Christmas is very nearly here and the retail industry is running at a breakneck pace to keep up with demand. With all the increased demands on your workforce, pest control can sometimes fall by the wayside. However, staying on top of things is just as important – if not more so – at this time of year, as it is at any other.
With many retail companies relying on the Christmas shopping frenzy to make the revenue necessary to see them through the quieter periods of the year, any disruption to carrying out business can prove disastrous. A shut down – even a temporary one – to deal with an out of control pest infestation, is the last thing a retail business needs.
Therefore, it is crucial to know which pests have a liking for retail spaces and how to spot them before they become a serious problem.
All manner of nesting birds, from rooks and pigeons, to jackdaws and crows, can have a penchant for retail locations. This is due to retailers often having large stock rooms or warehouses which provide ample, elevated locations for these animals to roost.
Birds carry a multitude of diseases which can prove destructive for any retail business – especially ones which stock food items – and can be particularly troublesome to remove. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it illegal to kill or destroy the nests and eggs of wild birds in the UK. As a result, bird control is essential to move them on in a manner which stays on the right side of the law.
Signs to look out for which may alert you to the presence of nesting birds include: increased presence of birds around the premises, droppings around or inside the building and damage to roof materials caused as they attempt to gain access.
Retail spaces make ideal nesting and breeding ground for rats and mice. Not only does an abundance of cardboard and other packaging materials make ideal nesting materials, but retail locations can often offer plenty of food as well. Even if the business itself doesn’t sell food products, it will likely be near other shops, meaning nearby bins and skips will have food waste which can be easily scavenged.
Rodents are disease carriers and they come with the extra issue of not sticking to elevated location like birds tend to. This means there is a good chance of them being seen by your customers and causing potentially irreparable damage to your reputation.
Signs which may indicate a rodent infestation that needs pest control include: damage to product packaging as they scavenge nesting materials or attempt to access the items inside, greasy and dirty marks along floors and walls as they drag their bodies across them, droppings and missing or partially consumed food items.
Insects may be around in smaller numbers during the winter but they can still pose a major pest control problem for retailers. Retail locations generate a great deal of waste which can be a magnet for pest insects and some, such as cockroaches, are not as affected by the cold weather. In the summer, wasps and ants can swarm food sources such as bins or skips which poses a great irritation to your customers.
Many insects carry diseases and can spread infection incredibly quickly. Flies land on faecal matter and then transfer the resultant bacteria onto anything they subsequently land on.
Making sure all refuse is stored securely and emptied regularly is your best weapon against the possibility of an insect infestation – especially when dealing with food. So, if your retail business sells food products or has a café, make sure everything is kept as spotless as possible.
Signs insects may be taking up residence at your retail location include: evidence of nest building, small droppings, small holes bored in products, evidence of egg laying or dead insects on shelving and floors.
The Safeguard Solution
If you have any concerns about the possibility that your retail space has become home to an infestation of birds, rodents or insects, the next thing you should do is contact an experienced and professional pest control expert.
Your Safeguard Pest Control professional will be able to advise you on every aspect of pest control. From steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming infested, to the steps needed to drive away any creatures which have already taken up residence. From effective extermination of insect infestations, to humane and legal bird of prey solutions for nesting birds, Safeguard has a plan already in place to tackle anything the natural world can throw at you.
Safeguard has over 30 years’ experience fighting all manner of pest infestations, and will provide continuous, all year round, care to prevent problems recurring.
Please get in touch today so we can discuss how best to serve you.