During the past year, we’ve watched as businesses worldwide struggle to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been preoccupied with this new virus “pest” while neglecting the old ones. But during these troubled times, it’s more important to protect your business from pests than ever before.
Protecting your business during times of change
Business owners and managers have been forced to change operations dramatically. Sometimes, finances are so tight that owners skimp on maintenance, including pest control.
When people start cutting corners, pest management services might seem unnecessary. However, now is the most critical time to make sure that your business is protected from damage by hidden pests.
Now is important because rodents, insects, and other intruders can quickly cause structural damage to homes, warehouses, and offices unless they’re stopped early. It’s also essential to protect food, consumer goods, building materials, and merchandise from being ruined.
Businesses most at-risk for infestations
- Restaurants and food processors
- Hospitality, including hotels and apartments
- Residential property management
How an infestation can impact your business?
Infestations can trigger severe economic problems for businesses and the communities they serve. Here are the possible consequences following an infestation of rodents or insects.
- Financial losses from property damage
- Public relations problems
- Health issues
- Labor complaints
- Legal liability and litigation
- Service interruptions
- Loss of operating permits (restaurants, food processors, and healthcare facilities)
- Lack of customer loyalty
- Service interruptions
Financial losses caused by rodents and insects
Rodents and insects are small creatures, yet they cause enormous damage to businesses each year. For example, government research indicates that annual business losses because of rats and mice are $19 billion in the US alone. In comparison, according to EPA estimates, the annual cost of termite damage in America is about $5 billion.
Apart from outright loss, businesses must also be concerned with contamination and spoiling of food and merchandise. Because of the danger of Hantavirus, especially here in Tucson, Arizona, any merchandise or packaging material contaminated with rodent urine or droppings must be decontaminated or destroyed. [Link to https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html]
Rodents are incredibly destructive to wooden structural members, wiring, and insulation. Business owners and managers also need to be vigilant for fire hazards caused by chewing on wires and electrical components.
A damaged reputation can be worse than damaged merchandise.
You’ve probably experienced that same feeling of disgust when you spot something in a store damaged by insects or rodents – unknown to the business owner. When that happens, it erodes trust and confidence.
After all, if a business allows pests inside its premises, customers will take it as a sign of incompetence and low quality.
Unfortunately, bad news can create permanent consequences even when the underlying problem was temporary. For example, a restaurant where customers spot a roach or mouse might attract attention on social media that eventually leads to an extra inspection by local sanitation authorities.
Instead of trying to repair a damaged reputation later, it’s better to act immediately. The solution is to keep in mind that protecting your company from pests is the only way to remain in business. Take proactive steps instead of waiting until a customer posts a hateful review online.
Health hazards from rodents and insects
Regardless of the financial cost of pests’ damage, the biggest concern is with the health issues they cause. As mentioned earlier, rodents transmit a long list of diseases to humans:
- Bubonic plague
- Hemorrhagic fever
- Lassa fever
- Rat-bite fever
- Colorado tick fever
- Lyme disease
- Relapsing fever
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
- West Nile virus
Rodents can carry diseases themselves, or they can act as a host for other disease-carrying pests like fleas, lice, and mites. Of course, insects also carry deadly diseases, including:
Rodents and insects can sometimes transmit many other viral diseases.
Big problems from little pests
Although most of the attention about food safety is focused on preparing and storing food correctly to reduce germ infections, insects, and rodents’ contamination is even more costly. That’s because the expense of having sick workers and sick customers may be too much for the business to withstand.
Unchecked infestations can result in worker compensation claims, sanctions by public health authorities, and many other headaches. If you see signs of infestations, we can help. Contact us now.