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Pest Management In commercial establishments

by Admin
0 comment

Healthcare Sector

Modern hospitals and nursing homes are in many ways similar to large hotel properties. After all, they have rooms, corridors, similar maintenance departments and building structure. Beyond that, healthcare facilities face an added challenge of microbial infection. Operation theatres, nurseries, ICU’s, and specialized treatment/examination areas are highly sensitive with zero tolerance to pests and microbes. Cockroaches, mosquitoes, birds and rats are known carriers of pathogens and are unacceptable in these areas.

The HVAC systems in hospitals are critical. Regular checks on air quality and the air conditioning ducts are necessary. Treat the ducts and AHU rooms in coordination with your AC supplier and a PCO who has the expertise in such treatment. Closure time of OTs and wards that is an indirect loss of revenue can drastically be reduced with proven treatment methods. One of the often forgotten areas is space above false ceiling which is normally unseen and may breed / harbour pests and microbes.

Food Handling Establishments

Consumers have the least tolerance for a pest found in packaged food. The media too seems to have a penchant for such incidents. In spite of the best equipment and quality checks, it is impossible to wish away pests. The only solution is to have a well trained team and constant review of the pest management programme as well as your internal systems.

Documentation should not be relegated as an audit compliance exercise. The records of pests trapped (where and how many), pesticide used, location maps, inspection reports by the PCO – all provide a wealth of information that can help restructure the entire programme. It would be worthwhile to spend time with your PCO every month and review the documents jointly. Note that the PCO is your partner, submitting what is best for you; you have to finally take the call that will make the difference between good and great. As mentioned earlier, have your facility inspected before moving in. As the building ages, the demands on the maintenance increase and it is best to have this factored in your budget rather than be caught unaware mid-year.

One of the most ubiquitous pests in urban buildings today are pest birds, especially pigeons. Yet, very few managements take the lead to exclude this menace. Most audit bodies have zero tolerance for birds on your premises. In many ways, the potential of product contamination is higher with birds than, say, cockroaches. Humane methods of net and spike installation is reliable, proven, and the preferred choice world over. Once installed, the bird-proofing system will keep good for years together with minimal maintenance – well worth the initial investment. Bird menace poses not only health hazards but involves aesthetic issues as well. Nesting and roosting areas become filthy in no time with bird droppings, nesting material, dead birds, etc. Accumulated bird dropping can permanently deface your building; whereas frequent cleaning of the entire facade is also not an easy option.

Other pests include lizards, spiders and harmless creatures of nuisance value. Lizards are attracted by insects and insects by light. Avoid strong illumination in external areas if possible. Yellow light is less attractant and should be installed away from and directed towards the building. Use LED lighting if possible which emits very low or no UV rays. Lizards hide behind light fixtures and in cracks and faults on the walls. Minimize these harbourages.

Roof and normally inaccessible areas should be cleaned on a regular schedule. Include such areas in your inspection schedule to avoid unwanted surprises. A thorough treatment of such areas on a quarterly basis is normally sufficient to keep spiders away.

Corporate Space

Employee health and property upkeep are the main concerns in employee centric areas such as corporate offices, software development centres and BPO’s. Rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes are the Big 3, followed by pest birds, termites and flies. Pest presence in these areas is as much a threat as in the sectors mentioned above. Termites cause untold damage each year. Commercial losses can be extensive if a pest is detected too late. Remember that the damage is already done when you detect termites on the property. A single rat in a wrong place can bring an entire office to a halt.

Advanced equipment can non-invasively detect termite infestation within walls. Termite treatment itself has evolved over the years, using better and safer pesticides. Your building can be treated today with completely odourless products. The chemicals also have a smaller footprint on the environment. Further advancement in technology will completely do away with soil barrier treatment.

Buildings housing large number of employees in air conditioned space also face compromise of air quality. The confined space and 24×7 human presence make a bad combination. It is a good idea to check air samples regularly for microbial count and fungal spores. Good ventilation and humidity control play an important part.

One should accept the inevitability of the fact that pests will keep trying to enter buildings. The robustness of the IPM programme will decide how well you create a pest-hostile environment.

C.S. Chandavarkar
Asst General Manager, Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd

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