Rentokil pest alert: companies advised to do ‘rodent recce’

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Rentokil has released its monthly pest alert, which focuses on rodents, and provides advice on infestations in the workplace.

 It includes facts about rodents including:

  • Rats have strong teeth that allow them to chew through glass, cinderblock, wire, aluminium and lead
  • Rats can’t vomit
  • Mice like to eat 15 to 20 times per day
  • When rats are alone they can become depressed, anxious and stressed

There are around 81m rats living in the UK, reports Rentokil. As the weather turns colder, human environments become attractive to rodents looking for a cosy place to make their nests, it says. If you spot an infestation, it needs to be treated. Pests signify an unhygienic environment to employees and customers and can carry a wide range of diseases, including Salmonella, E.coli and Weil’s disease. Surroundings may become contaminated through their urine, droppings and hairs.

Rentokil highlights the danger signs:

  • Rat droppings (sausage shaped approx. 1 -2 cm long) or mouse droppings (thin, spindle shaped approx. 5mm long)
  • Smears – grease marks from the rodent’s body as they repeatedly brush up against objects
  • Damaged stock and damage to the fabric of premises
  • Ripped food packaging – rats will tear open all types of packaging to find food, which may leave teeth marks
  • Nests – rats build nests in warm, hidden places using nesting material — shredded insulation, cardboard, plastics etc

Savvas Othon, technical director at Rentokil Pest Control, said: “Rodents like warm environments and will be looking for a safe place to nest when the temperature drops. They can gain access through very small gaps, of less than 1cm. We advise business owners to carry out a thorough ‘rodent recce’ to ensure premises are rodent proof for winter.

“Prevention is better than cure so check thoroughly as if an infestation does take place, the consequences for a business can be significant, both financially and in terms of reputation. A customer sighting can quickly destroy a reputable business and, for a food service business, its ‘scores on the doors’ rating.”

If a company finds an infestation at work, Rentokil offers the following advice:

  • Call in professional pest controllers, to reassure your staff the problem is in hand and not being left to escalate
  • Rodents often nest in inaccessible locations and can be difficult to track. Rentokil has developed a new thermal imaging treatment which delivers quick and effective identification of pest control problems, using infra red technologies. This gives businesses access to pest-related information they would otherwise be unable to see
  • Your pest controller will be able to seek out potential trouble spots and anticipate possible further issues so preventive action can be taken before any problems occur