If you’ve ever had a pest problem in your property, the chances are you’ve asked yourself this question: “how did they get in?”

Depending on the pest, there are a number of ways they entered your home or business premises. Squirrels and parakeets might have accessed your roof space through the eaves; pigeons could have entered a disused outbuilding through a broken window; ants and mice may have come through a badly fitting door or window and rats might have crawled through a drain.

Put simply, your property is full of holes and if a pest wants to exploit them it will.

They go and return!

For nearly six years we’ve been contracted by a local authority to deal with pest problems and during that time we noticed certain houses were repeatedly having problems with rodents. We helped the residents to clear their homes of an infestation but, in many cases, there was a reoccurrence. We knew that more needed to be done to ensure the properties stayed pest-free.

The answer was proofing. This involves an expert surveyor identifying all entry points to a property and then passing the report to our proofing team who will block them to prevent access by pests.

Why we needed a new approach to proofing

The pest control industry has long debated the question of when should you proof a property with a pest problem: before, during or after? Ideally, it would be before but, since we don’t build the houses and pest control seems too often to be an afterthought, this is impossible.

The matter has become more urgent as the industry moves towards using fewer rodenticides but in a more targeted way. At the same time, we are also seeing greater rodenticide resistance and bait-box shyness among rodent populations.

Most pest control companies talk about integrated pest management, but their actual approach to pest removal is something different – use rodenticides to remove the problem and then proof the property, and sadly the proofing part is very rarely done. This can mean infestations take longer to clear, with the same entry point being used again and properties becoming reinfested, which is very damaging to the health and mental well-being of the people.

Part of the issue is that proofing requires building and handyman skills, which trained pest control technicians often don’t have, alongside pest control knowledge which tradesmen don’t possess. In essence, it has always been one job that requires two specific skill sets.

LNPS’s solution

We decided to look again at this problem and find a new approach. Instead of relying on pest control technicians to do the proofing work alongside their other tasks, we decided the issue needed a dedicated team that incorporated a dedicated scheduler, a specialist surveyor and two multi-tradesmen that are trained in pest control.

Typically, our pest control technicians identify a problem and call in the proofing team. The surveyor will then visit the property to assess the issues and draws up a fully costed report. Once this is approved, our multi-trade team gets to work. Since they are skilled in all manner of building tasks, including plumbing, they are able to get to the heart of the problem – even removing kitchen cabinets to reach difficult areas.

Once the problem areas are exposed, any holes are filled with a combination of specialist products, such as rodent barrier, rodent-proof mesh and wire wool. It is not uncommon for them to find that part of the problem is decayed expanding foam that is now full of holes. This is removed and replaced with rodent-resistant materials.

The proofing team then rebuilds the kitchen, making sure all rodent droppings and builders’ debris is removed – you’d be amazed how much rubbish is left under cabinets when they are installed! They then call back in the pest control technicians who complete the job of eradicating the infestation.

Truly integrating the proofing process into our pest control management system has had a profound impact on return callouts. We operate an unlimited visit guarantee on our work and one thing we have seen is tremendous decrease in the number of visits we now need to make with the new service. Where previously we might need to visit a property up to or over ten times, typically we now visit a property less than three times before the problem is gone. This is better for the health and mental wellbeing of the residents and for our business.

Read our case study.

If you have a rodent problem, call us on 020 8430 4133 or click here.