David Cross, Head of Technical Training Academy at Rentokil Pest Control examines how FMs can deal with the most prevalent pests in the warmer months.

With temperatures reaching almost 27°C in late April, summer finally feels like it’s arrived. While this means sunglasses, shorts and sun cream for us – the warmer weather can bring a significant increase in pest activity. Taking a proactive approach to pest control can guard against unanticipated spend and ensure offices do not experience any downtime because of infestations.

Pigeons and Gulls Pigeons, gulls and other bird pests are a major problem faced by buildings around the UK and can be a real headache for FMs. Large numbers of birds roosting can cause serious problems. Their fouling is not only unsightly and harmful to buildings, it is also a health hazard, harbouring diseases such as Salmonella and Ornithosis. Although there are many solutions available to help deal with nuisance birds, such as physical and visual deterrents, sonic and ultra-sonic devices, to prevent them from settling in urban areas, sometimes the most effective prevention methods are natural ones.

Cockroaches Arguably one of Britain’s most loathed pests, cockroaches thrive in commercial premises. They pose a number of health risks, being known carriers of Salmonella, Dysentery and Gastro-enteritis. Cockroach droppings have even been linked to eczema and asthma. The best way to deter cockroaches is to deny them food, water and shelter. This means encouraging employees to clean up their own food and drink waste, but also ensuring cleaning staff thoroughly clean around work spaces and in the communal kitchen areas daily. Cockroaches can be hard to notice, as they are most active at night.

Wasps Wasps’ behaviour changes during the summer as their preferred food shifts from sugars to proteins. Wasps emerge in April and early May to look for nesting sites, and the nooks and crannies in our buildings can be the perfect spot to start a colony. If you are noticing lots of wasps around the premises, then make sure you are checking for possible nesting sites. The earlier these are caught then the easier it is for any infestation to be dealt with.

Flies There are approximately 7,000 different types of fly in the UK. The housefly is a common pest, carrying diseases like Salmonella and E. coli, and as its name suggests, is often found indoors. Like other summer pests, flies can be deterred by covering food, cleaning up spills and making sure dustbins are tightly sealed. Dead flies act as a food source for other pests, such as rodents, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out under window sills and remove them as soon as you find them.

“Taking a proactive approach to pest control can guard against

unanticipated spend and ensure offices do not experience any downtime.”

One of the more humane and successful ways to treat nuisance birds, especially in large urban areas, is hawking. Birds of prey such as Harris Hawks are natural predators to pest birds, and when trained, they can be used to scare away pest birds and deter them from nesting, making them an effective natural deterrent.


Businesses may want to consider investing in electronic fly killers that are energy efficient and have large catchment areas. Concealed encapsulation also ensures that any debris does not fall out of the unit, which is especially important in food preparation areas.

If you are dealing with a pest infestation and are unsure of the best process of control, then it’s important you know who to contact. For any external contractor, part of their role is to be fully up-to-speed on the latest legislation changes in their area of expertise. Pest controllers are no different, so if you’re in any doubt as to what substances you can and can’t use, or how to use them, then it’s always best to check with the experts.

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