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October 2018

Dishing the dirt on pests [update]

Written by Lemay Rogers
Hygiene Specialists

Summer is officially here with temperatures across South Africa reaching the 30 degree Celcius mark. This heat wave brings with it a wave of summer pests. You are sure to see more flies, mosquitoes, ants and termites.   You may be concerned about the impact that pests can have on your business and home, but you may not have thought of the effects pests can have on hygiene in your environment.

There has always been a strong association between hygiene and pest control. Let’s face it when you think of pests you usually imagine them somewhere dirty.  A cockroach running over greasy kitchen counters, a dingy motel infested with bed bugs, or a dirty, disease-ridden rat living in a sewer and eating garbage; all of these pest images are associated with dirty environments.

I can confidently put your mind to rest (or not) that;

  • Cockroaches don’t only infest dirty homes
  • Bedbugs aren’t picky about hotel star grades nor how often the linen is washed.  As a matter of fact, bed bugs don’t stick to beds at all. You can also find them in luggage stands, in the creases of chairs and even in your pillows and headboards.
  • Rats aren’t as dirty as you might think. In fact, they spend about 60% of their time cleaning themselves and other rats.

Simply put, pests are driven to secure water, food and harbourage. If they can maintain this trinity they will THRIVE, regardless of the cleanliness of the area!

Why is it important to keep your environment clean?

By skimping on your cleaning routine you are providing pests with food, water, and lodging. Here’s how:

  • If you don’t clean up spilt food and liquids pests have an easily accessible food or water source.  The longer the ‘spill’ stays, or the more often it recurs, the more entrenched the path to the resource will become.   
  • Seal your rubbish bin, as easy access to food refuse is like offering pests a seat at a buffet.
  • Baked on grease in your oven and on your stovetop is a great food source for cockroaches.  You need to ensure you clean your stove on a regular basis. If you run a commercial kitchen you might even consider having a CaterClean service done periodically.
  • Are you a pack rat?  Stacked boxes in a storage room provide perfect harbourage (nesting sites) for rodents.  Ensure you clean your storeroom on a regular basis and do proofing where required to keep the crafty critters out.
  • In previous posts, we have talked about cross-contamination and the journey of the germ.  Just like humans, pests also carry - and therefore spread - germs that can make you ill. Don’t forget to sanitise!  You might even want to consider a disinfection service for your business.

These tips are a good starting point to ensure you minimise the risk of pests in your environment this summer.  But if you do encounter a pest, be proactive and try to eradicate them soonest to minimise the risk of damage and loss.  My recommendation is to contact a professional, certified, pest control provider like Rentokil.

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Lemay Rogers

Lemay Rogers

Lémay Rogers is the Marketing Manager for Rentokil Initial's Sub-Saharan Africa region. When not contributing to the Rentokil Initial blogs, she is the custodian of all things Marketing for Rentokil Initial Sub-Saharan Africa. As a frequent traveller AND mother of a pre-schooler, she is all too aware of how easily germs can travel with us, from one location to another and then back to our homes. Follow Lémay on LinkedIn for practical pest control advice and good hygiene practices, both at home and in the workplace.

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