Pest control is already on the front line of public health around Ireland; given the situation we now find ourselves in it could prove even more essential. The closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and other public places to enforce social distancing will have unintended consequences. Animals are always quick to adapt and, as a result, many pest species will flourish as a direct result of these necessary global measures.
Our general day-to-day activity keeps many pests at bay in our work and leisure environments; pests generally prefer to keep away from human contact and infestations are quickly spotted and dealt with. However, the complete closure of many premises means that we as pest technicians may no longer have access to continue existing pest control plans or deal with a rise in infestations. If pests have adequate food and water and with non toxic bait being widely used within these buildings, populations will quickly escalate.
If food and water are in short supply inside those buildings, pests will disperse in search of them. The lack of public social movement, added to a decrease in cleaning and grounds maintenance, will also embolden pests which are normally keen to keep out of sight; enabling them to flourish. We should expect therefore to see an increase of pests like rats on our streets in search of easy food from litter and bins. This is already happening in some built up areas.
Within our own homes we may see an increase in mice, ants and flies as they too profit from our reduced movement. Ensure you continue to keep your homes and gardens tidy and your rubbish in bins to discourage pests. Avoid stock piling rubbish on the streets, in your shed or back yard.
Currently Pest Control is not listed as an essential service unless it is providing an emergency essential service to an essential service, i.e. hospitals, care homes or food factories. NPTA Ireland is currently working with Government to have this changed.
We must be aware that pests are not constrained by our social distancing measures and will flourish in our absence.Any queries or questions you may have, please call us. We are still at the end of the phone.