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Coronavirus – Pests outbreaks expected

Pests outbreaks expected during the Coronavirus pandemic - Owl pest control Dublin

Globally, Pest control is already at the forefront of public health and has become more challenging over the past year.

Pests can thrive in closed buildings

As pest controllers, we currently do not have access to many establishments: restaurants, hotels, schools, childcare facilities, pubs, many offices and other businesses which are closed to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

Due to these unprecedented closures, pests unfortunately & inevitably take the opportunity of undisturbed access to substantial quantities of foods left in dry stores and canteens. Before long a ‘casual intruder’ will become an infestation that can over time spread to neighbouring premises.

Our society suffers a number of restrictions due to Covid-19. However, we should not forget that whilst we wait for the Coronavirus to dissipate & disappear, pest infestations may be flourishing in this context. As animals & insects quickly adapt to new situations there is no doubt that many pests can thrive under the current situation which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

The concentration of People and Refuse

rats moving around wheelie bins in dublin - owl pest control
Rats moving around wheelie bins (Dublin)

Many people are still obliged to reduce their movements and stay confined at home. While we would normally produce some of our refuse at work, restaurants, and other places we visit throughout the day,  there is a much higher density of refuse at peoples’ residences and most developments don’t have enough refuse bins to cope with the increased volume.

On a daily basis & under normal circumstances, our technicians already treat many rodent issues where refuse or food source is available in developments, shopping centres, restaurants etc. Under these new circumstances, where the accumulation of refuse increases, the level of rodent infestations is rising accordingly.

Building Access for Pest Control Inspections

In the interest of public health & safety, it is vital that premises continue to get regular pest inspections during this restricted period.

Ensuring that there is no adequate food or water source for pests is necessary as are rodent inspections/treatments, in order to prevent rodent issues & eradicate any that do occur before they become serious infestations that may spread to neighbouring premises if unattended.

Along with the expected increase in rodent issues, insects are another significant pest that will thrive in these new conditions.  Some of these are harmful to our health so it is imperative that we avoid as many potential infestations and eradicate any that spring up before they become a serious health hazard/infestation.

As we now have many apartment blocks In Ireland, some pest issues (which have consequences for individuals with compromised health) can spread far more quickly than in residential houses e.g. Cockroaches, Bed bugs, Fruit Flies.

As we strive to overcome the Coronavirus Pandemic, we must address any areas or issues which pose a risk to Public Health & Safety in order to avoid replacing one health threat with another.

Advice for Residents

  • We must all act responsibly, within our homes & in public to ensure that the interior of residences as well as external areas remain clean & maintained regularly. ‘Good housekeeping’ indoors & outdoors will help prevent many issues from becoming a serious problem.
  • Everyone should dispose of their refuse carefully & ensure there is no opportunity for pests to find harbourage in their homes, gardens or workplace.
  • Disinfect wheelie bin handles for personal protection & that of the refuse collector.
  • Keep foodstuff well wrapped & stored inside containers to avoid food source for fruit flies & ants indoors & remove food source outdoors e.g. pet food, bird feeders etc

Pests can become a serious issue globally if restrictions/lack of access prevent us from controlling infestations which would result in a potentially serious impact on human health.

Remember, every action has a consequence – if we act responsibly, maintain public services that are necessary to public health & safety this will have the knock-on effect of reducing the risk of further health issues on an already pressurised health care system.

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