The Importance of Preventative Pest Control

World Environmental Health Day

26th of September is World Environmental Health Day. In recent years the headlines surrounding environmental health have been dominated by pandemics like COVID 19, MERS and SARS etc., but it is important to remember that there is an army of pest control technicians out there, controlling and eradicating pest infestations every day of the week.

Focusing on the headlines all too often means the bigger underlying story is missed.

In the world of environmental health, if a restaurant is closed down because of a pest infestation, it becomes a news article, but the dozens of food establishments threatened with closure but kept open by swift intervention from a pest control company, is of course little interest to the media even though this ‘invisible insurance policy’ is of great importance to the health of the general public

Rat Catchers

Up until the early 1980s nearly every local authority had a pest control team often based in depots called disinfestation stations. These guys were often lazily referred to as council ‘rat catchers’, but they did much more than catch rats, they carried out a full range of treatments for all manner of rodents and insects, but the tag was friendly and they willingly accepted and adopted it.

As the 80s marched on, more and more local authorities realised that pest control was not a statutory responsibility and slowly teams were disbanded or their services were charged to customers. Even though these teams were typically covering their costs, if a council made across the board cuts these would nonetheless apply to pest control. The commercial sector was already well established and willing to take up the slack with their professional pest control officers. However, as councils continued to cut services, there were often grey areas and confusion over who was ultimately responsible for protection against pests on a site. Although the local authority would be responsible for enforcement, infestations can multiply and become established far quicker than a council getting its act together and serving notice.

This has led to a rise in numbers of all types of pests and has been particularly witnessed with the many news reports on bed bug infestations.

Proactive Pest Control

But whatever the pest, be it a rat with its long tail, a creepy, crawly cockroach, a mouse leaving its calling card droppings, a drunken wasp in a pub garden or bed bugs keeping you awake at night, you can always rely on your local pest controller, only a phone call away, to come and dispatch it for you, and keep your home or place of work safe. But pest control is not just about killing pests; a large part of a pest controllers’ day is spent being proactive, making sure there are no pest entry points, and writing reports so business owners know how to improve things, working with them to ensure their premises and customers are safe.

So next time you see a pest control van outside a food establishment or a pest control officer carrying out at treatment, don’t assume there is a pest infestation, be pleased that the establishment is being protected. The technician is looking after your health, so if you see them on World Environmental Health Day, say hello, (perhaps even, ‘thank you’). And if you have any questions, ask them; pest controllers love their job, they are highly skilled and will be pleased to share their knowledge with you.

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