When managing rodents in sensitive accounts, it’s important to ensure that the products being used are appropriate for the situation.
For pest managers who have built their businesses on servicing a residential clientele, making the jump into the commercial sector may seem a little daunting, and requires a shift in mindset and approach. Firstly, it’s important to have a preventative mindset and secondly, safety considerations may become even more critical.
Largely speaking, residential clients hire a professional pest manager to treat an active pest infestation with a pesticide. In contrast, commercial contracts tend to be based on regular servicing and should focus on eliminating conducive conditions, thus preventing pest problems. In working with the client, if conducive conditions are kept to a minimum it will also make it easier to eliminate any pest infestations, should they occur.
When we discuss commercial pest management, it is easy to get into the habit of referring to either commercial kitchens and hospitality accounts, or large-scale, high compliance food manufacturing facilities. Of course, these accounts are of great value to pest managers, but there is plenty more business out there that can be categorised as ‘commercial’.
Schools, aged care facilities, hospitals and retail outlets are all examples of commercial accounts that are often fairly straightforward to service, and can be very lucrative for pest management businesses. However, in such accounts, interactions with members of the public increases and safety considerations come to the fore.
Rodent management in these more sensitive accounts may require a more cautious approach. In such accounts, using a rodenticide bait as a monitoring tool may not be the best course of action. If no evidence of current rodent activity is found during the inspection, using a non-toxic monitoring product such as Detex Blox with Lumitrack from Bell Laboratories (pictured above is a good choice. This will allow effective monitoring for rodents, with the added benefit of establishing a confident feeding behaviour within the bait station, without any risk of a toxic product being accessed by a child or vulnerable person. A rodenticide product should only be installed if rodent activity is detected, and replaced once again with a monitoring block once control is achieved.
Whilst no bait or bait station should ever be installed in a location where it is accessible to children or vulnerable people, the reality is that bait station security is sometimes compromised. Using a high quality, Tier 1 rated, tamper-resistant bait station and a non-toxic monitoring product dramatically reduces the likelihood of any serious harm being done in the event that the station is accidentally accessed.
Tier 1 is a rating applied by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to bait stations that have been proven to achieve the highest level of tamper resistance to children and dogs. Bell Labs manufactures and supplies the Protecta LP, Protecta Evo Ambush, and Protecta Evo Circuit, the only three bait stations available in Australia that meet these criteria.
Servicing sensitive commercial accounts provides not only an additional revenue source, but an opportunity for pest managers to demonstrate their professional expertise by choosing the most suitable products for their clients’ needs.