New proofing service is paying dividends

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A new ‘proofing’ service is proving so successful that it has halved repeat infestations of rats and mice.

London Network for Pest Solutions has a contract with a local authority to deliver pest control. The contract has been in place for five years and, after gathering and analysing data, it became obvious that the same properties kept being re infested.

LNPS came up with the idea of developing a specialist team that would make sure any gaps or holes through which rats and mice can enter are found and filled in or blocked with specialist rodent-proof materials.

LNPS managing director Paul Cooper said: “Rats and mice are determined creatures and are always looking for safe harbourage. Once rodents have found their way into a warm building with a food supply, it takes skill to get rid of them and then keep them out. Mice can squeeze through a hole the width of a pencil and rats can navigate even the most slippery pipes.

“It’s common knowledge in the pest control industry that you can’t simply treat pest problems, you have to make sure the pests don’t come back again. The secret to this is ‘proofing’ which involves detective work to find out exactly where the pests have entered a building and then blocking the holes.”

Mr Cooper continued: “This needs to be done by an expert as particular materials need to be used that can’t be gnawed through – even the tiniest gaps need to be expertly filled otherwise there will be ‘repeat offender’ pests.

“The return of pests is stressful, depressing and inconvenient for residents so the new service has been very well received by customers. Since the project started, we’ve seen residents take an interest in the proofing and, because they are more involved, they take on the advice we give them about housekeeping. They feel like they are part of the process rather than a victim of circumstances.”

The new LNPS team has been in place for approximately nine months. During that time there has been a month-on-month reduction in the average number of visits per property.

Before the innovation, some properties had up to 10 visits to eradicate problems. Now only 2% of properties need more than five visits. To put this in perspective, an inner city borough would normally expect that figure to be as high as 10%.

Because the LNPS team has a fast turnaround time, proofing is being done before the second pest control visit. This reflects well on the local authority and LNPS and has resulted in far better outcome for residents.

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.