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Act promptly to keep premises pest-free

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

BUG CHECK:  Pest infestations can harm the a firm's reputation and ultimately its finances. Experts recommend regular monitoring and swift action if unwanted visitors are found.

BUG CHECK: Pest infestations can harm the a firm's reputation and ultimately its finances. Experts recommend regular monitoring and swift action if unwanted visitors are found.

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EVERY day of the year somewhere in the UK a business closes as a result of a pest infestation and even more suffer financially or reputationally.

Rats, mice, cockroaches, bed bugs, stored product pests, fleas, and others all have the ability to seriously impact on your business.

But the extent of that impact can be greatly reduced if you have suitable pest control contract in place.

The object of a good pest control contract is to identify a potential problem quickly and then take appropriate action to eliminate it. The key word here is quickly. There is little time between an unwelcome visitor arriving on your property, and a damaging infestation being present.

Businesses that skimp on the frequency of pest control visits can exposing themselves to a greater risk.

Identification of a potential rodent problem is generally carried out through the use of mouse and rat boxes containing solid, non-toxic baits, which enable a pest controller to see what, if anything, has had a nibble.

Gone are the days when it was the norm for businesses to have permanent toxic baits around their premises. When outdoors, these pose a risk to non-target species and increase the risk of secondary poisoning of birds, particularly those feeding on slugs and also to birds of prey.

It's never a great idea to have poisons permanently distributed throughout your buildings, and permanent boundary poisoning can be a huge threat to field mice and bank voles, especially where the boundaries involve hedges or ditches. Your pest control contract is about risk mitigation, but the use of permanent poison baits adds new risks.

Insect monitoring is often not included in a pest control contract, yet some insects pose as great a risk to a business as rodents. Without monitoring, infestations can and do reach damaging and costly proportions before they are discovered.

This is particularly true of cockroaches and bed bugs. Simple insect traps, strategically placed and regularly checked, will help keep your business safe. So, a good pest control contract should provide you with at least eight visits per year, and you should be able to develop a good working relationship with your technician. It's important that the same technician attends each time.

Poisons should not be placed about unnecessarily. When you have an active infestation, bait boxes should be secured and ideally hidden from general sight.

You should have a comprehensive site file detailing your pest control history and, in particular, containing COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health), literature for the poisons in use.

Insect monitoring is a must in food premises and highly desirable for businesses offering accommodation.

All of these things help lessen the risk to you, your business, your staff and your customers, and also minimises the risk to your local wildlife.

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