Summer is an opportunity to touch base with clients, ensuring IPM strategies are in place ready for the cooler months ahead. 

The summer months are not usually considered peak rodent season in Australia – when the temperature is high and food is plentiful, rodents are less likely to seek harbourage in and around buildings compared with the cooler months. However, that is not to say that rodent control is not necessary in the summer. Rodents are active year round, and when sustenance is readily available, they breed all year round too. Anybody that works in commercial pest control knows that servicing must continue all 12 months of the year.

Servicing a commercial site is about much more than simply checking bait stations and replacing or replenishing bait if needed. As all good pest managers know, the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) highlight that there is much more to rodent management then just trying to kill active infestations. Providing detailed recommendations to your customers gives them more value for your service, and it could help to prevent an active infestation from ever occurring on their premises, and if it does, your recommendations could make it easier to manage.

When making recommendations to commercial clients, it is always a good idea to explain what the problem is, why it is a problem, and what should be done to rectify the situation. It might seem obvious to you, as an experienced pest manager, but your client may not understand the link, for example, between a missing drain grid and rodents in the building. Recommendations should be made in writing, but also discussed verbally with your client, and if possible, they should be shown the areas that you are referring to.

During summer, whilst the local rodent pressure is likely to be at its lowest, is the perfect time to communicate recommendations with the client.

That gap under the door? Seal it with some bristle strip now, to avoid issues as the months get cooler.

The long grass along the back of the warehouse? Get it cut back or sprayed; it is offering harbourage to rodents and potentially hiding burrows.

The leaking pipe? That is a water source. Rats need to drink, so recommend your client fix the leak as to not make it any easier for rodents than it needs to be.

These simple recommendations are a great add on sale for your business, and only take a few minutes – and could save you a great deal of hassle in the long term.

At any type of account, it is always easier to be proactive about rodent control than reactive. Installation of bait stations around the three lines of defence – the fence line, the external perimeter and the internal perimeter – should give the pest manager the upper hand. If you see signs of activity, you are in a better position to intercept the rodents before they become established in the premises, potentially stopping an infestation before it starts. In addition, having bait stations already installed prevents a neophobic reaction when treating rats. Using Detex Blox with Lumitrack in bait stations will also help you to trace the movements of rodents, which will make eradicating them a simpler process.

Despite all of our best efforts and recommendations, sometimes problem infestations can and do occur. There is no need to panic, Bell Laboratories’ Australasian Technical Services team are available to help. From over the phone advice, to site visits, Bell is your go-to team for rodent control assistance, training and troubleshooting. Andy Knox, Samuel Wood and Ken Parry can be contacted through the Bell website.