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Mark Little, Managing Director of Emprise’s cleaning division, says that with the number of pests on the increase, it’s more important than ever to have a pest management strategy in place.

According to a new white paper published by leading support services provider, Emprise, ‘Can you afford to lose 200% of your budget for every pest outbreak?’ any organisation that fails to have an integrated pest management strategy in place could risk business productivity and loss of reputation for something as simple as due diligence for peace of mind and to save money in the long run.

Some of the key drivers for this growth are a natural increase in pest populations in areas such as food retailing and production; and less effective methods of treatment as pests become more resistant to the chemicals and pesticides used.

And it’s not just one type of pest that’s the issue. Bed bugs, rats and mice, birds, cockroaches and other insects can all cause problems. Based on a two-storey office it costs three times the budget to treat one outbreak rather than a 12 month planned maintenance preventative programme.

Reactive strategies are only a quick fix, which focus on treating the symptoms rather than the cause, and tend not to work particularly well. It’s common for an infestation to be treated only for it to resurface elsewhere in the building a few months later. This can be costly in time but also in potential loss of revenue and productivity as areas need to be either closed or treated out of normal working hours and this can be more expensive.


A typical reactive response to an outbreak would be to simply spray the infested areas, whereas a strategic approach would involve a full survey of the building and a pest audit - including every area not just the ones reported. Having a strategic approach to pest control is a good long-term investment for an organisation.




A pest audit will identify the current situation and potential problem areas and how they will impact on business performance. It will also seek to reduce risk and its effect on business continuity. This audit will then inform the pest management strategy.

A pest management strategy can deliver many efficiencies, including cost savings, reduced downtime, lessening the impact on an organisation and adding to the bottom line. Pre-allocating a monthly budget for pest control is the most effective way to reduce incidents and for long-term and assist in the prevention of further outbreaks.

There are four basic principles of a pest management strategy:

1. EXCLUSION: • Identify vulnerable areas of

your building(s)

• Make sure you have a ‘good housekeeping’ policy

2. RESTRICTION: • Understand how the pests are

getting into the building

• Close off/repair these areas e.g. gaps in floors and skirting boards

3. DESTRUCTION: • Treat the areas infected as well

as the rest of the building

• Use holistic methods where possible as pests are becoming more resistant to traditional pesticides

4. MONITORING: • Pre-allocate a monthly budget

• Ongoing monitoring is the key to success

Having an effective housekeeping strategy that has cleanliness at its core will help to reduce the number of pests within a building. Whilst a holistic approach can not only lessen the impact on the environment but can be more effective as many of the pesticides used and legislation are constantly changing and pests are evolving - creating new strains of resistance to the more conventional products available.

With this in mind we constantly strive to deliver an integrated pest management approach

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