Pest Control

A comprehensive guide about pest control, how to perform pest control inspections, how to keep employees safe, and the benefits of pest control in different industries

Published 22 Jul 2021

What is Pest Control?

Pest control is a process or procedure that prevents and eradicates pest infestation. It helps maintain the structural condition of the property and promote a healthy environment. Pest control can be executed through exclusion, repulsion, physical removal, or chemical means.

Benefits of Pest Control

Pest control is an efficient way to prevent pests that can potentially cause health issues and structural damage on property.  Controlling the infestation can mitigate the risks of costly repairs and other health-related issues. Pest control can help property owners to

  • determine pest activity and identify the causes of the infestation;
  • keep a safe and healthy working environment for employees and customers;
  • minimize the potential of acquiring pest-borne diseases;
  • keep out unwanted guests such as termites, ants, cockroaches, and others that can cause company reputational damage; and
  • eliminate damage to physical assets caused by pests.

The 3 Most Common Types of Pests

Unknowingly, pest infestations can happen in any area of a property, including the perimeter, basement, indoor areas, ceiling, etc. Pest inspections can help licensed pest control professionals identify potential pest problems and design control strategies. The most common types of pests identified during inspections are the following:

Termites

Termites abound in areas where there is wood, plaster, metal siding, and insulation, and where the climate is ideal for their nests. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites caused over $5 billion in property damage annually in the United States alone. Termites eat into the very structure of the property including support beams, floor joints, posts, ceiling joists, and wall studs.

One of the most common ways to determine termite infestation is to check for swarming. Swarming happens during the spring when winged termites emerge inside the property. A termite inspection is recommended to ensure that, if there are termites present in the property, infestation can be controlled immediately. A termite inspection can be conducted by property owners or facility managers by visually inspecting the area with the help of a termite inspection checklist.

Termite Inspection Checklist

A termite inspection checklist is used to find evidence of termite infestation. It helps inspect the critical areas, different points of entry, and exterior and interior of the property. It is used to proactively catch an infestation before more serious damage takes place.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are difficult to spot due to their small size but are generally found in locations often occupied by people, since they strive to be near a food source. Hotel rooms, apartments, college dorms, residential bedrooms, and even office buildings, are susceptible to bed bug infestations. As NPMA reported, 1 in 5 Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their homes or knew someone who has encountered bed bugs in a hotel.

Bed bug bites can leave behind itchy, red welts, and can increase health risk for a secondary infection as a result of scratching. Small, reddish stains of dried blood on bedsheets are a sign of bedbug infestation. To prevent the spread, perform bed bug inspections immediately and prepare bed bug reports to apply corrective actions as soon as possible.

Bed Bug Report

A bed bug report is prepared by professional bed bug exterminators, facility maintenance personnel, or housekeeping staff members to provide a comprehensive room inspection report. It helps assess the facility for signs of infestation and provides recommendations to take swift action to resolve the issue before it turns into a full-blown infestation.

Rodents

Rodents can enter through property holes, pipelines, or cracks found in floors, walls, and foundations. It can consume or contaminate about 20% of the world’s food supply and can cause serious diseases such as Rat-bite fever, Salmonella, Trichinosis, Murine Typhus, Plague, and Leptospirosis.

Rodents can cause serious property damage including fire by chewing wires and spilling flammable or hazardous chemicals. These problems can be eliminated by maintaining a clean facility and adhering to safe food storage guidelines.

Food Safety Checklist

A food safety checklist is used to monitor employees if they are following food safety procedures to ensure goods are properly stored, handled, and prepared. It aids facility teams to assess business’ compliance with food safety regulations to prevent any food contamination due to rodents or other pests.

Importance of Pest Control in Different Industries

Pest control is a vital service that protects homes, families, and businesses from a variety of diseases. It helps to locate the root cause of the pest infestation and stop the spread of diseases brought by unwanted pests. The following industries benefit from using the service.

Food Industry

Pests carry foodborne pathogens that can contaminate food and food contact surfaces which can lead to serious food poisoning. Unable to control pest infestation can damage business reputation, costly sanitation regulatory fines, lawsuit, or even fatality.

The presence of pests in the food industry premises reflects poor hygiene and low food safety standards that could drift customers away from the business. Ensure cleanliness and maintain hygienic and organized facilities with the use of a cleaning checklist.

Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

A commercial kitchen cleaning checklist is used to assess if a commercial kitchen follows standard cleaning protocols. It aids kitchen managers during inspections to ensure kitchen equipment is properly cleaned and sanitized before and after use.

Agriculture

Pest control plays a vital role in protecting the food supply and public health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have prepared a list to identify pests of significant public health importance.

Perform agriculture inspection to assess the operations involved in food production agriculture such as farming to ensure compliance with laws and quality standards. This would help identify and monitor the presence of harmful diseases, chemical residues, and pest infestations in produce to control it immediately. Unable to secure the safety of agricultural products can result in legal ramifications such as costly fines or plant shutdown.

Agriculture Safety Inspection Checklist

An agriculture safety inspection checklist is designed to check the health and safety programs, workplace conditions, and hazards specific to farms and ranches. It helps monitor if pesticides are used according to good application practices.

Real Estate

Real estate properties are prone to pest infestation, including cockroaches, termites, and rodents, that could affect the overall structural integrity of the property. Pest control services can help ease the pain of property owners by exterminating these unwanted pests to avoid severe property damage.

Home inspections could help assess the physical condition of a property or building. It can identify any actual or potential structural issues and damage caused by pest infestation. Performing home inspections would help property owners foresee areas that need urgent repairs.

Home Inspection Checklist

A home inspection checklist aids home inspectors when performing a visual check of the entire property. It helps to thoroughly inspect the property including grounds, structure, exterior, roof, windows, doors, interior, rooms, and other sections of the home.

Hospitality

The presence of pests in the hospitality industry can be a big turnoff for customers. It can cause bad reviews and poor customer retention which can lead to profit loss. Pest control is paramount to ensure the entire property is free from pest infestation.

Maintaining hotel cleanliness is a big factor to lower the risk of future infestations. The use of hotel checklists can help to improve the quality of hotel amenities and services. Perform inspection before guests check-in and after checking out to ensure the room follows hotel standards to provide guests a high level of service.

Hotel Room Checklist

A hotel room checklist is used by housekeeping staff to maintain the guest room’s cleanliness. It helps ensure mattresses and couches are free from bed bugs and all items in the room are operational.

Pest Control Safety

Safety is paramount in every business, and pest control is not an exception. Here are some important reminders to ensure the safety of employees when using pest control chemicals or other hazardous substances.

  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Ensure proper training on chemical handling, storing, and disposing
  • Use EPA approved chemicals and do not mix them with other substances unless instructed
  • Read chemical labels before usage
  • Use the right chemicals for indoors and outdoors 
  • Keep a record of the collected data

To get started, we have prepared pest control safety checklists that could guide pest control professionals to ensure their safety.

Pest Control Checklist

A pest control checklist is a tool that can assist inspectors during property inspections. It can help identify or look for signs of pest activity and determine whether these areas have signs or evidence that pests are nesting and need treatment.

PPE Inspection Checklist

A PPE inspection checklist is used to select the appropriate equipment to reduce hazards identified at work. It would help ensure PPE will last for a long time with minimum degradation. It aids pest control professionals to comply with safety regulations.

Chemical Handling, Storage and Disposal Checklist

This checklist is used to ensure employees are following proper handling, storing, and disposal of hazardous chemical substances. It helps assess employees if they are trained in safe procedures when working with hazardous chemicals.

Job Sheet Template

A job sheet template is used to document the key tasks performed onsite and obtains the required client sign-off upon completion. It helps record the materials and cost of the works performed and the details of additional works required.

Get Started with iAuditor as Pest Control Software

Pest control service is vital in different industries, and technology plays an important role in transforming the way they do business. A cost-efficient digital solution like iAuditor by SafetyCulture can streamline the workflow of pest control inspections and can lead to the improvement of many processes.

Get started with iAuditor as pest control software to oversee and manage property conditions easily. It can help save time capturing photo evidence in-app using a mobile device and create reports easily right after the inspection with just a tap of a finger.

Taking advantage of this flexible pest control software, enables property managers to identify issues immediately and experience these benefits:

  • spot pest infestation before they get worse and address it immediately;
  • easy collaboration with other professionals within the organization;
  • make standardization easy;
  • effectively control health and safety risks; and
  • strengthen preventive efforts with improved data management.
SafetyCulture Content Specialist

Jona Tarlengco

Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.

Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.