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  • Arman Shah, Habitat Contributor

Bed bug-free Home Rekindles Hope for an Elderly Couple

So what has become of the army of tiny blood suckers that terrorised Mdm Pallayah and her husband at their one-room rental flat in Bukit Merah?

It’s been less than a month since we last saw the married couple who complained about the bed bug infestation that affected their sleep and physical well-being. During that period of time, Habitat Singapore conducted two fumigation sessions in hopes of killing the pests.

“They don’t bite us anymore. No more itchiness. My husband and I can sleep better at night too. I can feel the difference. I wake up in the morning and I feel much fresher,” Mdm Pallayah shares with a smile on her face.

But it wasn’t just the elderly couple who were feeling rejuvenated, post-fumigation. After most of the bed bugs had been exterminated, Habitat Singapore organised a clean-up session as part of its Project HomeWorks initiative to give the house a makeover.

Volunteers paint the walls after sealing the gaps

On a bright and early Saturday morning, a group of volunteers – led by Tim, Habitat Singapore’s Board Member and Project HomeWorks Champion – rallied at Mdm Pallayah’s unit, ready for a long and fulfilling day ahead of them.

The objectives of the home-cleaning session included a) throwing away old wooden furniture that had been infested with bed bugs and b) caulking gaps in the walls to prevent any remaining bed bugs and eggs which may still remain there after fumigation.

Mdm Pallayah and her husband also received new furniture to replace their old, discarded ones. These items from Habitat Singapore include a new bed with a metallic frame, mattresses, vanity mirror, desk, fan, clothing rack and a plastic shelf.

Volunteers assemble new furniture for Madam Pallayah

When asked about how she felt having complete strangers rehabilitate her home, Mdm Pallayah only had nice things to say. “I appreciate how (team leader) Tim went about today’s session. He went up to my house, introduced himself and explained what will happen.

He is a very nice and friendly person, so all the volunteers feel very relaxed and happy. It doesn’t feel too serious and strict. It makes me happy,” she enthuses.

After six hours of hard work, the volunteers presented Mdm Pallayah and her husband with their newly cleaned, painted and re-furnished home. As she expressed her gratitude, Mdm Pallayah had to stop herself because she suddenly got emotional and started to tear up.

Ending things on a beautiful, reflective note, she shares, “I was an interior designer when I was younger, so I want my house to be beautiful. Even though it is a small house, we have to make sure it’s nice. We live in this place, so we have to make sure we keep it clean. I hope we have no more bed bugs.”

Madam Pallayah in her home sweet home

Help us help your neighbour. Give others like Mdm Pallayah the gift of a healthy #HomeThisChristmas. Find out how you can be part of the solution here:


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