If you are a business in the food and drinks industry you probably have a contracted pest control service in place. It’s a very competitive market and in order to drive down prices further some companies offer a quarterly service where a pest control technician visits the site four times a year. Operating costs are obviously lower than the standard eight visits a year and this is what allows for a lower annual cost to the customer.
However, you might be paying for a pest control service and getting it for a very low price but are quarterly inspections worth paying for? I would argue that they are not, and I will explain why.
First, with quarterly inspections the pest control technician is not legally able to use rodenticide baits inside the clients business premises. Rodenticide baits have to be checked ‘frequently’, and checking rodenticide bait once every three months is not frequent enough.
Two other forms of monitoring are traps and non-toxic monitoring blocks. With traps, once a trap is set off it is useless until it is reset. Say the technician uses traps and an issue with mice arises at the premises. A mouse is caught in a trap by a rear doorway a week after the technicians visit. This area is no longer protected from mice as a trap can only catch once. Unless the staff at the business are monitoring the traps this area will stay unprotected for nearly three months until the technician returns for his next scheduled visit. Only then can he act and if you are relying on staff to check your traps what exactly are you paying your pest control company to do?
Another form of monitoring comes in the form of non-toxic blocks. These will essentially feed the mice until the blocks are checked and found to be eaten, at which point rodenticide poison or traps will be put in the boxes and checked weekly until the issue is resolved and any remedial proofing work is carried out to stop it happening again.
Quarterly inspections may seem like a tick in the box to some clients as it means they do officially have ‘pest control cover’ at their premises but can this pest control cover really be considered effective? Not only can rodenticide baits not be used inside the business premises but thorough visual inspections will be three months apart, meaning insect infestations can take hold without your knowledge. If a couple of hundred pounds means that much to your bank balance you might as well do it yourself in my opinion. You’ll be more likely to find that something is amiss before the pest control technician, who might not be on site for another three months.
What price do you put on your businesses reputation with your customers? The food and drinks industry is a very competitive place and it doesn’t take long for word of mouth to make or break a business. If you value your businesses’ reputation and are forward thinking enough to get a pest control service put in place, don’t just pay the lowest price possible for quarterly inspections. An infestation can easily take hold in three months and if it starts to impact on your reputation with your customers, calling out your pest control after the fact is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.