Getting rid of termites, cockroaches, stray dogs and cats in Al Ain

Termites can be a problem in Al Ain. We got these unwelcome visitors in our new villa recently. Here’s what we found behind one of my bookcases…


You can see the gap at the end of the row of tiles in the skirting board where they were coming through. (Houses aren’t brilliantly put together here in Al Ain from my experience.) The gap was big enough for this gecko to crawl through too!…

Gecko Al Ain

Here’s what you do if you have a problem with termites yourself…

Ring 993: a freephone number. (If the person who answers the line does not understand the word ‘termites’, as one man on this line didn’t, use the word ‘ants’.)

I rang on a Thursday afternoon and got a visit from a pest control company, Orkin, on a Saturday morning at 8.30am. (We rendezvoused at a local landmark, the Al Ain Paradise Gardens – and it so happened that the Orkin office is next door!)

There is no charge for this service: it’s free – paid for by the Municipality. Here’s the Orkin pickup truck outside our home…


The queen in the termite colony needs to be killed to stop the infestation from spreading: it’s not enough to just seal up the gaps: they’ll just find somewhere else, up the walls or round the door frames, to get through.

A team of 4 technicians and one driver came to our home.

They drilled into the grouting between various tiles…


…and then injected a chemical called Premise…


Then they mix Premise with fresh grouting…


…and plug all the holes.

There is no smell. The grouting needs to be left for 2-3 hours to dry.

I spoke to one of the team while the others did the work. Orkin UAE is a franchisee of Orkin Inc., so it is an American brand that is locally owned and operated.

The workers that came to our villa were all Filipinos. There are 20 teams in Al Ain. Some teams handle termites, cockroaches, etc. Others handle rats, stray cats and stray dogs.

Tom Kruszewski from Orkin UAE told me by email: “We have numerous nationalities working for us… at last count I believe the number is 21 different nationalities (which makes us unique because we are familiar with the different languages and customs of various cultures.) What’s more, we may be the only Pest Management Company in the Eastern side of the world that employs female technicians.”

Termites and rats are a problem in the district of Shaib Al Alaskhar where we live. In town, cockroaches are a problem, especially in apartment blocks where restaurants and snack bars are on the ground floor.

The team were in our home for about 20 minutes. Amazingly they brought a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust from the drilling as the drilling was being done: the professionalism was similar to that at a dentist’s when having a filling done! (I’m used to workers coming to our home and leaving us to clean up after them!)

You will be asked to sign a form and sign on the screen of a Pocket PC when the job is done – and encouraged to write a comment about the quality of work done etc.

I love this kind of professionalism.

The team told me to ensure that furniture isn’t pushed against walls, but pulled out an inch or 2. Walls should be checked regularly for the tell-tale trails. That way you can nip problems in the bud before they become a real nuisance.

Their website is here.

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