Pest infestation is a concern all year long. However, the industries that are most affected include hospitality, food production, education and restaurants. In the face of pest challenges, our responses can make the difference to the results and consequences.
Imagine this scenario, while dining in a restaurant, the lady in the next table exclaimed that there is a rat in the soup! As the restaurant staff scurried to manage the situation, some of the other restaurant patrons began snapping away on their mobile phones. The consequences of a rat infestation can be dire. In this age of social media, a rodent caught on video can spread faster than you can spell R-A-T-S.
Pest infestations may affect the business reputation for an extended period of time. Not only that, under the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act, mall management or operators whose premise is found to have infestation of rats are liable to a fine of up to $5000 for the first offense.
In some cases, the rodents may even leave bites on its victims. As a result, business owners may face financial implications such as medical claims, complaints and even the suspension of licenses.
Rat control is of paramount importance to any business because rodents carry a wide range of disease-causing organisms that can cause serious illnesses. These include,
- Hantavirus – May cause severe respiratory infections
- Leptospirosis – Can lead to severe diseases and even death
- Rat bite fever – Bacterial disease that causes fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, rashes, joint pain and swelling
- Salmonella – Intestinal tract bacterial disease that causes vomiting, diarrhoea and severe dehydration
- Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis – Infection that causes fever, muscle aches, headaches, nausea and vomiting
- Typhus – Bacterial disease that may lead to high fever, rashes, confusion and low blood pressure
Flies are the bane of any food and beverage industry. Prior to crash landing on our food, the flies may have fed on waste products such as faeces and decomposed food. In the process, they often transfer and deposit disease-causing bacteria to our food. These diseases include
- Salmonellosis: Infection that causes fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps,
- Cholera: Bacterial disease that causes dehydration and diarrhea
- Gastroenteritis: Infection that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines
- Conjunctivitis: Inflammation or infection of the membrane that lines the eyelid
- Dysentery: A type of gastroenteritis that results in diarrhoea with blood, fever, abdominal pain and incomplete defecation
Moreover, fly infestation can happen anywhere in your food business. Factors that contribute to pest infestations in the food industry include improper disposal of rubbish, not cleaning food and beverage spills promptly and improper food storage.
Bed bugs infestation
Bed bugs are silent invaders. However, if left unchecked, the consequences they leave can be disastrous. A bed bug infestation can make a dent on your company reputation. They pose a challenge to the hospitality and education industry such as hotels, childcare centres and even airlines.
Bed bugs feed on human blood and if an infestation is not treated promptly, it can leave your guests with a very unpleasant experience. They hide in deep cracks and often feed on unsuspecting victims when they are asleep.
Bed bug bites are small and red bumps which may develop into an itchy skin rash over time. Do you know? Bed bugs’ saliva contains an anaesthetic that numbs the bite. Therefore, it is highly unlikely for the victims to be awakened during the bites! How to remove bed bugs? The best way is to engage professional pest control.
So how do we deal with pest infestations?
Firstly, it is important to take no chances when it comes to pest infestations. This is particularly true in industries such as the food and hospitality industries where pest infestations pose a real threat all year long.
Secondly, it is important to perform a proper site evaluation to understand the root cause of pest infestations and to eliminate any possible sites of harbourages for pests. A professional pest control company is able to perform comprehensive site surveys and provide valuable insights to businesses.
Additionally, professionally trained and licensed technicians are able to recommend a sustainable pest control strategy for long-term effectiveness. These include,
- Identify early signs of pest infestation
- Recommend targeted treatments for pests in all stages of their lifecycle
- Suggest preventive steps to prevent future infestations
- Provide the option of environmentally-friendly pest control treatments
- Install remote monitoring devices if necessary for 24/7 surveillance of the premise
5 common pest control mistakes
Next, let us take a look at 5 common mistakes that people make when dealing with pest control in Singapore. Generally, these methods do not work as pests are notoriously difficult to eliminate.
Some of us may choose to manage pests on our own due to varying reasons. For example, we may set up makeshift rat traps which may not be effective in getting to the root cause of the pest infestation. In addition, when doing DIY pest control, we may not cover the entire life cycle of the pest. For example, mosquitoes have 4 life stages and may exist as an egg, larva, pupa or adult.
It is also common for pests to learn our human behaviour and adjust their living habits in order to increase their chances of survival. For example, rats may find alternative routes to enter a premise once their access is blocked. By not getting to the root of the problem, it is easy for pest infestations to reoccur.
In addition, many pesticides and pest repellents are toxic to humans and the environment when touched, mishandled or ingested. Mishandling of dangerous chemicals can lead to serious health implications.
Cutting down on the frequency of pest control
In a bid to cut costs, some of us may choose to reduce the frequency of pest control. As a result, the pests are not completely eliminated. Instead, they may even multiply more quickly when they breed.
For example, mosquitoes need only 8 to 10 days to breed. When we choose low coverage, inadequate control and inexperience, we are enabling the pests to multiply and increase the risk to our premises and people around us.
Basic contract selection
Instead of splurging on the best of packages, some of us may choose to purchase only the basic contract period instead of selecting a contract period based on our needs.
When pest control is discontinued before it is due, pests can multiply and cause more problems within a short period of time. Simply put, there is inadequate control. As a result, you might even need to incur higher costs to get rid of a bigger pest infestation!
Some of us may fall for the advertised features of a product on the shelf without considering the prerequisites needed to effectively perform the treatment or servicing.
For example, LED fly catchers on the shelves may claim to keep your premise free of flies. However, without the proper knowledge and tools, do-it-yourself pest control may do more harm than good. Without securing or maintaining fly traps properly, the dead flies trapped in the fly catcher may start to decompose or worse, blow out of the unit into the open space.
Another way that we may choose to cut back on is to pick services without evaluating if it fits our needs. For example, some of us may choose a fogging package to get rid of other pests such as rodents even though fogging is used mainly as a deterrent for mosquitoes.
As a result of the missed opportunities to treat the pest correctly, the pests may cause even greater problems and result in higher costs to deal with the problem. Do you know? In a survey, businesses reported an estimated $27 billion of estimated annual loss in business revenue caused by pest infestations!
How professional pest control can be value for money
Often, not doing pest control correctly can result in greater financial implications than it may seem. Let’s take a look at some of the ways professional pest control can be value for money.
How to get rid of flies? In cases of fly infestations, a modern fly control solution such as the Lumnia provides a peace of mind to you and your customers. Besides being optimised to attract, kill and encapsulate insects hygienically and effectively, Lumnia is extremely energy-efficient, offering higher energy savings of up to 61% compared to other fly killers in the market.
Customised to your environment
Customised pest control solutions are more cost-effective in the long-term. For example, Rentokil’s fly-control Lumnia range comes in a range of models to fulfill all your requirements. The range comes in a variety of colours, sizes and coverage area to meet all your business needs. A professional pest control team would be able to provide recommendations based on their knowledge and experience. On the other hand, when the pest control measures implemented are not suitable for your environment, the results will not be as expected. In the long-term, you may incur high costs without getting effective results.
Professional pest control provides a more accurate detection, monitoring and protection against pests. For example, Rentokil’s Pestconnect service is a digital rat control system that provides 24/7 monitoring of your premise without interference.
When a pest is detected, an alert is triggered and users are immediately notified. With the use of digital technology, users have complete visibility and control even when they are not present onsite. The real-time reporting and audit trail makes fast and effective response easy. With myRentokil portal, it is easy to reference the data for analysis and auditing purposes.
Additionally, whenever pest activity is detected, the technicians at Rentokil are notified and a site visit will be conducted to investigate and eradicate the source of pest activity in the premise.
Premium chemical and professional pest management
Professional pest control supplies premium chemical to deal with pest infestations. For example, Rentokil’s Altriset termite control solution comes with a 7 year warranty to ensure that home owners have the assurance they need. The premium chemical used helps to ensure long-term and continuous protection.
On the other hand, do-it-yourself termite control is risky and its effects may not be as effective as expected.
Without knowledge of pest activity, you may place termite baits in the wrong location. For example, termites tend to move upwards and sideways. To add to that, their colonies are often buried deep within a structure or underground. Therefore, this makes them very hard to eradicate. Apart from this, it is difficult to ensure adequate protection as Termites exist in colonies that may house thousands or millions of termites that can cause significant damages to your home.
Moreover, the chemicals and insecticides used in pest control may pose a risk to users and the environment. Unlike licensed pest control professionals who will comply with the use of personal protective equipment when carrying out pest control treatment, do-it-yourself pest control does not have safety requirements. It does not help that DIY methods are usually carried out without proper training. These methods pose a significant risk of improper exposure to chemicals, resulting in more expenses to fix a bigger problem.
Mistakes in evaluating pest control services
When we think of pest control, the price may be at the top of our concerns. How much does it cost? However, when we based our decision solely on price, we fail to maintain a holistic view of the situation. For instance,
Some pest control companies may promise a series of claims at a lower price but they are unable to deliver these claims after all.
Lack of evaluation
The evaluation stage is extremely important. During site surveys, trained pest technicians identify early signs of pest infestation, eliminate sources of pest infestations and recommend preventive strategies to tackle the problem. Without a proper evaluation, you could be placing your pest baits at the wrong location, using the wrong type of chemical or worse, not observing proper safety precautions.
Recommending the basics only based on price
If the pest control services are recommended only based on the price, it is important to ask, are we doing enough?
Without targeted pest control, the results are short-term and unsustainable. This is because it treats surface problems instead of getting to the root cause of the problem.
Consequences of not treating pest infestations correctly
When selecting a pest control strategy, what is at stake? Clearly, a lot is at stake. Some of the consequences of not treating pest infestations correctly include,
- Structural integrity of a building: Is it able to withstand termite activity? Termites control can also prevent devaluation of your property.
- Food safety: How would food poisoning affect your customers?
- Business reputation: How would customers’ trust be impacted?
- Industry regulatory compliance and audit: What are the regulatory implications in a failed audit?
- Elderly and kids are more vulnerable to infectious diseases: Are your loved ones protected?
For professional pest control advice and services, contact Rentokil pest control experts at (65) 6347 8138.