COVID-19 has impacted all of us. We are washing our hands, keeping a farther distance to one another, and cleaning surfaces more frequently, than we used to just a few years ago. We try our best to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading – but what about other viruses and bacteria? This blog post is about why pest prevention is an important part pest control for the sake of our health. As a pest control operator (PCO) you’ll be familiar with the health risks involved when working with pests, but what type of tools are you using for pest prevention?
Pest bacteria in our foods
If pests come in contact with the food we eat, then there’s a high risk that they can transmit bacteria and diseases to us. From time to time rats and mice find their way into businesses or homes in the search of food, carrying diseases that can make people be very ill by eating contaminated food. Pest control and especially pest prevention is vitally important in connection with all production and preparation of food.
Rodents typically spread disease to people through their urine or feces; in one gram of feces, there can be up to ¼ million bacteria. There’s a considerable risk that rats and mice can contaminate our food with dangerous microorganisms. In addition to rodents, other pests like flies, cockroaches, and wasps also contribute further to the spread of bacteria. In pest control, maintaining pest prevention is just as important as control.
What types of diseases can rodents transmit to us?
Rodents can carry many different diseases many of which can be transmitted to people such as:
- Weil’s disease
As a PCO you work in many challenging environments, especially when you are handling or checking rodent traps. When handling used traps there is always a risk of getting. Therefore, as a PCO you should be aware, if you get a fever, stomach or back pain, after handling traps. It can cause severe and serious illness, but most make a full recovery.
Most people know about the virus, as it is often associated with food poisoning. Rodents can carry salmonella, and good preventive pest control is especially important on farms in order to avoid a salmonella outbreak. Another disease that also often appears on farms is Weil’s disease, which is transmitted from rats to humans, through rat’s urine. This can happen for example, if sewage water contaminates the houses in connection with heavy rain. As a PCO working with pest control equipment and in an environment where rats are active, you should also be aware that if you have cuts on your hands, this is also a way to get Weil’s disease.
Pest control operators, farmers, butchers, and veterinarians have often exposed hantavirus, salmonella, and Weil’s disease because they are often in environments in which these diseases occur. Pest prevention is therefore just as important as pest control in order to create good, healthy environments for people to be in.
Why pest prevention?
There are many good reasons for pest prevention. Rodents can spread disease and damage your houses and building structures, like wires and electric cables. In businesses, they can damage goods and machinery and contaminate food, equipment, and packaging. When you work as a PCO, you are probably using gloves and trying your best to protect yourself. What tools are you using for pest prevention for mice, rats, and other pests?
Many PCOs are using digital traps for pest prevention because rodenticides are illegal to use for prevention of pests
Traps are a tool for pest prevention programs as they can give you “early warning” of rodent activity, allowing you to act before the situation escalates further. You also minimize the health risks associated with rodent control because you do not have to check empty traps, exposing yourself unnecessarily. With TrapMe you also get a digital portal, giving you an overview of whether there is a catch or not. The digital trap has a battery life of 3 years, it is built for professional pest control operators and easy to set up. When you are using TrapMe you have 24/7 surveillance of trap activity, saving time and transport. When a rat is caught, you can easily follow any further activity in that area and take action immediately.
Are you in doubt about using digital traps? Read more about the pros and cons of snap traps, rodenticide, and digital traps
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