Feature articles

31 March 2020

Keeping pests at bay in Covid-19 pandemic

HOUSEHOLDERS are being urged to be vigilant to pest infestation during the Covid-19 crisis.

The move comes as some local authorities struggle to maintain refuse collection services.

keeping pests at bay during covid19

National trade body, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), has raised concerns over the situation.

Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Technical Manager, said: “The link between piles of uncollected bin bags and pests is clear.

“More rubbish, particularly food, supports the emergence of pests, particularly rodent infestations.

“It’s not just a matter of nuisance, but a public health issue.

“Pests like rats, flies and urban foxes feed on the leftovers in our bins.

“Rats in particular carry many diseases which can be easily spread to humans through their urine, including Toxoplasmosis and Weil’s Disease.

“The last thing the country needs right now is a plague of rats alongside the pandemic.

“Rats and mice can reproduce incredibly quickly given access to a plentiful supply of food, such as food waste.

“If environmental conditions are preferable, a female rat can reproduce every six weeks with litters consisting of 6-8 offspring.

“Collecting rubbish is vital to ensure rats aren’t fed.

“The professional pest management sector is still working hard to protect homes and key sectors during this pandemic.

“Situations like this reinforce how crucial the sector is.

BPCA members are trained, qualified and audited to the British Standard in Pest Management BS EN 16636.

“Our members are still out doing emergency work such as protecting homes and businesses during the pandemic.”

BPCA is urging householders to take steps themselves to help control the situation.

Ms Ward-Thompson added: “Rotting left-overs or half-empty food containers will attract many unwanted visitors if they’re not discarded carefully or if bin lids are not closed
properly.

“Bin bags are even more of an issue as they’re basically a mobile home for rats – a warm natural environment with food and water supplied.

“Householders must therefore be pest aware and mindful of what can happen by failing to take simple preventative measures.”

Some basic precautions BPCA suggest to help householders take control of the situation include:

  • Keep bin lids sealed properly - even small gaps create easy access for pests
  • Where possible, keep them away from windows and doors and, ideally, out of direct sunlight to help reduce smells and decrease the rate of decomposition
  • Don’t leave leftover food lying around and empty kitchen containers into the composting bin on a regular or even daily basis
  • Don’t put loose food waste straight in the bin. Wrapping it in approved compostable liners, plastic bags or refuse sacks will ensure it doesn’t stick to the sides of containers and will help contain any odours
  • Try to keep any food waste in the wheelie bin – only put non-food items into bin bags to keep pests away.

More information or to find a professional company visit bpca.org.uk.

Source: Online

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