Paul Blackhurst, Head of the Technical Academy at Rentokil Pest Control gives his rodent prevention advice and explains how a digital pest management system can benefit both premises that are empty as well as those remaining open during further periods of lockdown.
A rodent population boom over the milder winter, combined with greater difficulty in finding food during lockdown periods, has made rats bolder than ever. They have increasingly been seen scavenging in broad daylight, despite being nocturnal creatures. This suggests businesses generating less waste during lockdowns and larger nest sizes, has forced rodents to search further afield for food during the day.
Rodent populations increased over the first national lockdown, to the extent that nests are now over-spilling, with young males being ejected from their clan. This could mean a larger population of rats will be heading indoors as the weather cools, to search for food, water and safe harbourage. Commercial businesses and public sector premises alike are having to re-think their preventative pest control strategies, whether they are currently vacant or remain operational.
Pests are opportunistic and will always be attracted to buildings for their provision of shelter and abundance of water and food. Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to prevent rodents and other nuisance guests from taking up residence. Some of these are DIY solutions, while others consider the benefits of professional rodent proofing and a digital pest management system onsite.
Rodent Prevention Tips
- Seal any gaps: Rodents can enter buildings through exterior gaps and holes, so seal these with wire wool, caulk, metal kick plates or cement. Rats are also known to enter premises through damaged drains, so it’s important to make sure that these are well maintained and checked regularly.
- Remove any clutter: Keep clutter to a minimum and move objects away from walls to ensure you can check what’s hiding behind them. Less clutter means fewer places for rodents to hide. Ensure any waste left onsite is kept in strong bins and that lids can be fully closed.
- Eliminate potential food sources: Make sure food and waste containers are adequately sealed. Mice can take food from up to 70 different sources in 24 hours, so it’s important not to give them the opportunity to find things to eat.
- Remove sources of water: Rats in particular need to drink sufficient water on a daily basis (60ml per day), so they are generally found in areas that have a water source. Ensure that any leaky taps are repaired and that any sources of waste water are removed as much as possible.
- Rodent proofing: Eliminating areas of potential entry for rodents by professional proofing reduces the risks of rodent infestations within your premise, which in turn reduces the need to use rodenticides to control them. Flexi Armour rodent proofing solutions help prevent mice and rats entering and harbouring in buildings.
- Digital pest management: Digital pest management systems can be deployed onsite that will provide an instant alert to any rodent break-ins, while also minimising the number of pest technician visits required. Rentokil’s PestConnect is one such system, providing 24/7 monitoring, rapid response and the effective control of rodents.
PestConnect is practical for businesses currently vacant, as it alerts only when a rodent has been captured, minimising the need for technician visits and well as being a practical solution for professionals managing essential services that remain open. These operators still need to ensure pests are kept at bay to avoid unhygienic infestations, while at the same time being mindful of limiting the number of people on their site. In such cases digital pest control solutions, which deliver maximum protection but with minimum disruption may well be the answer.
Connected pest devices send an alert via SMS immediately when a rodent is detected, so technicians know exactly where and when a pest has triggered an alarm. This digital monitoring device is proving an important tool for building and facilities managers during the lockdown period, as it warns them of pest activity while at the same time limiting the number of people required onsite.
Unfortunately pests are opportunistic and will seek food, water and shelter whenever and wherever they can. For active infestations or concerns over pest issues, our experts are on hand 24/7 and can respond quickly. Our business is still providing essential services in the fight against Coronavirus and as such, we are able to provide essential pest control and disinfection work for commercial, residential and local authority customers across the country. We are taking all of the necessary precautions to protect both our colleagues and customers, across the local communities in which we work. These include:
- Putting in place stringent hand hygiene guidance, training and social distancing measures.
- Minimising all non-essential contact points throughout the business.
- Having access to large quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE) and stocks of hand sanitiser as part of the Rentokil Initial Group.
- Setting up a “fast track” reporting line for all of our colleagues who come across any issues or who have any concerns relating to Coronavirus.
Whilst Rentokil Pest Control can provide an All Purpose Disinfection service to businesses that don’t have confirmed cases of the virus, our sister business Rentokil Specialist Hygiene can provide a range of treatments in Coronavirus confirmed or suspected cases to assist with Coronavirus Containment and Control.