Get Pest Ready: Pest Advice for Businesses Returning After COVID-19 Lockdown
As businesses reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown, there are several things they need to watch out for. Our experts have created some handy pest advice for businesses on what to be aware of after lockdown and what you should do if you find a pest problem.
If you closed your commercial premises on advice from the Government, this blog will take you through a list of things you can do in order to mitigate the risk of potential pest problems when you close for long periods of time.
Cause of Infestation
While closed, a lot of businesses have, understandably, been too preoccupied with planning and forecasting for a post-COVID-19 world to consider the need for monitoring certain things within their premises that could lead to a pest infestation.
Leaving items behind such as food, or monitoring the condition of wastewater pipes has become a secondary need for many business owners.
Pest Management is Essential
Effective pest management supports the provision of a safe and hygienic facility. Insects, rodents and birds can easily contaminate food and work surfaces with bacteria or viruses that could cause significant issues for humans.
Pests also have the potential to cause significant damage to the structural integrity of your business premises. They can chew through wooden supports, or nest within the rafters causing beams to give way.
Pest management is able to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Qualified professionals, like us at Confirm a Kill can constantly monitor the situation in your building. If you are yet to reopen your business, it’s never too late to consider a pest control contract.
Did You do Everything Necessary to Remain Pest Free Before Closing the Business?
Safely Securing all Food From Pests
If you are a business that is involved with the processing or manufacturing of food products, or you store dried food goods within your premises, you may have left food in the building.
If you did leave food in the building, was it left on high shelves away from the floor? And did you secure all the food in sealed, air-tight containers?
Items such as rice or nuts that are stored in bags or small tubs on the ground could be very easy for a rodent to access. If there is a significant amount of food, rodents will see this as a reliable food source and return in substantial numbers, more than once.
Cleaning and Hygiene
When you left the business premises, you should’ve ensured that a thorough clean-down took place before leaving.
If this didn’t take place, you could expect pests in large numbers to come by. If a significant amount of crumbs or debris has been left in the premises, this could mean rodents and other pests will be drawn to them.
It was also essential that waste collection was carried out as usual. Did you check with your waste management company that collections would continue regularly?
Ensuring that there is no easy access to the premises for rodents or other insects is vital.
This means blocking gaps under external doors and ensuring the structure of the building will not allow pests to access.
With less footfall in towns and cities, rats will not have the usual access to disposed waste and may lead to them attempting to access buildings which they may not normally venture near.
Check Pest Management Equipment
Before you left your premises, you should have ensured that pest management systems such as fly screens, electronic fly killers are working effectively.
With the hotter months upon us, insects will be seeking out food supplies, and if a building is not adequately protected they may find themselves a method of access.
Systems like the electronic fly killer need to be serviced at least every 12 months, or they will not work effectively. Ensure this has been done.
What if I Did Not Ensure my Business Remained Pest Free?
In the panic and unprecedented nature of a pandemic, you can be forgiven for not adequately ensuring your business property has been protected against pests. But there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your business is ready to reopen.
Walk around your business premises with a pest control technician, or by yourself. Inspect every part of your premises, ensuring that there are no signs of pest in the building.
If you do this with a pest control technician, and signs of pests are identified, the technician will be able to recommend a way to deal with the pests and eradicate them from the building.
Remove Food Sooner Rather than Later
If you have no plans to return to the premises any time soon, it is worth ensuring you remove any food waste or dried food from the floor. If you’re lucky enough not to have been infested by rodents or other pests, they could still make their way into the property at any given time.
Removing food from the premises may be the best prevention method. If pests do manage to get into the premises once all the food has been removed, they will soon realise the building lacks a reliable food source.
Maintain/Install Pest Management Equipment
Even if you intend to return to the premises shortly, pest management equipment can be one of the best tools in your arsenal of dealing with pests of any kind.
Now may be a better time than any to install pest management equipment. This can be things such as fly killers, fly screens, rodent traps, etc. A pest technician, like ourselves, can recommend the best equipment for you and your business.
If you have existing pest management equipment, ensure it is serviced. Things such as replacing UV lights in Electronic Fly Killers and ensuring the fly netting is properly maintained.
What to do if I Spot Signs of Pest Infestation Upon Reopening?
If you begin the reopening procedure and start to welcome staff back to the office, or the building, it’s essential you remain vigilant. If you do spot signs of pests, get a professional involved as soon as possible.
Opening a business to staff or the public with a pest infestation could be in breach of health and safety regulations.
If you spot a pest infestation in your business premises, contact us and we’ll help rectify any pest issue.