Latest Stories

Word of Mouth

Of mice and men


Being in the restaurant business, my nightmare will forever be pests—ants, cockroaches, flies, mice, mosquitoes and rats. Wherever there’s food, shelter and water, you are certain these pests are around waiting to pounce. This is something people don’t want to discuss, but it can’t be ignored because pests invade homes, offices and especially food establishments.

In our old Paris restaurant, I remember my macho brother Bong standing on one of our tables, freaking out when a tiny mouse showed up on our dining room floor. (If it were a beauty contest, Bong would have lost on poise).

At my sister’s house in San Francisco, I remember there would be mice, too. It was a game of challenge to me to catch them. The only difference is, the mice there look cuter with thicker fur. But they’re all the same—they’re still pests!

When I was still running a café in Makati, after coming home from a late night, I would drop by the restaurant with some friends, wake up my stay-in employees, lock all possible exits and hunt for gigantic rats.

As kids, my uncle Andy and some cousins would hunt for rats in the poultry we had in Batangas. We had 22-caliber rifles with shotgun shell ammo.

Maintenance work

My home is built almost entirely in cement except for doors, door jams, sideboards and a few others. When we migrated to Canada, hardly any maintenance was done. When I got back, I realized almost all wood had been eaten up by anay (termites). This is something almost all homes need to address.

I hired a company that puts wood bait all over the house. They come back after a few weeks and if they see anay eat the wood bait, then they put a poisonous solution that the anay will eat, go back to their colony and contaminate the whole colony and eventually eradicate the anay colony. Ingenious!

With the other pests like mosquitoes, mice, rats, ants and cockroaches, the company initially did a great job, spraying pesticides then sealing all entry points. I was very impressed. But when I called for maintenance work, I was no longer satisfied.

At one point, I had to ask the guys to come back four more times because I still saw ants and mice. And now I still have that problem.

I have gotten a couple of companies to service the restaurant and my home. One was even recommended by another restaurant chain. But they are all dismal failures.


Impressive work

Until a friend Marc introduced me to someone who worked on his house. Marc had the same home pests. This anti-pest group opened his eyes to hidden anay, evidence of possible mosquito buildup, mice and cockroach activity that previous companies never saw. I got them to maintain the restaurant and was very impressed at how thorough this new company was.

The guys found places where most would not look for possible infestation. They explained to the home staff and restaurant workers what to do to avoid pest attraction.

For example, ipis (cockroaches) love to hide at the back of the fridge, on the rubber hinges, or back of frames. There are two kinds of ipis—German and American. The large American type can be found mostly at homes, while the German kind is usually in food establishments. Interesting!

I was advised to do treatment twice a month in the restaurant.  But this could go down to once a month, if my staff succeeds in shooing the pests away.

Food will forever attract these pests. At home, the suggestion is once-a-month pest treatment, but I guess once every two months is okay.

With dengue season just around the corner, I’d feel better with someone thoroughly watching my back. Pests are part of the headaches of everybody.

My Tylenol at the moment is this group called Pest To Go. Check it out: tel. 0929-3984136 and 0917-4864608.

Happy hunting!

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Food , Lifestyle , Pests

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  • Like Passover, Easter festival of deliverance
  • How other faiths in PH observe Holy Week
  • Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  • Cardinal Tagle: Start new life with true peace
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  • Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition