Wherever there are tourists, there are food outlets – restaurants, takeaways, hotels, pubs. Wherever there are food outlets, there is food waste – back alley bins, litter, half-eaten takeout meals carelessly discarded here, there and everywhere.Wherever there is food waste, there are rats.
With its hundreds of sandy beaches, picturesque towns and foodie culture, Cornwall attracts millions of tourists each year.
Unfortunately, the food waste generated by the businesses in this beautiful county supports huge populations of rats, making rat control in Cornwall something that all business owners need to take very seriously.
The Rat Map of Cornwall lays bare the extent of the problem. Produced by Cornwall Live, the map reveals that some of the county’s most popular tourist locations are also its most afflicted by rat control issues.
The surfing hotspot of Newquay, the port town of Falmouth, even St. Ives, the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown – all find themselves in the top ten most rat-infested areas in the county, as do Penzance, Helston, Camborne, Redruth and Cornwall’s only city, Truro.
The data used to produce the Rat Map is based off the number of calls Cornwall Council received concerning pest infestations.
As a spokesperson for the Council makes clear in the article, “We don’t provide a pest control service, we recommend that people contact a private pest control company.”
This statement is echoed on Cornwall Council’s website, where it is confirmed that the Council provides no rat control services whatsoever and instead urges businesses to “use a qualified pest controller.”
What this means is that the onus falls squarely on business owners to prevent infestations of rats in and around their premises.
Rats are known to be carriers of more than 30 different diseases that can be harmful to humans – including leptospirosis and Weil’s disease which are potentially fatal.
It is estimated that up to 50% of rats are likely to be carriers of various diseases and harmful bacteria and will contaminate any surfaces, materials and foodstuffs they come into contact with via their saliva, urine and droppings.
What then, can business owners in Cornwall do to ensure rats are discouraged from their premises and infestations prevented?
Rat Control for Cornish Businesses
For businesses dealing with food, rigorous rubbish management is vital. Refuse areas need to be kept spotlessly clean, with bin bags tightly sealed and locked away in solid, durable bins with rodent-proof lids.
Ideally, the refuse area itself should be as far away from the main building as possible, as this will keep distance between any rats that are attracted to it and the building itself.
In food preparation areas, any spillages, crumbs or other debris must be cleaned up immediately and not left to fester.
This includes under big, heavy items like fridges, ovens and other cooking equipment. Implementing a “clean as you go” policy will ensure that any potential sources of food that will attract rodents are dealt with promptly and never left to build up.
The same holds true for food storage areas. Again, thorough cleaning regimes must be maintained to reduce the chances of rats being drawn to the premises. In addition, all foodstuffs must be kept off the floor and stored in durable, sealed containers with tight-fitting lids.
Removing entry points is another important measure. This can be a serious challenge, however. Rats can gain entry into a building via vents, pipes, drains, doorways, windows, vents and cracks.
They are notorious for being able to squeeze through tiny gaps and are expert climbers, meaning that even high-up entry points can be exploited. As such, assistance from rat control experts is required.
Staff should also be trained to recognise the early warning signs of rat infestations. These include evidence of nesting (shredded soft materials such as paper, cardboard and other packaging), droppings, greasy smear marks along walls and skirting boards, damage to food items, squeaking and scratching noises, gnawing damage to hard materials (including wood, walls and metals) and of course, live or dead animals.
The Solution – Expert Rat Control Cornwall Contracts
If you or any member of staff spot any of the above signs of rats, it may indicate a more serious infestation which presents concerns for your business.
Aside from public health risks, rat control issues can result in immediate loss of trust from customers and employees, damage to goods and equipment, contaminated stock (which must be destroyed) and legal repercussions that may result in fines or business closure.
Once an infestation becomes established, the task of getting rid of rats from your commercial premises can be a long and arduous one – unless you use pest control professionals.
As such, the sooner you decide to take proactive measures to prevent rat infestations from establishing themselves in the first place, the better protected your business will be.
At Baroque Pest Services part of Safeguard, we have over 30 years’ experience designing and implementing bespoke commercial rat control solutions for businesses in Cornwall.
Our pest control service begins with a free consultation and risk assessment. We will then tailor a commercial pest control contract that suits your business’ 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.