Pest Management during COVID-19

It’s important not to neglect pest control during the current coronavirus pandemic, especially if you are in the food and hospitality sectors. If you are still operating, you are likely under a lot of pressure and may find it difficult to keep up with anything other than production. We can take the stress away by dealing with your pest control so you can concentrate on what’s important.

 If you have had to close your business due to government guidance, pest control is still important. Empty properties are at a higher risk of infestation as there is no one there to monitor things and the pests are free to enter and explore.

We understand that many of you are facing financial difficulties, and an uncertain future, but we would like to help you through this period. We can create a plan to ensure that you stay pest-free and compliant, possibly saving you higher costs in the long run.

We also provide all kinds of biohazard cleaning and disinfectant services for homes, gyms, offices, hospitals, schools, food manufacturing and large warehouses including space fumigation, desk, and computer cleaning and surface disinfectant.

Please get in touch to see how we can help – 01757 212727 – sales@shieldpest.co.uk

How to Keep Your Business Pest Free

There are several different types of pest that can cause havoc in food businesses, from ants, flies and birds to cockroaches, mice and rats.

Whether you prepare, serve, sell or store food, keeping your premises pest-free is an ongoing task that needs to be kept on top of. Not having a proper plan in place can lead to infestations and damage, as well as causing you to lose stock and money, as well as risking your reputation.

There are steps you can take to keep your business pest free, some are things you can do yourself and are common sense. Others need a professional pest management company to handle, pest control is not something that should be attempted by untrained people as it is nowhere near as effective.

  • Check all windows and doors for gaps and damage, and get them fixed immediately to prevent pests from accessing the premises. This is especially important during winter as pests will be looking for food and shelter when it’s cold outside and food is scarce. Unless you are handy with tools it’s best to get this done professionally to ensure the work lasts. It will also show environmental health that you are serious about maintaining high standards.
  • If you have to keep doors and windows open it is advisable to fix fly screens over them. These are available in all sizes and in a variety of styles to suit different business’s needs. They are essential in the fight against flying insects.
  • To prevent birds from nesting and causing damage/ leaving mess in and around your property you can have bird-netting installed where they are likely to perch.
  • It goes without saying that anywhere that prepares and stores food must be kept spotlessly clean to prevent attracting pests. Clear up any spillages immediately and empty bins regularly.
  • Ensure food is stored securely in airtight containers with well-fitting lids. Replace any that are damaged immediately, it only takes a tiny split for an infestation to start.
  • Keep your outside area clean and free of spillages, and check regularly for signs of pests, including droppings and damage.
  • Having a pest management plan in place is essential to keep compliant with current regulations. This ensures that regular checks are made, any issues are dealt with and everything is recorded.
plastic door screen

How can Shield help?

Shield are experts in keeping businesses pest-free and have many years of experience with both food-related and non-food establishments. We have our own bespoke reporting system, ShieldNet, that provides detailed and user-friendly reporting and trending of your pest management requirements, which saves time and stress. It provides real-time information 24/7 so you can rest assured that your premises are getting the best protection.

How to choose a Pest Management company

Choosing a pest management company isn’t as simple as you might think. There are several different things to take into consideration when looking for help with pest control. Our handy guide should help you make an informed decision.

  • Accreditations – These show a high level of workmanship, as they have to work to the standards set by the associations. Good examples are BPCA (British Pest Control Association), CRRU (Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use) and NPTA (National Pest Technicians Association). See our accreditations here.
  • Experience – Look at how long the business has been operating and what sort of businesses they work with. The more experience the better, as they will have the expertise to give you the best service possible
  • Reputation – Any pest management company worth its salt will have an unrivalled reputation within the industry, and will undoubtedly be recommended by its current clients. This goes a long way and helps give peace of mind to potential new customers
  • Location – This is often a major consideration, as a local company will be able to offer a faster service, especially in an emergency. They are more aware of the local issues and the local environment
  • Cost – Again, a consideration that may affect who you choose to work with. Larger, national companies may charge less but you won’t get the same level of service or that personal touch that comes from working with a local company.
  • Testimonials – Look at what other people say about their services, whether they are happy with them and offer a recommendation.

Get in touch

If you are in need of pest management services get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. We are fully insured, highly trained and have many years of experience. We would be happy to provide you with testimonials from satisfied clients. Give us a call on 01757 212727 or drop us an email at sales@shieldpest.co.uk.

Winter Pests

The pests you need to be wary of in the winter months are mice, rats, flies and cockroaches. As the weather gets colder they start to look for warm places to nest and multiply.

Mice and rats

These rodents will enter businesses as the weather cools down and their natural food sources dry up. They are particularly attracted to food storage and preparation areas, so if you run a café, restaurant, hotel, bakery or other food-related business you need to be wary of these potential pests. Once they find access to food they will soon help themselves to whatever is available.

Rats and mice are very destructive and will gnaw through walls, wires and pipes, causing untold damage. Rats especially have extremely strong teeth and have been known to chew through brick and concrete, causing structural damage.

Flies and cockroaches

During the winter months you are less likely to see flies and cockroaches, mainly because they are attracted to warmth, and will soon set up home and rapidly multiply if left unchecked.

They are a particular nuisance to service industries such as hotels, restaurants and hospitals, where they are well-known for spreading diseases and germs.

cockroach

How to deal with an infestation

As with all pests at any time of the year, it is important to check the outside of your property for any obvious access points including damaged mortar, wood or door seals. The smallest hole can become very enticing to a cold and hungry insect or rodent.

Ensure that all outdoor areas are kept clean and any spills of food are cleaned up immediately. Keep bins securely covered and if possible don’t store them next to your property. Make sure they are emptied regularly to reduce the risk of rotting food smells attracting unwanted visitors.

It is also important to check areas that aren’t in constant use for any signs of infestation.

Keep indoor food preparation areas clean and wipe any spills or mess up immediately. Keep food securely stored in air-tight containers in cupboards or fridges to deter any pests.

Make sure you have a regular cleaning routine in place to keep on top of things and reduce the risk of pests gaining access to your property.

If you have any concerns about winter pests and would like to discuss preventative measures, or you have an infestation that needs dealing with, give us a call on 01757 212727 or drop us an email at sales@shieldpest.co.uk.

Autumn Pests To Look Out For

As the weather starts to turn cooler, many pests will look for places to get out of the cold. If you run any kind of commercial business that deals with food, either storing, preparing or serving, it’s essential that you know what autumn pests you may encounter. Knowing how to prevent a pest infestation is key to keeping your property compliant with hygiene regulations.

Rats and Mice

Rodents will naturally gravitate to buildings at this time of year as they seek warmth and food. They are attracted to foodstuffs, smells of cooking, stored food and waste food are all likely to get their attention. Checking your property regularly for possible entry points is a good idea, as you may also spot signs of activity such as droppings and teeth marks. Keep any outside waste bins securely covered up to prevent rodents from accessing them, and make sure any spills are cleaned up straight away. If any bins are damaged, replace them as quickly as possible. Inside your premises, the same rules apply; check for access points that may not be visible from the outside, keep food securely stored, and clean up any spills immediately.

Ants

At this time of year ants will be starting to stockpile food for the winter, so will seek out easy places to get food. Entry points are more difficult to spot due to their size, but there will usually be a pile of dirt where they have excavated a tunnel. They work as a team so if ants have invaded your property you will invariably see a line of ants going to and from the food source. As with rodents, keeps food secured and keep your premises spotlessly clean. Use disinfectant as the smell will deter ants from entering the building.

autumn pests - ants

Flies

No-one wants a fly infestation to affect their business as the repercussions can be far-reaching. Closure, loss of revenue and the effect it can have on your reputation can be disastrous to food-related businesses. To prevent flies from entering your property cleanliness is the key. Flies are attracted to warmth and food and can breed very fast, so putting preventative measures in place really does pay dividends.

autumn pests - flies

How can we help

In the unfortunate event that you find yourself with a pest infestation speed is key, so get in touch immediately. Our highly-trained staff will visit your premises to identify the scale of the problem and will work with you to create a tailored plan to deal with the pests. We are audit compliant and provide detailed reports at all stages of our work to ensure you are kept informed of the work carried out. We work with many large organisations and have years of experience so you can rest assured that with Shield you are in safe hands.

Ongoing preventative treatment

Once your pest problem is cleared up we offer a regular plan to keep you pest-free. This includes regular visits to carry out risk assessments, check on housekeeping and identify any possible issues that could lead to a recurrence of pest infestations. Our reporting tool, ShieldNet, means all parties are kept updated on visits and actions carried out or required.

Contact us today

Don’t leave it until you have a pest problem, get in touch today to see how Shield can help you stay compliant. Don’t risk your reputation or your business, call us on 01757 212727 or email sales@shieldpest.co.uk

Fly Control for Businesses

Fly control

Flies are one of the most prevalent pests to be found in homes and businesses, more so in the summer months. They pose a huge risk to human health and can spread diseases such as Salmonella and E. Coli.

If you run or manage a food business, whether it’s a pub, restaurant, hotel, bakery, food factory or anywhere that handles or serves food, you can’t afford a pest infestation. Not only will you lose revenue but your reputation will take a hit, particularly with social media! One damaging post can see you shut down for good.

How to Spot a Fly Infestation

There are many fly species, some more common than others, but they can all pose a threat to your business so it is important to know what the signs of a fly infestation are.

  • Seeing flies in your property
  • Small dark spots on surfaces, clusters about the size of a pinhead
  • Maggots – this could be an indication of breeding

If you see any of these signs it is important that you take action quickly before it gets out of hand. While DIY fly products may help you catch the flies, professional help will be required to eradicate any eggs or larvae. Some species of fly mature from egg to adult in only 7 days, creating a huge problem for food production businesses.

The risks of a fly infestation are

  • Spreading of disease
  • Food contamination
  • Loss of licence
  • Loss of business and damage to reputation

Expert Help is at Hand

Before it becomes a huge problem, call in the experts. We will help identify the problem, remove potential breeding grounds and ensure the flies are eliminated.

BPCA logo

Our BPCA trained technicians will identify the fly species, as they all have different characteristics and are attracted to different foods. We will deal with the adult flies with the correct safe and effective treatments and also deal with any breeding areas such as bins and open food packages or badly stored food.

We offer a cleanup service to remove any trace of the infestation, making sure you are able to pass hygiene inspections and not lose business or your reputation.

It is important to keep on top of pest control so we offer training in basic pest management; how to identify pests, how to prevent pests from entering the building and how to maintain a cleaning schedule to keep your premises scrupulously clean.

Inspection

Our aftercare packages offer pest prevention treatments and regular checks to maintain a pest-free environment.

We have many years’ experience in the pest management industry and maintain our excellent reputation by keeping our staff highly trained in all aspects of pest control, legislation and products available.

Contact us today to discuss any issues you may have, or to put preventative measures in place.

Call us on 01757 212727 or email sales@shieldpest.co.uk

Summer Pests in Commercial Food businesses

With summer in full swing, it’s essential to keep on top of your hygiene routines, no matter how overworked or short-staffed you are.

Summer is the prime season for pests invading food preparation and serving premises; factories, warehouses, cafes & restaurants, hotels, deli’s and even supermarkets and hospitals are all at risk from pest infestation and should be extra vigilant. Bacteria from pests can cause gastroenteritis from salmonella and listeria.

What pests to look out for

Pests, including ants, rats, cockroaches and pigeons, can all be found in food preparation, storing and serving establishments, so it’s important to know what the warning signs of an infestation are.

  • Rats – You will see droppings, teeth marks, scratches, an unpleasant odour and will most likely see footprints if they inhabit a dusty surface.
  • Ants – The most obvious sign is the actual insects themselves in their telltale line of workers. (They leave a trail of pheromones to help them get back to the food.)
  • Pigeons – Again, the most obvious sign is the pigeons taking up residence on roofs and ledges around your property, with the associated droppings and noise. They nest and cause damage to buildings as well as scavenge for food in bins.
  • Cockroaches – If you have a cockroach problem you will see droppings and may notice an oily, musty odour. You may also see egg cases in dark corners.

The risk to your business

The cost to your business of a pest invasion can be huge. Not only is there the risk of food contamination, and the associated loss of having to throw it away, but there is the loss of revenue when you sort out the problem.

Of course, the worst cost is the risk to your reputation if it becomes public knowledge that you’ve had an infestation. I’m sure you’ve all seen news articles about food businesses having to close because of pests, and with the rise of social media that can be fatal to any business.

So what can you do?

Call in an expert pest control company like Shield, who will take control and help eradicate the problem.

Our BPCA certified inspector will do a full audit of the property to determine the correct procedure, the will then decide on a treatment plan. You will be kept informed about costs at all times.

Once the treatment plan is agreed we will set to work, all work is recorded on our online reporting system ShieldNet, which you will be able to access, and if necessary use as proof to your insurance company or trading standards officers of work carried out.

Once the pests are dealt with we offer a maintenance package to prevent re-infestation, which includes regular inspections and training staff in basic pest control. We also offer a specialist cleaning service to remove all traces of pests and prevent their return.

Tips to prevent re-infestation

  • Keep work surfaces spotlessly clean
  • Sweep floors at least twice a day
  • Block access points
  • Ensure food is stored securely
  • Use antibacterial products, particularly where ants have laid a trail.

If you have any questions or need us to come and carry out an audit of your business get in touch today – Call 01757 212727 or email sales@shieldpest.co.uk

Keith

What to do if you spot pests

Professional, effective and compliant Pest Control from Shield Pest Management

Whether you manage a small kitchen, storage warehouse or major food manufacturing site, chances are you will encounter the need for pest management at some point. Whatever pests you come across, we have the expertise to eradicate them, prevent them from returning and help to keep you compliant.

Time is of the essence

If you suspect you have a pest issue, give Shield a call. We understand how important it is to keep your business free of pests and deal with any issues professionally, effectively and with the minimum of fuss. If you are an audited client, we provide the specialist knowledge you need through our fully compliant Integrated Pest Management service.

What pests to look out for

Mice and rats, flies and stored product insects are all major pests in the UK food production and preparation industry.  Ideally, you should have at least one member of staff who is familiar with pest management and knows the warning signs of an infestation. If not, we offer training in basic pest awareness that covers subjects like types of pest, legislation, prevention and how we control pests.

Affects of pest infestation

The impact on any business affected by a pest infestation can be huge; from loss of reputation to failed audits, non-compliance and financial loss.

Pests can damage property, infest stock and produce and cause you to fall foul of food safety regulations risking improvement notices and even prosecution. 

So what can you do…

Call in the real experts! Shield Pest Management is a local, family run business with many years’ experience working in the commercial pest sector. All of our staff are highly trained in the latest techniques and products and our fully qualified technicians and field biologists will ensure that your business remains pest free. Our Integrated Pest Management approach provides an environmentally aware service that protects every aspect of your operation whilst offering compliance to BRC, Soil Association, M&S and many more. Our reports are prepared in great detail, using either paper-based folders or our unique site-tailored online tool providing peace of mind that your operation is protected.

Keeping pest free

Our web-based service tracker constantly analysis our service so we never miss a visit or a call-out. All aspects of our visits are recorded in detail with relevant photographs including our findings, recommendations, actions taken, products used and preventative measures put in place. We offer regular site reviews and strive to be your trusted pest control partner.

Interested? Then contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Shield Pest Management-your trusted partner.