Are rats and mice the most destructive pests you can have in the food industry? Read our blog post to understand exactly why rats and mice are so destructive.
With winter approaching pests such as rodents become more prevalent as they look for shelter and food during colder weather. Rats and mice can have a devastating impact on businesses, particularly those operating within the food industry. Not only can they cause an outbreak of food-borne illnesses, due to the diseases they spread, but they can also have a negative effect on brand reputation, operating costs and revenue.
Rentokil commissioned independent research agency Opinion Matters and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to identify the key trends impacting businesses and pest control. The research showed that out of all the different species of pests, rats are one of the most destructive pests for businesses.
Why are rats and mice one of the world’s most destructive pests?
It may or may not surprise you to learn that 49% of businesses report electrical damage caused by rodents. Rats have a pair of continuously growing incisor teeth in both their upper and lower jaw. As a result, they have to continuously gnaw on objects to wear them down and prevent them from becoming too long.
Rats and mice are known to gnaw on electrical cables. Not only is this a major fire hazard when they gnaw through the copper and the wires, but it can also result in the failure of electrical equipment leading to production downtime. The findings from our study showed the true impact rodent infestations can have on a business.
Over a quarter of the businesses we surveyed in the study reported damage to electrical equipment following a rat infestation, with nearly half of them confirming that the damage caused to machinery was directly caused by rats.
For businesses operating in the food processing industry, and in particular food manufacturing facilities, this can have a large impact on the production cycle. Our survey discovered that food-focused businesses lost an average of 8 working days due to rat infestations.
It’s not just the food industry which can be affected by rodents. 20% of all the businesses we surveyed reported machine downtime.
9 Signs of pests in your food processing plant:
In our previous blog “9 Signs of pests in your food processing plant” we looked at 9 signs that you have a pest infestation. These included:
- Damage to packaging
- Animal droppings
- Live infestations
- Rodent runways
- Damage to the fabric of the building
- Mud tubes and mounds outside the building
- Foraged rubbish
- Shed skins, exoskeletons or egg cases
When dealing with rodents especially, here’s what you should look out for in choosing a reputable pest control company:
- Expertise: in the use of professional products and understanding of rodent behaviour
- Recognised training: look for signs of investment in their own training
- Association memberships: to show compliance in the use of registered professional products, in the right manner
- Research & development: look at how the company is innovating and developing products to always ensure it has access to the most effective pest control tools to meet ever changing needs.
- Reviews: observe their overall rating/reviews and the number they receive online. Additionally look at the manner in which they respond to negative reviews.
Visit our website for information on how to get rid of rats or mice on your premises, or download our free e-book for more information on pests in the food industry.
Or book your pest risk assessment with us today, and don't forget to ask our team about our specialists services to help you maintain the integrity of your food processing environment.
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