I recently spent a very interesting day out in the field with our Executive Pest Control Sales Consultant, Keren Zeeman. We visited various clients and I experienced a “day in the life of a pest control expert”. Keren and I visited top clients, surveying their premises and spending time with each client to ensure their needs were met with appropriate pest control solutions to get rid of rats, mice and cockroaches.
I really was so impressed by Keren’s level of expertise and how she could just walk into a building and – like a secret service agent – find out where the most secret of hiding places of pests are; places I would have never looked at, such as in filing areas, on electrical wires and in the smallest wall openings! Needless to say, Keren was very clued up on what needed to take place to get rid of pesky pests and immediately prepared a solution for one of her clients, right there and then! I really have never come across anybody so passionate about what they do, and I’m feeling very inspired at the moment.
Below is what it takes to be a pest control expert, as well as a few tips from Keren herself on getting rid of rats and mice.
What do you love the most about Rentokil?
“I love the freedom to be able to talk to so many people about the importance of pest control. I love the services we offer, and the way that the Company [Rentokil] supports me in providing pest control services to our customers, because at the end of the day, we are a family and Rentokil puts people first!”
What do you love the most about pest control?
“Pest control is so amazing; every day is a different challenge. I love the fact that I can visit a client and get rid of the contamination that pests spread and make a difference to their environment for workers, helping them to produce better results.
There are always unexpected situations that present themselves both in terms of pests and people, which means I often have the opportunity to provide creative solutions to our customers. We had supermarkets reporting bed bugs. You would never expect to see a bed bug in a supermarket – but we did! Normally one would find bed bugs in hotels or guest houses, but most pests are imported. They walk, fly or crawl into areas. These bed bugs were carried in via people’s belongings. Bed bugs are nocturnal, but because all staff and customers left the shop after 5 in the afternoon, these bed bugs weren’t getting a blood meal during the evenings, so they had adapted their behaviour to feed earlier by biting customers and staff around 4-5pm – just before closing time. “
“That’s what I love about pest control, you learn so much. There are things you would never have thought of, and situations you never thought could happen!” Karen exclaims. “Every day is a challenge. Every customer is different and every site has a different need. I love helping our customers in getting rid of pests and presenting solutions to prevent pest infestations in helping them meet their audits and ensuring that they are satisfied with the service provided.”
What pests are most prominent in Johannesburg, and why?
“Rats are most prominent due to poor service delivery, especially in rural areas and populated towns. There is no management of pests by the government in those areas and also because there aren’t any resources for pest control services, making the resistance for rodents entering an area very low. Rats are also building up resistance to general over-the-counter pesticides, and also breed at a very rapid rate in urban areas. Constant education is vital. Being aware of the dangers that pests pose makes such a difference in curbing pest control infestation”.
Rodents are attracted to warm indoor harbourages during the winter time. What are your top tips to get rid of rats and mice; and prevent their entry?
“Treating burrows in outdoor areas is vital. It is important to make use of a first generation rodenticide to avoid secondary poisoning. Rodents will gain entry indoors via outdoor areas and the chances that they decide to stay indoors (under your roof!) are very likely.” Learn more about the signs of a rat infestation.
As a first step in DIY pest control, Keren recommends rats and mice need to be excluded from the premises in the first place. “Proof the building and close up all the holes that they can enter through. Be sure to place weather strips underneath doors and cover areas where there are broken roof tiles or ceiling boards, and also cover drains or overhead wires as rats gain entry through trees or electrical wires that lead to indoor areas. Also be sure to cut down any overhead hanging trees that can encourage rodents to move indoors.” Find out more about other rodent proofing techniques you can implement to get rid of rats and mice in your home.
“Secondly, be sure to restrict rodents to acquire access to food, water or indoor harbourage. Make sure that the rubbish bin lids are sealed tightly and separate your dry waste from your wet waste. If the harbourage is safe and undisturbed, they will nest there”, Keren advises. “Be sure to regularly tidy up in areas where this can take place. For example, if you have a lot of material in your garage, be sure to rotate it regularly as well as re-pack and air goods.”
“Housekeeping activities and proofing is vital and really plays an important role in preventing entry of rodents”, Keren says. “If there are no food or entry points, then rodents are forced to go elsewhere.”
If the above two rat control tactics don’t work, then it is time to call in our experts who will put in a solution to get rid of rats and mice on your premises, using rodent bait stations that contain wax bait blocks (a safe way of housing the rat poison). The rat control products used by Rentokil are first generation rodenticides, as mentioned previously, so they are safe to use around your family and pets.
What a lovely day it was, and I must say now that I am armed with tips on how I can practice DIY pest control, I am sure many a rodent will now think twice before they enter my premises!