Facilities management requires many responsibilities, one of which is maintaining a safe working environment. A common threat commercial properties face is infestations. This is not only bothersome but also unhealthy. Top-notch pest control services detect, prevent and remove any unwanted critters from the property.
Rodents are the last thing workers want to see in a building. Many people fear them, and for good reason. These rodents spread illnesses such as rat bite fever, Weil’s disease and salmonellosis. Signs of a rat infestation include the following:
It doesn’t take much for rats to survive. They can live on 15 to 60 millimeters of water and 15 to 30 grams of food a day.
Birds, and pigeons in particular, are common pest control problems for commercial properties. They live on rooftops, ledges and surrounding locations. They also prefer nesting in drains and alcoves, increasing the chance of experiencing blockages in these areas. This is an added nuisance when it comes to facilities management.
There’s a public health factor as well. Aside from creating building-related complications, birds pose a hazard to human beings. Harmful microorganisms are present in their nests, feathers and fecal matter. Their droppings can lead to ailments such as cryptococcosis, psittacosis or avian influenza.
Cockroaches hide in places where there is warmth, shelter, moisture and food. Common infestations occur in or around boiler rooms, storerooms, toilets and kitchens. This is especially true if the premises suffer from poor sanitation.
These bugs feed off dead or decaying matter. Because of this, they can spread a number of maladies:
For the well-being of building occupants, keep all food products protected and stored. This must be an integral part of facilities management.
4. House Flies
House flies are known to gravitate toward filth and feces. Tons of flies around a business is not a good look. Their presence has a negative impact your client’s reputation and bottom line. Controlling these insects requires exceptional sanitation and food hygiene practices.
Additionally, they are a health risk. Flies carry disease-causing organisms. If they enter a food source that’s left open, this can result in contamination, so anyone who consumes these products faces potential illnesses.
Mice are rodents like rats. They leave grease marks, footprints, urine pillar and droppings. They also make scratching sounds and squeaking noises. Additionally, it doesn’t take much for them to survive. These pesky creatures nibble on roughly 0.15 grams of food a day.
Mice have poor eyesight, so they maneuver by relying on their keen sense of touch, hearing and smell. Controlling these pests requires that facilities management pay attention to cafes, canteens and kitchens. These are the primary spots where the rodents congregate.
Do you have a client located in an area with a high density of mosquitoes? If so, it’s crucial that you have solutions in place. These insects carry deadly diseases and spread them to humans. These conditions include malaria, chikungunya and dengue fever.
It's recommended that facilities management staff take notice of standing water. Pools and puddles are breeding spots for mosquito larvae. It only takes six to 10 days for a mosquito egg to grow into an adult. Addressing the water problem helps protect employees.
7. Bed bugs
In recent years, bed bugs have made major headlines. There has been a significant increase in their infestation around the globe. In a 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, 99.6 percent of U.S. pest control professionals stated they have treated bed bugs.
These bugs survive off the blood of a host, causing itchy insect bites. They often show up on commercial properties where people sleep. They are most commonly found on the following types of properties:
The tiny bugs are 4 to 5 millimeters in length. They are distinguished by a reddish brown color with a flat or long body structure. The nymphs are smaller and lighter in color. Because of their size, it’s easy for these insects to gain entrance onto the premises. Entry points include antique furniture, external contractors, laundry services, luggage and clothing.
Fleas are often associated with cats, dogs and other domestic pets. However, if the building you’re managing has birds, mice or rats, chances are fleas are on the property. The parasites often attach themselves to these other pests.
Those working in facilities management may have a hard time spotting these minuscule insects. This is often the case for buildings with rough surfaces. Fleas blend into these environments due to their physical characteristics, especially their tiny size. The flea itself has a reddish-brown hue and measures roughly 2 millimeters in length. Their eggs have a long, oval structure and measure about 0.5 millimeters.
Flea bites aren’t painful, but the side effects can range from mild to severe. At the least, the person bitten can expect to experience itchiness, a rash or eczema. Bites can also result in more serious ailments:
Generally, ants don’t pose an obvious health threat. With that said, they are a troublesome for any facilities management company. They can also hurt a business’s reputation if they become an obvious nuisance.
Ants thrive on water and food waste. Ant prevention requires that you maintain a sanitized and hygienic environment. They are often sighted on the following property types:
Overlooking ants is easy. There are size variations among the species. On average, they are 1.5 to 6 millimeters long. When clustered together, their nests are often mistaken for soil or dirt. Additionally, certain species prefer nesting in quiet areas such as walls. This helps them go unnoticed.
10. Stored-Product Insects
There are a group of insects that prefer rummaging inside stored food items, posing a contamination threat. SPIs are often found in fruits, nuts and flour. They include moths, weevils, beetles and some mites. In the case of mites in particular, it’s difficult to see them. Like ticks, they are microscopic in size.
Facilities management plays a pivotal role in keeping commercial properties pest-free. You can prevent many infestations with proper hygienic and sanitation practices. For more support, hire a reputable pest control supplier. This can be the best long-term solution for controlling the worst pest problems.
It's hard to believe that the tiny bed bug, only about the size of an apple seed, can damage the U.S. hotel industry worth $176 billion a year, but such is the case. All it takes is for a guest to mention bed bugs in a travel website review. A recent survey discovered that 56 percent of respondents would be very unlikely to choose that hotel, a serious problem in a business that relies heavily upon online reviews and word of mouth.
By including New Orleans pest control in a program of integrated pest management, hotels can reduce the odds that bed bugs will become a serious problem. The four steps to effective integrated pest management are prevention, identification, implementation, and monitoring.
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They enter hotels attached to guests' clothing and suitcases. These insects can also arrive uninvited with employees and contract workers, or as stowaways on delivery boxes. This means vigilance is key to preventing a bed bug outbreak. Hotels can take the following precautions:
A survey from the University of Kentucky found that only 30 percent of respondents could correctly identify a bed bug silhouette. This has two implications. One is that hotel guests might see a different bug and mistake it for a bed bug, thus raising a false alarm that nevertheless affects hotel business. The other is that hotel employees might not recognize that a room has a bed bug problem.
For proper identification, it's a good idea to hire professional New Orleans pest control. Not only will experts check for signs of current infestation, but they can also train hotel staff in various bed bug warning signs to watch for, such as excrement stains and pheromone odors. Housekeeping should perform a thorough room inspection with each cleaning.
The regular implementation of bed bug control methods is a crucial component of integrated pest management. There is a great deal of debate about how long bed bugs can live without feeding, with estimates ranging from 20 to 400 days depending upon room temperature and other factors. The potential length of this lifespan indicates the need for consistent control methods once a bed bug infestation has been confirmed.
While bed bugs can be tough to beat, there are some successful elimination methods that can be applied:
Once hotels have eradicated bed bugs, careful monitoring is a must to ensure they don’t return. Continuing inspections by hotel staff as well as regular visits from pest control experts should be a part of every hotelier's maintenance routine. Include these areas in a bed bug check-up plan:
By finding signs of infestation before it spreads to adjacent rooms, hotels can control an outbreak and the negative publicity associated with it.
The Impact of an Infestation
Bed bugs have a bad reputation that can tarnish a brand very quickly. The previously mentioned survey from the University of Kentucky asked respondents about their response if they found bed bugs in their room. 73 percent reported they would leave the hotel, while 38 percent said they would avoid lodging with that brand in the future. Clearly these are numbers that can't be ignored.
Of even greater concern was the survey finding that 47 percent of respondents would publish their experience on social media. In this way reports of bed bugs spread like wildfire and do a great deal of damage. Hotel management needs to develop an appropriate response to customers' bed bug complaints and queries.
Listening to customers' concerns and adequately addressing them goes a long way towards mitigating negative bed bug publicity. The survey revealed that 80 percent of hotel guests would like management to disclose previous bed bug occurrences. This indicates that clientele want to be informed that measures have been taken to prevent a repeat incident.
The Assistance of Professional Services
Hotels can rely upon New Orleans pest control to help them maintain an environment free of bed bugs. Depending upon the nature of the problem, the professionals may recommend one of several methods to eliminate these pests:
When it comes to the hospitality industry, bed bugs are bad for business. With New Orleans pest control, hotels can prevent outbreaks that lead to negative publicity, a tarnished brand, and reduced business.
When it comes to Baton Rouge pest control, the do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well. Many otherwise careful business owners think they can eradicate invading rodents or bugs with a few traps. Commercial pest control experts know otherwise. They know that pest control is notoriously tricky, complicated by pests’ prolific reproduction rates and their ability to thrive in the most surprising and hard-to-reach places.
Business infestations are especially challenging. The types of large retail spaces and sprawling warehouses common to commercial businesses are some of the best habitats for everything from spiders to mice. It can be a big job, and it’s tempting for company owners to try to cut costs or save time by tackling pest control on their own. If your business is infested but you’re unsure whether to hire commercial pest control specialists, consider these top reasons you should leave pest control to the pros.
1. Effective pest control may be a lot more time-consuming than expected
A common misconception is that pest control is reactive. That is, many people think that controlling pests is about trapping them when you see them. Good pest control is actually more proactive, focused on eliminating both the signs of a current infestation and the means for future infestations. That means not only trapping present pests, but sealing up cracks, fixings leaks and taking other potentially sophisticated steps to eliminate the chances that pests can come back. If this sounds like a heavy time investment, that’s because it is. It can take weeks and even months to get rid of some of the worst mice infestations, for example. Do you really want to shift your or your staff’s focus for that long?
2. Doing it yourself can cost you big in the long run
One of the top reasons that do-it-yourself pest control appeals to homeowners and businesses alike is the notion that it will cut costs. Many people consider the costs of a commercial pest control consultation and the numerous visits it typically takes to eradicate a pest problem and figure the expense will be less if they try to handle things themselves.
What they often don’t consider are the full costs of all of the supplies it takes to truly combat pests. Good commercial pest control experts employ sophisticated lights, ladders and even heavy-duty lifts just to identify a problem. Even more supplies, from traps to special removal equipment, are employed to actually eliminate the problem. Then there’s the matter of the safety equipment needed to remove certain pests and their potentially dangerous waste. Unless you have comparable equipment on hand, trying to match the level of a commercial pest control company could quickly cost much more than simply calling the pros in the first place.
3. Your infestation might be a lot bigger than you think
You see a spider or two, spray them and don’t see anymore. The problem is gone, right? Commercial pest control experts know that bug and insect infestations are a lot more extensive than the public thinks. In fact, the roach or two you see are likely to be the outliers, representative of hundreds or thousands more. This is particularly true in large commercial business spaces, where rodents and insects can have thousands of square feet of walls and ceiling space in which to take up residence.
Infestations in restaurants and other food service businesses are particularly prone to being larger and more complex due to continuous food storage. Mice, for instance, can thrive in commercial walk-in freezers, living only on frozen food, or take up residence in a food storage closet. Meanwhile in warehouses, piles of dark, damp pallets can be ideal places for insects to breed. Because many insects and pests come out at night, when the business is closed, it can be hard to identify the issue. By the time you see mouse droppings or live insects, the problem has likely be growing for months if not longer. It all adds up to a pest problem that can be exponentially larger and more sophisticated than anything you or your staff wants to take on.
4. The stakes are higher if you fail
Pests in a private residence can be a nuisance. Pests in a commercial business, however, can be a major liability. For a food service business, the risks are obvious. Mouse damage in a kitchen or roach droppings in a storage facility are all it takes to get your restaurant shuttered indefinitely. The risks are high for non-food service businesses, too. Consider what might happen if a customer spots evidence of pest damage in goods you have sold, or worse, sees live insects in your business? If you operate a hotel, the impact could be devastating. Even a business that’s not open to the public can suffer brand damage if workers encounter pests or if mouse droppings make an employee sick. When thinking about what’s best for your business, it’s easy to see that the risks of refusing to hire commercial pest control experts aren’t worth the rewards.
5. You aren’t an expert
Commercial pest control specialists are experts for a reason. They offer years of experience battling all kinds of nuisance insects and vermin and typically have a large arsenal of skills and tools to get the job done. They know what works and what doesn’t, what will last and even what is too dangerous to try. For instance, a professional exterminator will know when and where chemical sprays would be safe and practical to use. Trying to figure this out yourself can put you, your staff and your customers in danger, not to mention allowing your pest problem to flourish while time is wasted.
It’s not surprising that businesses would want to try to handle pest control on their own. It can seem to be a cheaper solution to an expensive problem, and if you have little experience in the area, it may not even appear that difficult. There are several reasons why it’s not typically the best idea. Consider these potential pitfalls as you decide whether to hire commercial pest control experts for your business.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.