While the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, differing global recovery rates are reshaping the way we all get back to business. As a result, lockdown restrictions in the United States are beginning to ease and businesses are able to re-open, but getting back to work safely comes with a number of challenges.
The majority of employers (93%) are worried about ensuring that workplace conditions and policies comply with applicable safety and health regulations after lockdown¹. With many employees returning to work after being furloughed, or now accustomed to working from home, how can businesses ensure they stay safe and feel safe?
Pests thrive during the coronavirus outbreak
With half the world on lockdown, it’s unsurprising that our streets are quieter. Reduced foot traffic presents an ideal opportunity for pests such as rodents to become bolder and braver. With less food waste around, other food sources and shelter are vital. Empty buildings caused by the lockdown are ideal. Risk hotspots include:
- Pest entry points – such as water pipes and cable lines
- Storage areas – where pests hide
- Kitchens – where flies will be attracted by food
- Dark places such as cracks, crevices, drains, sewers, inside equipment and furnishings – where you could find cockroaches
- Office carpets – which could be home to fleas
Rodents and many other pests breed at an alarming rate if left unattended. They can cause damage to property structures, equipment and stock with their constant gnawing, shedding and contaminating. Pests also carry many diseases. Rodents, in particular, can transmit diseases with symptoms ranging from mild to serious and life-threatening, such as leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), hantavirus, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and tularaemia.
Rodents aren’t the only troublesome pests. Businesses spend a global average of $9,000 a year dealing with flies alone². Cockroaches are also a big problem, especially in businesses that handle food. They will eat just about anything organic, including cardboard, tiny amounts of foods and liquids, mould and faecal matter. Droppings and bodily discharge stain and leave an odor that can spread throughout areas and goods.
Stored product insects (SPIs) such as moths and beetles can cause damage to raw food materials and contaminate finished products. Birds can also cause physical damage and spread disease. Such damage from any of these pests can carry a high financial cost for your business. Consequential reputational damage may delay the re-opening of a building or business when the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted.
What your business needs to do next
Every business needs to consider the future very carefully. They’ll have to accommodate the increased awareness of health risks as their workforce returns, especially when it comes to positive hygiene practices. As people begin to engage with a changing world of new norms, here are three things to consider before your business can re-open its doors and get back to work.
1. Has your workplace been disinfected to ensure high levels of hygiene?
Surfaces directly touched by the skin, especially the hand, can be a source of germ transmission. If you don’t take action to reduce cross-contamination, these frequently touched surfaces will become increasingly contaminated and have a greater risk of transmission.
After a pest infestation, your premises will need to be virus-free and the surfaces safe to touch and use again. Our disinfection services eliminate germs by sanitizing touchpoints, surfaces, equipment and floors with solutions that can kill up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses.
For peace of mind, our specialists work quickly, safely and effectively using special equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and an approved high-level surface disinfectant. They will deliver a service tailored to the needs of your business and provide total reassurance that your premises are safe.
2. Has your building been proofed against pest infestations?
Let’s take a look at just one of the problems facing businesses – rats. Rats are good jumpers, can squeeze through small gaps and climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into buildings by any means necessary. They’re good swimmers, too, and will happily swim up damaged sewer pipes or use drain pipes and drainage outlets.
Rentokil provides a complete range of proofing solutions to help protect your business from all pest entry. Internal proofing will also restrict pest movement inside, which will limit the spread of infestations. Our extensive range of proofing solutions will:
- fill gaps from small to large
- protect cable trays and pipes through floors/walls
- use mesh to prevent rodent entry
- proof doors against heavy infestation
- prevent rodents from climbing
- protect entry via loading areas and roller doors
3. Do you have pest control procedures in place to eliminate or prevent pest problems?
Rentokil has a comprehensive range of integrated pest control solutions to protect businesses. Digital pest control – including PestConnect and PestNetOnline – offers remote monitoring of pests and 24/7 alerts of pest activity, while a range of non-toxic solutions are available to remove pests safely if an infestation occurs.
We provide our customers with innovative solutions to solve their pest management needs and address common business-space pest issues associated with flies, cockroaches, fleas, rodents, birds and mammals, including our award-winning Lumnia LED fly-control units.
Our tailored services and solutions ensure you have peace of mind that pests are under control, your staff and customers are safe and your business can re-open safely.
Contact us for more information on how Rentokil can support your business in returning to work and planning for the future.
¹Littler COVID-19 Flash Survey Report, 2020
²The Business Impact of Pests, Rentokil and CEBR Research by Option Matters, 2015