As we approach midway to the circuit breaker period during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional protection measures are in places such as social distancing and further closure of businesses, including some essential business services. During this period, to deal with coronavirus, it is required to shut down and vacate for most premises for two months.
As the circuit breaker is planned to end on 1 June 2020, Rentokil shares what will happen in terms of pest infestation after the “lock-down” and what pest control services are required to prepare the business to resume operations for recovery.
What happens to pest infestation during circuit breaker?
Termites are still feeding on your home 24/7
While businesses and premises shut down and operations have stopped working, this is not the case for termites. Being a diligent and hardworking pest, they chew off wood and work their way out 24/7 daily. These are ongoing pest activities and termite damages imposed on your property and structure while we work from home this period. In summary, termite infestation will continue to build up amidst battling the COVID-19.
Rats are scurrying outdoors for food
Pest activities such as rats persist outdoors despite buildings being blocked from the external environment during circuit breaker. Firstly, they dig burrows to hide and rest for harbourage. Secondly, they seek decomposed food matters along drains, sewers and manholes. Thirdly, less frequently attended garbage and refuse waste centres provide an abundance of decaying food. Above all, rats in Singapore are free-to-roam for food, shelter and water. In conclusion, rat infestation is ongoing while we embrace premise closure.
Hot and wet weather promotes pests activities
Unfortunately, as the time of the year approaches the humidity and rain season, this climate promotes pests such as mosquitoes to thrive. In fact, warmer climates reduce the life cycle completion to only 7 days, thus increasing the mosquito population even faster. For other pests, such as cockroaches, rats or ants, they seek shelter from the rain by slipping in efficiently through the gaps they can find into a vacated premise.
Rising Dengue cases in Singapore
Rentokil Initial’s medical entomologist, Dr Chan Hiang Hao shared on a recent news coverage on The New Paper how environmental changes and conditions will increase the dengue fever trend in Singapore. He added the importance of community effort to reduce mosquito-breeding opportunities, adopting mosquito prevention measures this period to prevent risks of mosquito bites. Lastly, Dr Chan clarifies the misconception of vacating land means pest-free. In fact, vacated lands if unattended will result in receptacles built up and adult mosquitoes could fly off to other sites to source their hosts.
Cockroaches and ants continue to breed
One activity remains as we embrace circuit breakers, and that is food consumption. Be it going through food delivery, packing food home or doing up cooking preparations and dishes for family, pests such as cockroaches and ants are perhaps the fortunate ones while we battle the pandemic. Cockroach infestation comes about resulting in a home or vacated premises for a few reasons:
- More food preparation with undone dishes left in the sink
- Open and non disposed food scraps and waste
- Food crumbs and bits left while working from home
- Water spills and leaks risk as we spend more time internally
- Cross infestation risks as we bring back packages and bags
Essential services taking place during the closure
Detection and inspection
There is a need to enhance our safety and protection at this stage and continuous detection and inspection should continue. Firstly, keep a lookout for pest infestation signs for residential homes. Secondly, for business still in operation, continue the scheduled inspection by pest control specialists. Finally, for premises that are shut down, switch to contactless pest control such as connected Rat Riddance control or In2care mosquito trap. Above all, opt for digital pest online reporting facilities to monitor your pest trends remotely.
Housekeeping and maintenance
Most pests’ species are highly associated with poor sanitation and hygiene, and this is especially during poor housekeeping and facility upkeep habits. Besides reducing opportunities to attract pests with food sources made available for them, stepping up on cleanliness and hygiene can also improve the general well-being of the users. This includes the elimination of dirt, dust and grime that may cause potential allergies and respiratory symptoms.
Sanitisation and surface cleaning
Most companies and individuals would seek services eliminating bacteria and viruses. For instance, applying DIY surface cleaning and wipe downs with disinfectant agents, hiring cleaning services to perform a deep surface sanitisation, and engaging professional pest control companies to carry out disinfection misting and air purification at the targeted space. This is particularly for high risks premises with close proximity to a COVID-19 cluster or infected cases within the vicinity. These businesses should engage in a ULV misting, wipe down of surfaces and installation of air purifiers.
Pest Control Maintenance
Pest control treatments are still in progress either in small or large scale regardless of the circuit breaker impact. While some seek more alternatives such as DIY pest remedies, some are still maintaining some form of pest protection. Mosquito pest control and rat control are among the critical pests that most businesses and homeowners would maintain at this moment. For the food business, ensuring adequate fly pest control is still ongoing as part of regulatory compliance food standards.
Essential pest control services after circuit breaker
Flush out and deep cleaning programmes
Closed premises for two months with no actions and operation are expected with the accumulation of pest breeding, larvae, and physically grown pests lurking around. These are potentially entering the site through multiple entries during the circuit breaker period. At this period, it is essential to do a thorough flush out programme and deep cleaning to prep business to resume operations with quality sanitation standards.
Dust, mold and fungi removal
Other common guests making themselves comfortable at closed premises are dust, mold and fungi. Poor ventilation, moisture and humidity for months can build-up these pathogens and allergens, and are harmful to health. They can cause allergies, respiratory illnesses and even asthma conditions. According to the CDC, mold is very common in a building especially if there are existing leaks and moisture. In particular, spaces with carpet, wallpaper and fabric presence including upholstery.
Air purification for better air quality
With poor ventilation and still battling ongoing coronavirus, ensuring good air quality is important for the health and safety of the employees and users around. Pathogens, particles, harmful gases and even volatile organic compounds (VOC) are present at any time of the day or situation and improving air quality is one way to continue keeping us safe as we ease the circuit breaker measures. Some examples of VOC include paint, chemicals, copier, glue, adhesive and certain solvents.
Check the drainage system for functionality
While we are all ready to resume operations and business processes, we should not neglect the functionality of drainage facilities. Firstly, defective drainage systems can result in other damages such as water leakages and chokes, which promote pest infestation. Secondly, damages can result in further downtime and operation disruption. Thirdly, additional reimbursement and expenses may incur for repair and replacement.
Full pest control regime in place
At this stage, a full pest control regime is essential. This helps to ensure the business and environment is protected well and minimise any further negative impact that is ongoing. They include:
- Get rid of mosquitoes and prevent health implications from dengue fever
- Rat control services where rats cause diseases and potentially short circuit
- Ensure food safety and general well-being by engaging cockroach control
- Ant control should be in place as they escalate into a serious infestation
- Home constantly protected from termite infestation damages
As we do a catch-up and drive business growth, adequate and proper pest control regime can prevent adding further pressure that affects resources, productivity and financial performance.
Ongoing disinfection and sanitisation
Regardless of the lift of circuit breaker and slow-down in COVID-19 cases, there should be continuous disinfection and sanitisation efforts. This is because bacteria and viruses transmit from people to people and through various contact touchpoints. For example, there will still be ongoing flu or other diseases that we can contract due to human interaction or poor hygiene habits. Poor hygiene includes not coughing or sneezing onto a tissue and discarding them appropriately and not washing hands after visiting a washroom. In conclusion, cross contamination risks can happen on all surfaces. These include frequently used items such as landline, laptop, chair armrest and remote controllers to name a few.
The need for post circuit breaker recovery services
As we assume the situation is turning for the better to let loose some control over pest management and disinfection needs, here are some reasons why we should continue to remain vigilant in terms of health and safety protection.
- We should not compromise employees’ health and safety. As they resume work, it is our responsibility they do not fall sick because of COVID-19, dengue or other diseases.
- Minimise further downtime and operation disruptions as we start to resume business after two months of closure
- Reduce any further potential cost incurred as we experience some financial impact during this challenging period
- Focus on gearing up operations and activities and capitalise the remaining time to catch up on revenue and sales growth
- Gain the people’s assurance, confidence and trust that they are in safe hands and work with ease and comfort once they are back
- Pest lingers and will continue to harbour and manifest to a serious infestation if we pay less attention to pest signs and taking proactive recovery actions
Adopt pest control solutions for protection
Air purification with InspireAir 72
It is important to ensure high standards in air quality solutions. The InspireAir 72 comes with four levels of filtration to meet the standards. This means additional and thorough removal of bacteria, viruses and harmful VOC. In addition, it can remove 95% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. It also dispenses clean air sanitiser for the added sanitising standards. Above all, the live reading meter helps to aid monitoring if your air quality is within a healthy range such as PM 2.5, humidity and TVOC. Read more on the implications behind poor air quality.
Mosquito control with In2care
Social distancing and minimal interaction would go on among our culture for a while. You may opt for contact-less pest control technology. For example, the In2care mosquito trap that can eliminate mosquitoes at the entire life cycle, ranging from larvae to adult mosquitoes. As NEA reports the forecast of dengue cases to exceed 16,000 and with 105 active dengue clusters in 2020, we should exercise zero-tolerance to mosquito population in Singapore. Request for an In2care mosquito trap trial today.
Rat elimination programme
Rentokil pest control has designed a digital and connected way of getting rid of rats more efficiently and effectively. With sensing features, the Rentokil pest control specialist will receive an alert for pest activities that are triggered seamlessly to a command centre. Operated digitally through mobile, the specialist can track location of any rat activity, pinpoint areas with high pest activity and ability to focus on elimination efforts among these hot spots.
General pest treatment
A handful of cockroaches and ants may seem trivial and harmless. However, every infestation starts from small or minor pest signs. In addition, heavy infestation of these crawling pests can be serious and out of control. Firstly, cockroaches can reproduce multiple eggs and develop quickly at one time. Secondly, pests can travel and spread within the premises. Thirdly, we are not trained to identify early signs and areas to lookout. Finally, they can hide well and as pests such as cockroaches are nocturnal, we will have challenges spotting them adequately. Read here to find out how you can get rid of ants and what some common mistakes we tend to make are.
Disinfection for precautionary or infected places
Various purposes and occasions calls for the need for disinfection misting. They include:
- As a precautionary measure by constantly removing 99.99% of bacteria and viruses and proactively sanitise the place to avoid contracting diseases including coronavirus and pest-borne diseases. Misting is delivered at the entire premise, and allows the solution to settle in with protection of at least 30 days.
- Disinfection due to an infected case or high-risk area identified, where SDS level 2 disinfection service is carried out. In this service, additional personal protection equipment (PPE) requirement is adhered for stringent safety policy. This includes special arrangements in the coverall, goggles, safety boots and a decontamination process.
What to expect when more businesses resume?
More activities and people movements
As we resume more activities and operations, there will be increased movements and interactions. Cross contamination and passing of bacteria and viruses may be high. Adhere to personal hygiene at all times by using a hand sanitiser and washing of hands with soap regularly.
Food operations providing more food source
More food operators and establishments are fully back in operation for food service. This also means, exposing food preparations to bacteria and pests contamination, leaving sources of food around for pests to feed on and attracting more pests to the environment if without adequate pest control. As the team gets busy with full operations, negligence in proofing and housekeeping habits may heighten the pest infestation risks. As we recover from the circuit breaker, we do not wish to ruin brand reputation with the presence of cockroaches in the premise, or worse of all, within the food package. Find out more about useful cockroach prevention tips and habits the team can apply.
Cross infestation will take place
As movement ease and more business and people are carrying out their activities and schedules to more normal, this also means ease in movement and spread among pests. Firstly, we could bring in cockroaches, ants and bed bugs as they ride onto us, our belongings and from within the cars back home. Secondly, pests travel from place to place, and this means entering from external or proceeding to surround and nearby sites. Thirdly, proofing and entries may be neglected. For instance, literally keeping doors open for pests to seek shelter and hiding purposes. Finally, pests could latch on us as hosts such as bed bugs, ticks and mosquitoes as we expose ourselves outdoors.
More gaps and negligence for pest
We tend to get distracted amidst busy times and negligence could happen while we are engaged in full operations. For example, we may loosen up the stringent adherence to housekeeping and cleanliness. We could miss out signs of early infestation. Gaps, cracks and structural defects may be ignored. We may have forgotten to clear clutters and piles of cartons, as we get ready into action. Most pest infestation starts from negligence and poor facility management habits.
Why should you not ignore bed bugs?
Bed bugs are highly connected to globalisation where frequent traveling and hotel stays put individuals at risk of a bed bug infestation. However, bed bugs are cross-infestation pests that still can spread from people to people or location to location. They are tiny, flat that can ride on bags, and groceries as you bring them home. As we go into a circuit breaker ease, regular movements and traffic may increase the risks of transporting bed bugs around. Bed bug treatment is necessary to eliminate bed bugs proactively and speedily to avoid a spread and reproduction of these bugs throughout a home.
Engage a pest control company to suit your needs
Pest control specialists possess the technical knowledge, pest facts and solutions-know-how to give sound and credible advice and recommendations that vary from the business sector, environment nature and infestation condition. While solutions are applied similarly, the approach differs in terms of frequency, schedule, and intensity of the solution, choice of active ingredient and types of treatments to go into the pest management plan. In addition, the experts will discuss matters relating to the daily activities, business needs, daily challenges, pest prevention and price to do pest control for their space.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control and disinfection services today.