10 Simple Steps To Prevent Pest Problems From Occurring In Your Home or Business Premises
The 10 steps to prevent pest infestations in a domestic house or a business premises (not involved in supplying food products) would usually be:
Sealing up external/internal cracks or breaks in wall surfaces and using suitable guard covers to prevent pests accessing through down pipes and air ventilation ducts. It is important to note that many pests (including rats & mice) are very good climbers and that a small mouse can squeeze itself through a hole just 6-7mm (about ¼ of an inch) across.
Preventing foods from falling or collecting in tight/inaccessible spaces e.g. down the side(s)or back of a kitchen cooker or fridge.
Ensuring the quick removal of any spilt liquids (including water) and solid foods.
Leaving a gap around packets of food towards the internal edges of storage cupboards will help to make it a less desirable area for pest harbourage. It will also make it easier to identify food spillages and to alert you to any pests in the cupboards.
Store open packs of food in sealed containers.
Rotating food stocks will help to identify signs of pest activity and can deter certain pests.
Avoid letting the garbage build up and only use sealed storage bins with proper lids.
Wash food dishes or containers regularly and don’t let them pile up or get left overnight.
Vacuum carpets and sweep or wash floors regularly. When vacuuming make sure that the borders/edges of the carpet are paid attention to as well as spaces underneath or behind furniture.
Pets should have their fur combed with a flea comb frequently and their bedding material should also be washed or changed on a regular basis.
As you can see from the above list when we are working to prevent the intrusion or the establishment of pests the single biggest factor that needs to be contended with is hygiene.
Whilst tasks such as cleaning and ensuring the correct rotation of food supplies may be time consuming processes; they will often prove to be cost/time efficient and are essential if the risks of pest infestations are to be minimised.
It is highly recommended that a proper cleaning schedule is put into place along with simple hygiene procedures that will help to prevent pests from getting access to food, water and harbourage.
This is the first and most important step that must be taken in preventing pest infestations and it is essentially impossible for any sustainable pest control program to work effectively without these measures being put in place.
Businesses that are involved in manufacturing, supplying or serving food products have to operate to a different set of standards and the hygiene procedures for a business of that type would usually add the following to the above list:
The premises should have a general design and construction layout that permits good hygiene, prevention of contamination and pest control practices.
In storerooms stock should be kept about 30-45cm (12-18 inches) away from the walls to allow for inspection and cleaning to be carried out.
Identify areas that might be critical control points (CCP’s) for pest entry and monitor these areas continuously.
Identify areas in the building that could harbour pests and take preventative action to stop this area becoming a harbourage. Make these inspections regularly as even minor changes to the layout or structure of the building can introduce new harbourage areas.
Windows which open to the outside should be fitted with removable insect proof screens.
Well fitting shutter doors for access in and out of the building should be used where appropriate to help prevent pests gaining access. The use of bristle strips & strip doors between the interior rooms will dramatically reduce the ability of pests to move around and infest a premises.
The use of monitoring stations, traps or lethal baiting stations and electronic fly killers (EFK’s) would normally be required. These should be fitted by a competent contractor as incorrect fitting or placement could increase the chances of a pest problem occurring.
A pest ‘sighting book’ will help those managing the premises to assess and deal with any potential problems that may be present. Do not assume that any information about pests or pest sightings will be passed to all employees by word of mouth or by notice boards.
All information on any pest treatments and follow up work to be carried out by the premises owner or their employees should be documented and supplied to all those employees whether they are involved in carrying out the work or not. If any pesticides are used then the full Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for those pesticides should be readily available for inspection or reference by employees, authorities or contractors.
This is not an exhaustive list but it is intended to give you an idea of the measures that need to be taken in order to prevent pest infestations occurring. All premises and operations vary and so a proper assessment should be carried out by a competent pest control contractor in order to create a suitable pest control program for your organisation.
To get more information and keep pests out your property contact us on 0131 623 1806