March 24th, 2020 by
With the country on lockdown for a minimum of three weeks, pest control experts are warning this could allow many pest species to flourish. As schools, pubs, retail stores, and restaurants close their doors, business owners must take measures to protect themselves from opportunistic pests like rats and cockroaches, which may seek to build their new home in an empty building.
The problem is likely to be made worse by the changing of the season. As spring brings warmer weather, many pests will emerge from their dormant winter states and be on the lookout for food and shelter. In normal circumstances, the presence of people in a workplace will discourage many pests from infesting the building, according to Sandy Mackay, PelGar International’s technical lead. With many businesses closing their doors, however, this natural deterrent no longer exists, with cleaning and maintenance routines being dropped.
Mackay comments that “If pests have adequate food and water within these buildings, populations will quickly escalate,” which means business owners and site managers will need to take preventative measures now to arrest infestations before they begin. However, as Mackay explains, all of us need to be aware of the booming pest populations.
“If food and water are in short supply inside those buildings, pests will disperse in search of them,” he explains. “We should expect to see an increase of pests like rats on our streets in search of easy food from litter and bins. The lack of public social movement added to a decrease in cleaning and grounds maintenance will embolden pests which are normally keen to keep out of sight, enabling them to flourish.”
Mackay points to the case of New Orleans, USA, which is increasing rodent baiting city-wide to try and control increasing populations as businesses shut up shop.
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While pest controllers can still operate during the lockdown as they’re classed as “key workers”, they still won’t be able to work as effectively as before for several reasons. The first is that pest controllers will still need to self-isolate just like the rest of the country if they start to show symptoms of the coronavirus. This will naturally leave many pest control companies short on qualified staff. Also, any workplace currently undergoing a pest control treatment will now be closed, which may limit access to pest controllers and stop them from completing their treatment.
Mackay believes that the increase in pest numbers is inevitable, but it can be curbed by ensuring we keep hygiene standards high in our homes. “Within our own homes, we may see an increase in mice, ants and flies as they too profit from our reduced movement. Ensure you continue to keep your homes and gardens tidy and your rubbish in bins to discourage pests.”
It’s possible to prevent these pest problems before they begin by ensuring you’re properly prepared. We recommend picking up some rat bait and bait stations as well as ant bait stations before the booming pest populations reach your home. You can find treatments for almost any kind of pest by checking our Pest Control store.
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