Renowned for its rolling hills, hidden woodlands, winding rivers and profusion of wildlife, Mid Devon is home to the very best of the English countryside.
Nestled between the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, the quality of the natural environment draws tourists from all over the country looking for family holidays, walking holidays and wildlife spotting adventures.
An abundance of cafes, restaurants, hotels, campsites and friendly B&Bs make for a flourishing tourism economy.
However, as with all popular locations, business operators in Mid Devon have a public health and safety responsibility to both residents and visitors to ensure their premises are kept free of unwanted pests.
Rats in particular, are a known nuisance in the district, plaguing both commercial businesses and housing association properties. As such, pest control in Mid Devon is of critical importance to all businesses and property managers in the area.
Pest Problems in Mid Devon
Several reports in the local press in recent times suggest that the Mid Devon district may be suffering a rat control problem.
In 2019, Devon Live reported that a resident of a housing association property in Newcombes, Crediton, had been facing a rat problem in her home for the past four years. The situation had become so bad that the resident said she couldn’t even leave the windows and doors open at her house for fear of the rodents coming inside.
“When I moved in, I didn’t know there was a rat problem in the communal areas,” the resident said. “After leaving a window ajar, I once found a decomposed rat stuck behind the radiator. Another time one got in and I didn’t realise until I went downstairs and it had chewed the sofa and carpet and left rat droppings everywhere.
A couple of months ago our dog was attacked by a rat and it was hanging off his lips. We had to take him to the vets.”
She added that rats had also chewed through her bins and the electric wiring of her tumble dryer.
This isn’t the only Mid Devon pest control incident to have hit the headlines. People living in the Collipriest area of Tiverton received a letter from Mid Devon District Council informing them that the plastic bins at a communal collection point were being removed due to a rat infestation.
The residents were told instead, to put out their waste in black sacks. “Surely the rat problem is going to be increased by removal of the dustbins,” one resident said. “Rats will find it a lot harder to get inside a dustbin than they will in an open sack on the floor.”
Elsewhere last year, a restaurant owner in Cullompton decided she had no option but to leave her town centre premises after one year, due to rubbish being dumped outside which was causing a pest issue.
“It was affecting bookings for quite a while and I can’t blame people for that,” The smell was so bad I couldn’t have my door open and it was attracting rats too.”
A Public Health Issue
Rats are clearly a growing issue for businesses and housing associations in Mid Devon. This is a serious public health and safety concern. Rats are known to be carriers of more than 30 different bacteria and diseases which are harmful to humans, including Weil’s disease, salmonellosis, hantavirus and rat bite fever.
Transmission can easily occur via:
- Bites and scratches
- Direct contact with items contaminated with rat faeces, urine, blood and saliva
- Inhaling microorganism particles in air contaminated with infectious faeces and urine
- Ingestion of contaminated food and drink
These are serious points of concern for businesses that handle food. Strict regulations exist in the UK mandating that all food business operators take steps to actively prevent pest infestations.
These include the Food Standards Act 1999, the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations and the EU’s Regulation No. 852/2004 On the Hygiene of Foodstuffs. The recommended action is for businesses to seek contractual pest control services from a professional provider.
When it comes to housing associations, the Housing Act 2004 states that residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupant or visitor.
The Act also introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as a means for assessing potential hazards in accommodation.
HHSRS identifies pests as a potential cause of harm and infection.Housing Associations have a duty to ensure their properties are maintained to a standard that denies ingress to rats, mice and other pests.
Again, professional pest control contracts should be sought to ensure that the health and safety of tenants are not put at risk.
Mid Devon Pest Control
With so many health risks posed by the proliferation of rats in the district, business owners and property managers in Mid Devon need an effective pest control solution delivered by professionals with local knowledge and expertise.
At Baroque Pest Services part of Safeguard, we have over 30 years’ experience designing and implementing bespoke commercial rat and other pest control solutions for businesses and housing associations in Mid Devon.
Our service begins with a free consultation and risk assessment, after which we will work with you to tailor a commercial pest control contract that suits your precise needs and budget.
Baroque Pest Services serves all kinds of industries including: Bars, Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants, Hotels and B&Bs, as well as Nursing Homes, Factories, Warehouses and Organic Farms.
Contact your local pest control specialist today for a free quotation.