authorities and experts have urged residents to remain calm and seek the help of professionals if they face a severe infestation problem.

Leng Pei'en from the Vector Biological Control Department of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the appearance of termites this time of year is common as humidity levels rise with the arrival of summer, thus creating ideal breeding conditions for the insect.

The months of June and July, which mark the mating period for termites, also coincide with the plum rain season which sees damp weather conditions in cities such as Shanghai.

According to the Shanghai Property Management Center, the current situation is manageable, with only 1,446 calls for assistance regarding this matter so far this year, a 29 percent decrease compared with the same period last year. The center said calls were mainly from central urban areas such as Pudong New Area, Huangpu, Yangpu, and Xuhui districts where old wooden buildings are more prevalent.

Fan Hao, the director of the center, said more employees from the 54 local termite control companies will gradually resume work in June and would be able to meet the demands for pest control.

Yin Haisheng, curator of the Shanghai Insect Museum with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, advised residents who face a termite problem to close their doors and windows and place a basin filled with soapy water under a lit lamp to trap the insects. Keeping the home dry is also vital to preventing an infestation.

"I do not suggest the use of pesticides, as it may force the termites to relocate or hide in another place, increasing the difficulty of controlling the situation," Yin said. "For thorough eradication of the pest, people should turn to professionals for help."

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