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Cleankill is one of the most highly trained pest control services in the industry. Here the company shares its tips on how to pest-proof your premises ahead of the driving cold that will push pesky creatures indoors.

The impact of getting pest control wrong on your premises can be widespread. News of a pest infestation can spread in minutes, leaving customers scurrying away, staff fretting and your reputation in tatters. The financial and health implications can also be serious depending on the type and extent of the problem.

Pest prevention contracts can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on all the other complexities the role of the FM involves.

With pressures to make savings however, some facilities managers fall foul of what looks like a cheap quote only to find they are constantly being ‘upsold’ additional services at the slightest sign of a problem and their spend on pest control begins to spiral.

Paul Bates, Managing Director of Cleankill Environmental Services, believes the practice is highly unethical: “These large pest control providers are winning business by making their quotes seem very cheap. Facilities managers should look carefully at low estimates and treat them with suspicion.”

Another key piece of advice from Paul is that facilities managers shouldn’t allow procurement staff to ‘bundle services’ in order to save time and money as this can lead to problems later.

“Services that are often bundled with pest control include cleaning and landscaping. The difficulties arise when the teams involved in these aspects of facilities actually


cause the pest infestations through poor cleaning or leaving vegetation unmanaged. I strongly advise against ‘bundling’. I know many FMs who have tried it and have reverted back to separate contracts. Initially it may seem easier to have one contract for all the services, but it rarely works well,” Paul explained.

No commercial, retail or industrial property can ever be guaranteed pest free. Modern building techniques like using stud partitioning, breeze blocks, false flooring and main service voids, often lend themselves to creating the perfect harbourages for pests.

A mouse can get in through a gap the width of a pencil, cockroaches can be brought in on cardboard packaging, fleas may be picked up on public transport, pigeons will make the most of those wonderfully designed architectural ledges on the outsides of buildings - and flies will just fly in!

So what should the FMs be doing to limit the risk of pest infestations?


1. Normal contracts for standard premises will include a minimum of eight inspections a year. Factories producing high- risk food or manufacturing pharmaceuticals will require more frequent visits. The inspections should include all common areas such as: plant rooms; basements; riser cupboards; car parks and landscaped areas - all of the areas where pests could harbour and reproduce undisturbed.

The contractor should belong to the British Pest Control Association, with all staff qualified to the RSPH Level Two in pest control. The company you choose should have written accreditations in Health and Safety and comprehensive insurance.


2. Proofing against mice is never the be all and end all, but should be looked at as part of the overall integrated pest control system. Effective proofing will restrict rather than be a complete ‘NO ENTRY’ to mice. Bristle stripping the bottom of doors, especially external doors and riser cupboard doors, should restrict movement and keep the rodents out of the office areas. Rat valves fitted into drains are very effective at stopping rodents entering premises through the drains.

Checking the external airbricks and weep holes and putting specially designed covers on them, if necessary, should be another regular inspection. Bird spikes onto ledges, as well as the girders beneath fire escapes and parapets, will stop pigeons messing on steps and walkways. Netting on lightwells prevents birds gaining access into sheltered areas at the back of buildings. This is critical as a host of problems can be caused when pigeon numbers build up. They bring with them other pest problems such as bird mite, fleas and flies. Fouling

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