24 Jul Why Integrated Pest Management Makes Sense for Your Business
Insects, rodents and other pests can be much more than a nuisance if you run a business.
Did you know they can also hurt your bottom line?
According to a 2015 estimate, pests increased operating costs by about $5.3 billion for businesses in the United States. In addition, US organizations lost another $10.3 billion in revenue because of pest infestations.
Let’s take a look at some other ways pests could affect your business and how you can fight back with an integrated pest management program.
Why Do You Need a Pest Management Plan?
Organizations across a wide range of industries face a high risk of pest infestation due to a large number of harborage areas, and in many cases, the presence of food and water:
- Food service
- Food processing
- Educational institutions
- Healthcare organizations
- Office buildings
- Property management
From health and safety hazards, to reputational damage, to fines from government inspection agencies, there are many ways in which a pest problem can affect your business.
A 2015 survey revealed that 90% of businesses in the United States had experienced at least one pest infestation in the past 5 years, with 43% suffering more than three. Organizations had dealt with an average of 2.8 separate infestations.
Managers reported a number of different ways in which pests had affected their organizations:
- Negative impact on staff morale — 36%
- Increased maintenance and repair costs — 25%
- Damage to equipment, materials or finished goods which leads to replacement costs — as much as 18% depending on the industry
Respondents indicated high or moderate levels of concern with the these and other pest-related issues:
- Compensation claims/fines — 66% high or moderate concern
- Loss of reputation — 65%
- Damage to electrical equipment — 53%
- Loss of income — 53%
- Impact on staff morale or health — 45%
- Loss of stock — raw or finished materials — 43%
How Does Integrated Pest Management Work?
For many organizations, pest control means simply reaching for a can of bug spray every time an unwanted insect appears, or calling an exterminator as a last resort.
But given the extensive harm that pests can cause, more businesses are discovering the benefits of taking a more proactive approach by establishing an integrated pest management program (or IPM system).
The idea is to start with pest prevention to reduce the risk of infestations, regular pest inspection by a professional pest control company, and early interventions when infestations do occur.
Here are a few simple preventive pest control measures your organization can take:
- Make structural adjustments. Seal all cracks and close off entry points around utility lines and pipes. Silicone caulk and steel wool are good products to use.
- Conduct regular indoor inspections. Pay special attention to common harborage areas, such as storage rooms, equipment centers and locker rooms. Look for droppings and other signs of infestation.
- Focus on waste management. Open garbage cans are like sending out a VIP pass to pests to enter your building. Keep all garbage in tightly sealed containers, and have containers and dumpsters emptied frequently.
- Make sure your building has proper drainage. Gutters should channel water away from the building.
- Keep up with regular cleaning. Sanitation is particularly important for high traffic areas, break rooms and kitchenettes.
- Minimize areas conducive to pest activity. These may include clutter, debris, open trash, standing water and overgrown vegetation.
In addition to these simple day-to-day practices, it’s also a good idea to hire a licensed pest control company to help you keep unwanted visitors away.
- Make sure your service provider is a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association.
- Ask for references from other clients.
- Understand your service agreement. What specific pests are included? What pest control methods will be used? Is the service backed by a guarantee?
- Pest control service should begin with a thorough audit of your property to identify which types of pests are present and where they are located.
Do you have questions about keeping your business pest-free?
Get in touch with Fight the Bite. We’ll provide helpful information for reducing your risk of an infestation and getting rid of pests that are already present.