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PEST CONTROL


inviting unwanted guests into your property in the process. Rats and mice are particularly attracted to carbohydrate and sugar rich foods because they give the most energy. But they are gluttons, and love to gnaw on almost anything. Wherever possible, store food in air-tight containers and be sure to clean under cookers, fridges and cupboards to remove all traces of water and tasty crumbs, scraps or odours.


While you’re counting the costs of the flood damage to your home or business,


displaced rodents are on the hunt for their next nesting site.


4


Don’t offer any additional places for pests to hide


If you’ve already fallen victim to flooding, the chances are you’re already in the process of giving your home or business a thorough clean. This will assist in creating a rodent- free environment, but it is important to remember that rodents love hiding under objects because it helps them feel safe. Be mindful when leaving objects out to dry that this could be seen as safe refuge to a rodent. With all the displaced objects and potential food sources created by the floods, try to ensure rubbish and refuse is carefully bagged and stored in strong bins with securely fitted lids.


5


Check your insurance policy In the unfortunate situation that


your home or business suffers an infestation or damage from rodents and pests as a result of the recent flooding, you should look at your insurance policy. Few insurers will cover pest infestations as a consequence of flooding, unless the policy holder already has insurance cover for pests. It’s best to work to prevent a pest situation from arising,


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rather than assuming you will be covered by your insurance.


PEST-RELATED RISKS


TO YOUR HEALTH Rats in particular pose a real health risk as they are prone to spreading Leptospirosis through their urine. This can be compounded in wet conditions, as the bacteria can survive outside the rodent’s body for longer periods. Humans can catch the disease through exposure to rodent urine within that water and soil that comes in with the floodwaters, and through shared food sources. In most cases the bacterial infection manifests itself through mild flu-like symptoms such as headaches, chills and muscle pain – but in more severe cases it can lead to Weil’s disease which can induce more life threatening problems including internal bleeding and organ failure.


People in flooded areas are most likely to be exposed to these health risks during the clean-up phase. Taking the following precautions as you assess the damage and undertake the clean- up will help prevent exposure and contamination from disease.


• Cover all cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to prevent contaminated water entering directly into the bloodstream.


• Wear waterproof clothing, including gloves to prevent exposure through contaminated water and soil.


• Do not swallow contaminated water.


• Thoroughly wash and dry hands before eating, drinking or smoking.


The floods have created a big challenge for a lot of households and businesses. Nobody wants their clean- up efforts compounded by a pest- related issue. Following these relatively straightforward tips will go a long way to preventing rodents and other pests from entering your home or business.


If you do have a problem with rodents it is important to catch it early, otherwise it will only grow and become even harder to treat.


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Tomorrow’s Cleaning February 2016 | 45


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