With temperatures soaring this year, many businesses are facing increased pest control problems, particularly from insects which thrive in warmer weather. A recent report from the BBC reveals that calls to the NHS helpline 111 about insect bites have nearly doubled this year, as conditions favour the proliferation of biting bugs.
Horseflies and mosquitoes are of particular concern, as are wasps, which are finding extended opportunities to feed in the hot weather. This year’s heatwave has created an early abundance of fruit in fields, gardens, and hedgerows, providing excellent feeding conditions. Wasps become slightly inebriated when they consume fruit, which also makes them more likely to sting.
And it’s not just insects. Rodents, such as rats and mice, are also making their presence known to businesses this summer – which is somewhat unusual, since rodent pest control issues tend to drop in the summer months, as rats and mice move away from indoor shelter to outdoor environments. The heatwave seems to be causing different behaviour this year, however. Rodent populations appear to be remaining in and around both commercial and domestic properties, perhaps again because of the glut of fruit and other food sources, meaning that they don’t have to travel as far as usual to feed.
It’s certainly a problem year for pests. Let’s take a look at some of the industries most impacted by the continuing heat wave.
Food and Beverage
Where there’s food, there are pests. Few industries will feel the heat as much as those in food and beverage this year. As wasp numbers proliferate, they will become a nuisance to restaurant customers – particularly those enjoying the sunshine outside – takeaway customers, as well as food markets, food halls, pubs, bars, shops and supermarkets.
Ants, too, pose an increased threat. These tiny creatures will swarm indoors by their hundreds and even thousands, wherever they find a good food source. Kitchens and other food preparation areas will attract ants in great numbers – particularly in warm weather.
Flies pose an ongoing problem for the food and beverage industry, and, in this exceedingly warm weather, their numbers can multiply rapidly. Summer time is the peak season for flies every year, but in this blistering heat, they will cause more of a problem than normal. Food refuse areas are especially susceptible to an invasion, making it imperative that business owners take extra precautions to ensure rubbish is disposed of and locked away in the proper fashion
What’s more, as rats and mice seem to be staying put this year, food and beverage businesses will face prolonged trouble from these fearless invaders. No matter if the company serves food and drink directly to customers, or produces and processes it for wholesale, the presence of rodents can cause huge problems and be detrimental to both revenue and reputation.
Every single business needs to take additional pest control precautions this year in response to the heatwave, which means enlisting the services of a professional pest control company to ensure all threats of infestation are under expert control.
Hotel and Hospitality
Summer is always a busy time of year for hotels, hostels, and B&Bs – but in this heat, it’s imperative business owners take due care to ensure that the accommodation they offer is a pest-free environment for paying guests.
It’s a particular problem because, although you will of course be striving to maintain a clean and hygienic environment at all times, you can’t always be accountable for your guests. With the sunshine blazing, room windows will be left open, offering an ideal entry point for many species of insect. And if your guests are leaving food lying around in their rooms, wasps, ants, and other creepy crawlies will invade.
Mice and rats will also pose an additional threat in this heat, carrying with them fleas, ticks, bacteria and disease. With a high guest turnover in the summer months, bed bugs, too, present an additional problem. These creatures hitch rides in clothes and suitcases, travelling from room to room, hotel to hotel and location to location.
The only way for businesses in the hotel and hospitality industry to stay on top of pest control is with the help of professionals. DIY solutions and defences are rarely effective for long, and no chances can be taken in a heatwave. As such, if you’re a business owner in this sector, you should call in the pest control experts today to ensure your premises are adequately protected from pests of all shapes and sizes.
Local Authorities and Housing Associations
Naturally, as reports of pest problems increase during a heatwave, local authorities come under increased pressure. Building services, estate management, and environmental health departments are all obliged to ensure public health standards remain high, meaning pest control becomes a priority issue as the warm weather creates ideal conditions for rats, mice, wasps, ants, and other insects to thrive.
Housing associations too, come under similar pressures, as they have a duty of care to ensure that all residential premises provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitor. Though tenants of course have a key role to play in ensuring pest infestations are avoided, the number of pest reports and/or complaints for housing associations to deal with will rise during a heatwave as pests become a greater problem than usual.
In addition, any presently unoccupied properties need to be thoroughly vetted for signs of infestation. This is crucial, for any pests that set up residence now, while conditions are favourable, could potentially render the property uninhabitable. This in turn, can have dire reputational, legal, and financial implications further down the line.
Local authorities and housing associations need to stay on top of their pest control responsibilities, which means enlisting professionals to provide a fast, discreet, and effective pest control service.
Safeguard Pest Control
With over 30 years’ experience designing and executing professional pest control solutions for commercial clients, Safeguard has the tools and the expertise you need to ensure your business is a pest-free zone all year around. If you’re feeling the heat from unwanted pests this year, then get in touch with us today for a free site survey.