Watching the pandemic unfold has been surreal, to say the least. Individuals and families across the world have taken pause to consider priorities. From prioritizing budgets to time spent, people are making adjustments being across the board. The CISA memo lists exterminators as essential services, but how does pest control fit into the Covid-19 epidemic?
Why is Pest Control an Essential Service
Outside of a few entertaining movies and shows, pest control is not a glamorous industry, but it is important. Pest control is heavily involved behind the scenes of many places people don’t think about frequently.
Pest control starts at the farms where food is grown and raised. From the farm, pest control is an integral part of the supply chain from raw ingredients to protecting final shipments to stores. The pests targeted change as the food takes different forms, but it is part of the same overall control process.
Most people don’t consider it, but medical sites are large targets for pests. From parasitic bed bugs to mice wanting to eat what sick people throw in the trash, pests have plenty of opportunities. Not surprising, the tolerable threshold for pests in medical buildings is much lower than most other buildings. Hospital managers are keenly aware of the dangers that pest offer with regard to transferring disease from one place or patient to another.
As world efforts focus on flattening the curve, there are more factors at play than just social distancing and test kits. The focal points of all of the efforts are ensuring hospital capacity can handle the number of severe cases. Unfortunately, other diseases do not stop while the pandemic ensues. Diseases such as:
- Dengue Fever
- Lyme Disease.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- West Nile Virus.
- Yellow Fever
all continue to threaten populations where pests are not kept in check. By keeping general control efforts in place, the threat of pest borne diseases taking available hospital beds is reduced.
Are pests likely to spread Covid-19?
Research on this novel virus is just starting to scratch the surface of what we can learn. There is plenty of data showing the virus is able to survive on a plethora of surfaces for varying amounts of time. Many pathogens are spread by pests such as rodents, cockroaches, etc. that pass across a contaminated surface to a previously uncontaminated one. While it isn’t a primary concern in today’s focus, it is worth paying attention to. Just as we are limiting human movement, it is wise to limit other creatures from spreading contaminants around.
How will the pandemic affect pest populations?
Pest populations and behaviors are strongly related to human behaviors. As we change our habits, pests will follow suit to some extent. Places with low amounts of trash collection will suddenly see a spike. Places that had large amounts of food moving through them drop off dramatically. Subsequently, more food will be brought into and processed in current dwellings. All of these factors combined with a myriad of others will affect pest populations one way or the other.
Can pest control efforts mitigate viral spread?
A less known sector of the pest control industry is the antimicrobial control efforts. This includes anti-viral applications to non-porous surfaces. This can be done in large scale applications as has been seen in the streets of China. It also can be applied to small scale situations such as dwellings where quarantined individuals spent time or commons areas of gathering places and multi-family housing commons.
Help is available
From identification of potential pest threats to routine maintenance, the experts at Rove Pest Control are available to help where needed. Reach out to a pest expert today for a free consultation.