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THE PEST IS YET TO COME


Here, Dee Ward-Thompson, Technical Manager of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) explains why you should keep on top of pest control, or you’ll pay the price.


The cleaning sector is at the front end of keeping an organisation looking and feeling at its best, but sometimes pest control often falls under the radar.


However, letting it slip can have a devastating effect. Costly fines, as well as damage to corporate reputation and even the environment can all be attributed to poor pest control.


SAFE HANDS It’s more important than ever to be protected professionally when it comes to pest control.


That message has been amplified in recent months with the launch of a study by the University of Reading, commissioned by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), which revealed the presence of a new generation of poison resistant rats.


With their numbers expanding, there could be a significant risk to public health if this population is left unchecked.


It is thought that the spread has been accelerated by the application of first generation rodenticides, most likely by amateurs carrying out treatments themselves, or even employing an unqualified individual to try to resolve the problem.


Cleaning staff are often the first to become aware of any problems with pests developing – and raising an early call for professional help can reduce the speed, volume and associated impacts of infestation.


PUTTING A PRICE ON


PROTECTION Pest control should be considered on quality rather than price, particularly as retailers are now experiencing fines in excess of £1m – and that’s not including reputation damage.


Any search brings up a list of organisations fined for pest activity in their business – leaving an unwelcome impression that can


66 | SPECIALIST CLEANING (https://research.reading.ac.uk/resistant-rats/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/pdfs/anticoagulant-resistance-in-rats-and-mice-uk-2017-report.pdf)


be difficult to move away from. Social media further amplifies the stories far and wide, affecting corporate reputation. No-one wants to read about a customer in their organisation seeing a rodent scurrying across their facilities – or being stung by a swarm of wasps.


Not only can poor quality pest control damage reputations and impact on health and safety, it can also take its toll on the environment. Poorly trained, unprofessional pest controllers can create significant problems for nature and wildlife.


JOINED UP THINKING A large part of pest prevention is thinking ahead and identifying potential causes and entry points before infestations occur. As a result, more companies are delivering Integrated Pest Management (IPM) services and working more collaboratively with the client as opposed to in isolation.


(https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/poundworld-fined-12m-out-of-control-rodent-infestation-croydon-london-rat-mouse-a8254441.html)


IPM builds a complete picture of effective preventative methods which can be delivered by a variety of agents, including inspecting premises on a routine basis and reporting on the status of infestations, organising and undertaking a programme of treatments, as well as using control equipment or chemicals to control and eliminate target pests.


Good practice also represents fewer products being used, and the adoption of resilient preventative methods and practices – and peace of mind that the situation is firmly under control are being effectively controlled and managed behind the scenes.


TAKING CONTROL The most effective method to ensure protection and compliance is to introduce a pest management maintenance cycle programme, with regular, targeted activity undertaken by a professional pest controller. The pest management maintenance cycle proposal slots into an organisation’s scheduled operations to offer value and peace of mind.


Through the development of this routine programme, a complete picture of effective preventative controls can be built, and relevant actions introduced.


This will include inspecting premises on a routine basis and reporting on the status of pest infestation, organising and undertaking a programme of treatments, as well as using equipment/chemicals to control and eliminate target pests.


(https://bpca.org.uk/News-and-Blog/maintenance-cycles-for-effective-pest-control-pest-management-support/196814) www.bpca.org.uk/PestAware twitter.com/TomoCleaning


The BPCA has produced a free to view guide on this subject, which can be viewed here.


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