Be pest-aware

Features Posted 17/06/17
Pest prevention is better than cure – but choose your provider carefully.

The impact of getting pest control wrong on your premises can be widespread. News of an infestation can spread in minutes, leaving customers scurrying away, staff fretting and your reputation in tatters, writes Paul Bates, managing director, Cleankill Pest Control.

No commercial, retail or industrial property can ever be guaranteed pest-free. Modern building techniques like using stud partitioning, breeze blocks, false flooring and main service voids, often lend themselves to creating the perfect place for pests for hide. So what should you do to limit the risk of infestations?

Check the contract

First, check the contract you have with your pest control provider. Normal contracts for standard premises will include a minimum of eight inspections a year. Factories producing high-risk food or manufacturing pharmaceuticals will require more frequent visits. Inspections should include all common areas such as: plant rooms; basements; riser cupboards; car parks and landscaped areas.

Proof your premises

Next, ensure your premises are (as far as possible) pest-proof. Bristle-stripping the bottom of doors, especially external doors and riser cupboard doors, should restrict movement and keep rodents out of office areas. Rat valves fitted into drains are very effective at stopping rodents entering premises through the drains.

Check the external airbricks and weep holes and fix specially designed covers on them, if necessary. Bird spikes on ledges, as well as the girders beneath fire escapes and parapets, will stop pigeons messing on steps and walkways. Netting on light wells prevents birds getting into sheltered areas at the back of buildings. This is critical. A host of problems can be caused when pigeon numbers build up. They bring with them other pest problems such as bird mites, fleas and flies. Fouling blocks gutters, downpipes and air-conditioning intakes.

Fly control

Install fly-control units in kitchenettes, catering areas, bin rooms and delivery bays to catch the flies before they enter the building. Glue board units are generally preferred to “sparking” units, because the glue ensures that bacteria do not get inadvertently dispersed out of the unit. The glue-board units can be moved around affected offices, particularly in those offices that suffer from the autumn cluster flies.


Check when the bins are emptied. Leaving cleaning up of food debris until the following morning provides a perfect night-time feast for pests, at a time when they are most active. Remains in a crisp packet are a tasty meal for mice and apple cores in a bin provide a breeding ground for fruit flies. Foodstuff should be kept in sealed containers and simple hygiene rules can restrict the build-up of unwanted pests.

Work with the contractor

Communication is key, especially if you look after several different sites. Your contractor should complete a detailed report at the end of each inspection and make sure you receive it soon after.

Many pest control companies like Cleankill use digital reporting so the report is available to within minutes of the service being carried out. However, it is important the reports are read and acknowledged, not just filed away.

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