Bens Bugs has seen a huge increase in pest infestations since the beginning of COVID-19, but why?

With the closure of so many businesses since lockdown, vacant buildings such as hotels,
office space, salons and restaurants are a few of the places which provide perfect
harbourage and environment for pests to breed with little disturbance from the hustle and bustle of day to day life.

Empty food establishments will be more than inviting to rats, mice and cockroaches and due
to premises being left unmonitored throughout COVID-19 this will only encourage infestations. These types of pests can not only damage the structure of a building to gain access but to find a food source and create a nest.

With rodents and cockroaches being able to breed rapidly, with adequate food supplies,
these pests can increase dramatically, increasing the level of infestation ultimately being
very costly to any business upon reopening after COVID-19, as the larger the infestation to harder to eradicate the infestation.

Other issues which can arise from infestations in domestic and commercial properties are;

– Contamination from nesting material and droppings

– Contaminated surfaces from pests which can cause risk of disease, for example
Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, Toxoplasmosis and Lyme Disease
– Infestations of other pests such as mites, ticks, fleas which can live in nests

Another factor we must consider is the lack of pest management throughout lockdown. A lot
of pest control companies may have had to close due to furloughed or shielding staff or with
the closures of a lot of commercial businesses for example business owners most likely
cancelled and postpones any additional or further treatment plans/contracts as they were unsure of what the future held.

Throughout COVID, Ben’s Bugs has not only seen an increase in infestations for commercial
properties, we have also seen a big increase in domestic infestations too. Even though
empty buildings are the perfect place for these pests to live and breed, they are having to
find alternative food sources as their regular pub is now closed, meaning they are entering into domestic properties in hunt for food.

Signs of Rodent infestation within your home

– Droppings

– Grease marks – on walls, floors and skirting boards

– Nests – shredded material, paper, boxes and fabric

– Strong Odour – Rodents urinate frequently and their wee has a strong ammonia like smell

– Scratching – Active at night, scratching between walls, floorboards and in the attic

– Sighting of rats/mice

Protecting your home and business (reputation and building/equipment) is important during
the current climate and it is essential to be able to continue operating safely.
Top tips to deter pests from making themselves at home in your homes and businesses

– Keep bin lids sealed properly

– Try to keep food waste in a wheelie bin and not just in bin bags

– Do not leave leftover food lying around

– Where possible, keep bins away from doors and windows and out of sunlight to help reduce smells

– Check the exterior of your property – are there any gaps for pests to enter? Mice only
need 5mm to gain entry and Rats need a gap of 15mm to gain entry.

Business should consider a professional survey to be undertaken to advise if any activity is
present, what pest (if any) is present and establish what the next steps are to make sure the business is safe to continue running.

Bens Bugs can offer different programmes to suit business needs depending on the pest
and level of infestation and will be able to advise on the next steps to take after carrying out a full site survey.