Managing Pest Control in the Facilities Industry
Pest control within facilities is not to be taken lightly. An infestation could lead to a host of dilemmas for facilities managers – causing health problems, severely damaging employee relations, and even leading to absenteeism and resignations.
Wider business consequences could include: harm to customer and employee trust, serious damage to your facility’s health and hygiene reputation, as well as lost revenue. In order to address these issues it is important to be aware of the types of pest problems facilities are most exposed to and what can be done to prevent them.
In addition, it would be undoubtedly beneficial to formulate mouse control, fly control, bird control and other forms of pest control strategies in advance of any problem arising. While pest control is only one of the many responsibilities of a busy facilities manager, prevention is always better than cure. It is vital that problems are dealt with as quickly as possible.
Pests are remarkably clever at finding the perfect environment to set up home in. Stored product insect pests will seek out premises containing dry foodstuffs and rodents, whilst attracted to food, also like buildings that are warm and quiet at night.
Food kept in desk drawers overnight, or left out on surfaces, as well as residue in wastepaper bins will certainly attract pests. Bins should contain bin liners and be emptied daily. If left untreated, rodent infestations can cause serious health problems such as salmonella, as rats and mice urinate on surfaces.
Small flies, such as fruit flies, are common office pests and while health risks associated with them are minimal, they are likely to distract and irritate staff. Again, not leaving food out will discourage their appearance and help enormously with fly control.
Fleas can be brought into facilities from people’s homes, but survive easily within an office building, as carpeting and soft furnishings provide a relatively undisturbed environment for them to develop.
If a member of staff is complaining of fleabites, it is crucial to call in pest controllers immediately rather than waiting to see if it is an isolated incident. Bite marks around the wrist and ankles are the obvious signs of a flea problem and vacuuming will not eliminate them.
Proactive monitoring – prevention is better than cure
With prevention in mind, proactive monitoring is essential. A contractual agreement with a pest control company, which includes regular technician and field biologist visits, is recommended. Continuous monitoring can drastically reduce the reporting and administrative burden that comes with coordinating pest control checks.
To minimise disruption, you need a pest control partner flexible enough to work out of office hours and through the night, if necessary.
Teaching staff to be ‘pest-aware’
Pest control professionals can help facilities managers avoid pest headaches by educating office managers to be more pest-aware. By teaching staff about the signs to look out for, any pest issues are more likely to be reported faster, so they can be dealt with before a larger scale infestation takes hold.
The enemy …