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Protecting your family and business during COVID-19 journey

With over four months into COVID-19 pandemic and embracing several circuit breaker measures to contain the coronavirus, every business, families and individuals undergo different journeys. Rentokil Pest Control shares the essential needs, concerns and necessary protection required at different stages of the pandemic.

Hygiene and Sanitisation

Stepping up hygiene and sanitisation

At the start, where the transmission was active globally and locally, the initial step to safeguard ourselves is to adopt optimal hand hygiene. This includes using hand soap to wash our hands thoroughly and the use of hand sanitiser to prevent cross contamination. As there is fear of contracting bacteria and viruses at work where there is a workforce crowd, air purification was often the top considered safety list. What’s more, is the worry of picking up harmful pathogens from the surfaces we have interacted. Be it at the food establishments, common lobbies, retail shops and workspaces, everyone was highly concerned about keeping us safe from microorganism-causing diseases.

Pest Risk While Working From Home

Reducing pest infestation risk during working from home

However, as we moved into the circuit breaker phase, where the majority of us spend our time at home, our needs and concerns vary. For example, students and kids have shifted to home-based learning while the workforce are telecommuting and working from home. This increases the activities and movement around the home, and opens opportunities for pest entries and cross infestation. With only take-away options during the circuit breaker, families have the option to order food delivery, takeaway at the shops or home-cook. Hence, these activities and situations increase risk of starting a pest infestation in our home if without proper pest control measures and housekeeping. Find out which common home pests lingers around during this period.

Protect Vacate Premise From Pest Infestation

Protecting vacate premise from pest infestation

Simultaneously, as the workforce has shifted home and temporary closure of non-essential services and business, properties and premises remain vacated. There are some misconceptions around shut down premises equates to shutting away pests. On the contrary, an unattended environment invites pest infestation risks due to various factors.

At this stage, maintaining some basic pest control services is necessary to ensure the premise is protected, thus remaining safe for return. Some of the common pests found lurking at quiet and empty premises include the rats, mosquitoes and cockroaches. They can slip in cracks and crevices, sewers and piping systems or ventilators during this period. Do you know the lifecycle of pests such as rats and cockroaches can cover up to 60 days? This is as long as the circuit breaker duration of 56 days. Hence, cockroach infestation is likely to take place in such situations.

Preparing Business To Resume Operations

Preparing business to resume operations after circuit breaker

On 1 June, we exit the phase 1 of the circuit breaker, with some businesses resuming their operations, including offices, industrial & manufacturing, and other essential services. While most businesses are delighted for the return, there are some pressing questions and concerns while prepping for the reopening.

  • Are our premises virus-free and are the surfaces safe to touch?
  • What hygiene and bacteria control measures do we need to deploy?
  • How can we safeguard our employees’ safety and wellbeing upon their return?
  • What kind of hygiene and sanitation standards to set for the company?
  • Are the current pest control treatments sufficient to eliminate pest presence?
  • Is there any disinfection misting and sanitisation services available?

This is a critical stage of the COVID-19 journey where additional precaution and safety measures have to be in place as you resume operations. This is important because of the various activities that is taking place at this period that increases the risks of attracting pests. Ensure there is an adequate pest management regime to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses and downtime due to a pest problem. In addition, to prioritise people’s safety to avoid medical implications such as reimbursement and reduced productivity. More importantly, is to start building confidence and trust of your employees and customers and gear up to drive back past lost business.

Read also: The importance of disinfection during COVID-19

Pest Control For Safety After Recovery

Maintaining safety and sanitation after recovery

We will gradually fall back to a more normal lifestyle as students start to return to school and more shops and business continue to reopen. However, this is not the period to let loose and ease our guard. More importantly, not to subject our family and employees from any health and safety harm or putting business at risk of any damaging implication.

Mosquitoes population are still constantly growing

Mosquitoes for example have been an ongoing issue and are another detrimental health danger in Singapore. Besides the coronavirus, dengue fever is another concerning problem with the constant rise of dengue cases in Singapore. These mozzies fly freely to find their hosts like you to fulfil their blood meals through mosquito bites. In fact, there are as many as 136 dengue clusters as of May, and one key factor is the large increase of mosquito breeding found in home over the past three years.

Some key reasons why mosquitoes population are still not well controlled includes:

  • Inadequate or ineffective mosquito control conducted
  • Lack of awareness in mosquito prevention practices
  • Poor housekeeping and home habits that promotes mosquitoes breeding
  • Fail to detect signs of mosquito to take corrective actions
  • Using wrong DIY remedies to get rid of mosquitoes

Read also: Contactless mosquito control using safe and green mosquito traps

Increase in food source for pest to feed

As we start to engage more in food preparation, consumption and distribution, this increases the chance to attract more pests. Firstly, there is more food waste, scrapes and garbage lying around in the kitchen, canteen and even at home. These decaying foods attract pests of poor hygiene including cockroaches. Secondly, there is more usage of water, in terms of dish cleaning, food preparations or hand washing that spills water and drips around. All pests require moisture and water to survive. Read more to find out the five common pests that are highly attracted to water.

Finally, we may cultivate wrong eating habits be it at home or at the workplace that invite pests. Food crumbs, residues, sugar drink spills and leftover grease are sources of pest infestation. Above all, diligent housekeeping such as disposing of waste regularly, keeping place clean and dry is one way of pest prevention.

Welcoming uninvited pests with open doors

Yes, we might be literally opening doors for pests to enter into our premises. For instance, human traffic in and out of office, production areas and warehouses, literally open the opportunity to enter with us. In some environments, windows are kept open which becomes a source of cross-infestation from the surrounding buildings or neighbouring tenants. Lastly, there are chances of pest latching on us or on our carry-ons as we return to the office from somewhere. You may consider pest proofing your work environment to heighten pest prevention efforts.

Raising Awareness on Bed Bugs

Raising awareness on cross infestation of bed bugs

One pest that is almost forgotten is that of bed bugs. Often associated with globalisation such as traveling and hotel stays, bed bugs hitchhike on luggage and suitcase. Even though travel restrictions happen, the below factors can also cause a bed bug infestation:

  • Using of any recycled or second hand furniture that has infested with bugs
  • Attracted to body warm and heat among people for example at transportations
  • Crawling into your home from other locations such as at the next door
  • Picking up these bugs from an infested place and bringing them home

The misconception about bed bugs is not only it is caused by trips, but as long as we keep our home spic and span. This is not the case with the above possibilities of attracting bed bugs.

Firstly, the danger of these blood-sucking pests is that they spread quickly from place to place. Secondly, with their reproduction capabilities of laying up to 7 eggs a day and a range of 250 to 500 eggs over a two month period, bed bug problems can manifest to a serious infestation. Thirdly, bed bug bites are typically painless and go unnoticed until they get itchy with red mini bumps the following day. Finally, they are nocturnal and mainly active at night to bite on us to withdraw as we sleep. Thus, losing noticeability and vigilance against these bugs.

In summary, it pays to keep a lookout for any bed bug presence by identifying signs of bed bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about pest control and disinfection

What are the recovery pest control programmes to apply?

This depends on the nature of the business, who are the end users, location of the premise and safety needs. For example, for a commercial office, its pest control recovery programme will differ from a food retail sector. Food establishments require pest flush out programmes. This removes any breeding source such as small flies and ensure adequate fly control is set up. Industrial and manufacturing environment requires a more robust and intensive pest control regime. This includes three levels of defence of rat control against rat infestation.Office in general requires an all-rounder of pest coverage including cockroach control in particular.As construction has started its operations, rats and mice in Singapore will be disturbed from their nesting area and will relocate to other sites instead. Regardless which business sector you are in, regular disinfection is necessary to prevent pathogen-causing diseases among your users.

What sort of disinfection treatments are available

There are many options around in the market, some are misting, fogging, wipe down, sanitising and cleaning. Rentokil recommends a safe but effective disinfection approach of the environment with Surface Shield Sanitisation Service. It includes a thorough disinfecting of the premises, with proper decontamination and disinfection process. The water-based Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) misting proves to last for up to 30 days of protection. In addition, it removes 99.99% of bacteria and viruses including the coronavirus and influenza A. Call Rentokil Initial for a disinfection solution that is under the approved list of National Environment Agency (NEA).

How do I protect my family against pests while working from home?

Since we are spending more time at home for the next few months, it is crucial to equip ourselves with an Essential Guide to Pest Control to safeguard ourselves. Some of the pest control checklist includes maintaining diligent housekeeping, servicing ventilators and air-conditioning, arranging for a landscaping service and conducting minor repair works. Ants infestation is a potential problem that might surface due to the change in eating habits at home. In this guide, Rentokil debugs some of the common pest myths to get rid of pests such as using pandan leaves to get rid of cockroaches. In addition, there are prevention tips to heighten the safety of your home and minimise possible pest attraction and infestation.

Common myths of surface sanitisation we need to know

As we seek the internet to search for sanitisation solutions companies and options offer, price and service differ. There is also varied understanding on various terms such as cleaning, steaming, sanitising and disinfection. As such, these perceptions distort their judgement and decision making towards surface disinfection. For example, these treatments’ efficacy will not last and is a waste of investment. There is also an understanding that they are toxic and harmful since it has the capability to eliminate pathogens. Read the full article on five common myths of surface disinfection in Singapore to have a better clarity in protecting your environment.

Complete guide to surface sanitisation and disinfection

For first timers like many of us, engaging pest control specialists to perform disinfection treatment may seem all too unfamiliar. There will be questions around which are the common areas required to treat, what will the treatment or package consist of, or when should we engage in professional services. The Complete Guide to Surface Sanitisation and Disinfection provides answers to these queries, including relevant questions such as:

  • How often should we sanitise our premise
  • How long does a disinfection treatment takes
  • What is the cost of a misting job?
  • What are some essential pre and post-disinfection checklist
  • How do we evaluate and decide which company to engage

During these challenging and difficult times, pest control hassles and arrangements can be trusted to a professional pest control company to manage. Call Rentokil Singapore at  (65) 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.

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