Clean and Tidy - Hygiene essentials for the summer season

Workplace Pest Control

Hygiene essentials for the summer season

Pests such as mice, ants, wasps, pigeons and rats can create very different problems in commercial premises but one thing they all have in common is they rarely go away on their own.

Most common pests breed quickly so the earlier you discover you have an infestation, the easier it is to deal with. This means always being on the lookout for warning signs. You can identify rodents from droppings and gnawing marks and if you spot ants and other insects, it’s essential that you take action straight away because the problem is going to get worse.

Health experts have warned that the recent floods have caused huge numbers of rats to be flushed out of sewers. Home-owners are advised to be vigilant and clean up food, block up holes and keep rubbish in hard bins.

Perhaps surprisingly one of most dangerous pests is the common house fly. These are attracted to anything edible and harbour up to six million bacteria on their feet alone. As a result they cause more deaths than sharks, spiders or snakes through the frightening range of diseases they spread. The list reads like a medical encyclopaedia and can include typhoid, cholera, gangrene, tuberculosis, and the bubonic plague, amongst others.

The Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 aim to keep flies away from food but you regularly see these laws being breached.

The regulations state windows opening directly into food preparation areas should be fitted with insect proof screens that can be removed for cleaning and can resist flying insects, ideally with openings of less than 2mm.In addition, kitchen doors which lead outside and are open for lengthy periods should also have an insect-proof screen door.

A big problem is that persistent flies will find their way into food preparation areas so it’s also advisable to install electric insect killers in kitchens.

When it comes to the shock factor, there are few pests that can create screams like rats and mice. Such rodents generally prefer to live outside in summer so it’s usually during the winter months that workplaces find they have a problem.

Although traps, bait stations and repellents act as a good safeguard, it’s best not to attract rodents in the first place so outside areas should be kept tidy and bins should be properly sealed.

Most workplaces can also take a few simple precautions to help prevent infestations. Basics include storing food in kitchen or canteen areas in airtight containers and regularly disposing of waste materials. It’s also important to seal any holes, cracks or crevices in order to prevent pests from entering buildings and to reduce the number of areas within a building that can harbour pests.