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Why regular pest inspections are necessary for every business

Do you know how pests can damage your business?

Whatever industry or sector you operate in, there can be no doubt that pests are bad for business. Not only are they a public health and business risk, but pests can also cause structural damage to buildings, spoil food products, transmit disease and alienate your customers.

The real cost of a pest infestation

Besides the actual cost of a treatment to eradicate a pest infestation, there are other impacts to consider, including:
- The cost of replacing damaged inventory.
- Loss of business.
- Damage to your reputation.
- Possible legal consequences.

A 2015 study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that 83 per cent of Australian businesses had experienced a pest infestation in the last five years.

Simon Lean, Technical Manager for Rentokil Pest Control Australia, believes there's no room for complacency. “In terms of the type of premises that could be impacted, you have to think beyond the obvious food and beverage or hospitality scenario. Rodents, for example, love to gnaw on electrical wiring, which can cause fires, short circuits and structural damage to factories, commercial vehicles and existing technological infrastructure,” he says.

Why have regular pest inspections?

A range of pests can infiltrate commercial premises, including rodents, cockroaches, termites, bed bugs, stored products insects (flour beetles, meal moths, rice weevils) and flying insects such as bees and wasps.

Regular pest inspections not only help prevent loss of revenue and damage to your company’s reputation, they also ensure your business complies with the relevant local health and safety regulations. This is especially true for the hospitality sector where premises have a responsibility to protect public health.

Simon points out that pest-free premises are as much about brand protection as basic hygiene: “We are living in an age of social media where the damage to a brand can happen very quickly once something negative is shared. That's why developing a pest management plan is essential, because you never know when an infestation will occur.”

What does a pest management plan look like?

A professional pest management plan starts with a pest control expert visiting your premises for a formal assessment, including:
- Identifying the nature of the business.
- Conducting a pest risk assessment.
- Identifying which pests are present.
- Identifying why these pests are present.
- Developing a comprehensive pest management plan based on the identified risks.

Be proactive to stay pest free

The key to effective pest control is to be proactive. This starts with a good building maintenance schedule and a regular inspection regime so any infestations are identified quickly.

Simon advises, “Businesses that want to be proactive and reduce their risk of infestation should develop an inspection regime based on a formal risk assessment. This could be monthly, quarterly or annually, based on the nature of the premises and type of business.

“And when it comes time to hire a pest control expert, look for a business that's a member of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA). Members meet the highest possible accreditation standards and will be licensed and insured.”

Conclusion

While there is no sure-fire way to avoid pest infestations in your business, regularly getting your business premises inspected is a good way to make sure you’re staying on top of the problem, rather than having to deal with a complicated and costly infestation later.

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Building a risk-aware business

Do you know how pests can damage your business?

Published
1st August 2017
Author
Jack Lyons, Research and Innovation, Rentokil
Categories
Own Time, Take Control
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