As we enter the new year, and construction sites up and down the country come back to life, pest control should still be at the front of the minds of site managers and foremen.
With construction sites having sat unused for a few weeks, they provide a perfect target for pest infestations. With lots of places to hide and make nests, and easy access to food supplies, construction sites are a prime location for all manner of nuisance animals – in January, and throughout the year.
An infestation can be enough of a problem for a regular building, never mind one which isn’t even finished yet. A pest infestation on a construction site can result in the destruction of incomplete structures and raw materials, loss of staff due to sickness and/or injury, and litigation by private citizens or government agencies. All these issues can result in a loss of revenue, budgetary excess and delays to project completion.
However, with construction sites having many moving parts and different people coming and going, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is clued up on the importance of pest control. It is crucial therefore, to ensure everyone working on the site knows the signs to look out for, the importance of diligence, and the correct reporting procedures.
#1 Damage to Building Materials
Many pests such as birds, rats, and mice need to build nests to survive. Part of what makes a construction site such a good location for a nesting animal is the readily available stocks of materials. Cardboard packaging, wooden material such as timber and pallets, rope, wire, insulation and many other materials besides, can all be used by nesting animals to build their homes.
Rats and mice also like chewing on wood and other materials as a matter of habit, and there are numerous burrowing insects to whom a pile of damp timber would be an enticing prospect.
It’s important therefore, to keep an eye out for any damage to these materials which appears to have been caused by an animal and report it immediately.
Rodent and bird droppings are a sure sign pests have moved into a construction site. All droppings carry disease which can lead to staff sickness and the potential for legal action. Bird droppings are also highly acidic and can cause permanent damage to stonework and timber, as well as vehicle paintwork and stored construction materials. Bird droppings also carry a significant slipping hazard, so it’s important to have it cleaned up as soon as possible, after it’s discovered.
If the droppings are focused in a single area of the construction site, it could be an indication the pests have a nest nearby. Make sure you inform your pest control expert where the droppings were found, to help inform their investigation.
#3 Gathering Birds
Construction sites are particularly attractive to birds, as they offer plenty of elevated, sheltered and accessible locations where they can roost or nest. The fact most construction sites are reliably deserted at night also helps to make them a great location for birds.
Keep your eyes open for birds starting to gather around the site towards the end of the day. This is a little easier during the winter as the sun sets early and it’s likely people will still be working when the birds begin to arrive. If large numbers of birds begin showing up regularly as the evening begins, it’s a good indication they’re using the site as a roosting spot.
#4 Sickness and Absence
If there is suddenly a bout of illness which sweeps through the workforce, it could also be a sign of pest infestation. Droppings and infected food could all be a source for communicable diseases. A pattern of similar sickness will be more difficult to identify on a construction site than in an office building, as many of the staff will be independent tradespeople who don’t need to report their own sickness to the main contractor.
However, by having a strict policy which requires all tradespeople, whether employed directly by the construction company or not, to call in and inform the site manager or foreman of any illnesses, you can help make these patterns more easily identifiable.
If you are looking for a reliable and experienced pest control solution for your construction project, then look no further than Safeguard Pest Control. With over 30 years’ experience tackling commercial pest control issues, there’s none better.
Please get in touch today for more information.