Remote monitors solve a long term mouse problem

Remote monitors solve a long term mouse problem

We’ve recently used a system of remotely monitored motion detection devices in a city centre restaurant that have helped to solve a long-term mouse problem.

This site had sporadic mouse activity over many years and as common in city centre environments the mice were avoiding traditional baits and traps (this is known as behavioural resistance and sometimes occurs in areas where there is an abundance of alternative food sources)

By installing the motion detection devices in numerous areas across the site we were quickly able to pinpoint the areas where the mice were most active – over 95% of the activity on site was located in three areas – all close to each other and clearly linked through wall voids and ceiling voids. These devices were installed inside tunnels that we had constructed that mice would pass through (and be picked up by the sensor) with a non toxic bait taped to the inside wall of the tunnel to encourage mice to visit these. Interestingly enough there have been plenty of activations but absolutely no “take” of bait – proving further the behavioural resistance theory. We also deployed motion detection cameras to give us even more information as to the location and behaviour of the mice – this has also helped greatly in understanding the problem.

We are now working with a specialist pest proofing company to locate and proof all rodent access routes and we truly believe that this will have an immediate and long lasting benefit to our client. The client has supplied us with detailed drawings of the site which are a huge benefit when dealing with a problem like this and they are completely on the same page with this approach.

We have been able to check on the activity levels every day from many miles away and guide our staff and advise our client in better ways than we have been able to before.

This approach has helped hugely in getting to the bottom of a long term problem and we will use it in other “problem” sites. It can also be used in sites that don’t have a recognisable mouse problem to give an extra layer of protection and instant alert if a problem flares up. The system checks itself digitally every hour and logs these checks, and we believe that this evidence can be used to show client auditors that areas/pest monitors are being constantly checked.

There is an age old motto in Pest Control – Exclusion, Restriction, Destruction

Exclusion – if at all possible, find the entry points and seal them up (this is what we are doing in this site)

Restriction – if you can’t the pests out, restrict their progress with good management practices (good hygiene and storage standards) – this will include removing breeding sites and external habitat control

Destruction – killing the pest – traditionally this has been with the use of toxic materials or physical trapping devices.

There is a reason why Destruction is the last in line – it’s because at this stage you are having to deal with a problem that us already “inside” (and once they are in it’s often very difficult to get them out!) – MUCH better to keep them out in the first place and avoid all of the hassle that a deep rooted pest problem brings.

We work with far sighted companies up and down the UK in the design and build stage (especially in the hospitality sector) to proof buildings against pest entry – this is the very best time to do this (and probably the most cost effective strategy) – we’ll expand on this, and the success of this approach in a future article.

If you have a site with a long term (maybe low level that flares up now and again) mouse problem or you look after a site that is audited on a regular basis we’d be delighted to deploy this technology to help you.

We are fearless warriors!

We are fearless warriors! 

To become great warriors of the future, Harvey staff learned from warriors of the past at an excellent East Lancashire Chamber event.

Facilitated by Sarah McDowell from The Leader Centre, this Way of the Warrior Training Day was designed to push delegates out of their comfort zone.

Members from our team joined fellow Lancashire business people to learn from great warriors of the past and were encouraged to question what rites of passage, what philosophies and what mind sets might we use to solve some of the challenges we face today.

The event began with delegates gaining an understanding of the lives of four great warrior tribes;

Maasai, Maori, Samurai and Native American. By learning about their culture, food, ways of war, philosophies and way of life, delegates then decided which warrior they most felt an affinity with and worked to get to know that warrior better.

They were then asked to reflect on their own ways of working at a time in history when we face some of the greatest challenges known to man, including:

  • Climate change
  • Destruction of nature
  • War
  • Wealth inequalities
  • Significant rise in mental health problems

This self-reflection exercise was designed to help delegates get to know themselves better; how they think, how they make decisions, what’s important to them and what they like and dislike.

In the final exercise of the morning delegates got to know the philosophies of their chosen warrior and then created their own philosophies for life based on the philosophies of their warrior.

Delegates then took to their feet to learn the Maori ceremonial dance, the HAKA, which is performed by men and women to welcome guests, to celebrate great achievements and to prepare for battle.

Once they’d had fun learning the HAKA, they competed with the 3 other teams to see who could be the most fearsome!

Steve Crowley and Neil Sharp – Service Team Leaders from Harvey Environmental said: “It was a really thought-provoking and fun day and we each took some valuable lessons away with us.”

Investment in leadership and management skills

We believe that investment in leadership and management skills is vital not just to the growth of the business but the growth of our employees. Two key members of the Harvey team are honing their skills on a leadership and management course.

Deborah Wood, office manager, and Neil Sharp, Service Team Leader, are both halfway through an Institute of Leadership and Management distance learning course; a course offered to them and paid for by the business.

Martin Harvey, managing director, said: “At Harvey we have a strong, loyal team of people who really want to help the business prosper and grow. As such, it is important for us to support and help them develop within their respective roles.”

Deborah said: “It was great to be offered this opportunity, particularly as my team continues to grow. The course is really making me think about current ways of working and ways in which things can be constantly improved.”

Neil added: “The course is proving to be very insightful and I’m really glad I accepted the opportunity to do it. It’s all too easy to carry on doing things as you’ve always done, but this course had made me think of better ways operating; and all for the benefit of the wider business.”

The course enables Deborah and Neil to gain a range of key management skills and put these into practice within their own roles. In leadership terms, it gives them the confidence and capability to motivate and engage teams and manage relationships confidently.

Maintaining high customer service standards

Neil on tour!

Maintaining high customer service standards is key to the success of any organisation and we think it’s safe to say that we’re not a business to rest on its laurels or one scared of admitting (sometimes reluctantly) that we don’t know everything.

This is why we are constantly looking to friendly partners and suppliers to welcome members of our team into their businesses to find out how they do things.

A few weeks ago, one of our service team leaders Neil Sharp did just that; travelling to London and then South Wales on a fact-finding mission.

The first stop

His first stop was Beaver Pest Control, a London pest control company with who we have an excellent working relationship.

Martin Harvey, our Managing Director said: “Beaver have a fantastic reputation for delivering a high standard of service to a loyal customer base and, as a fellow member of the BPCA, we share the same working values and principles.

“We felt it would be beneficial for Neil to understand Beaver’s processes and ways of working in order to introduce best practice back into our own business.”

The next stop

Next stop for Neil was South Wales, the home of Service Tracker; a system which we last year introduced into our business in order to streamline our service and to help make us paper-free.

Martin added: “While Service Tracker has already transformed our historic paper-led processes, we’re always keen to know what more it is capable of, so sent Neil along to find out.”

Neil found the two visits to be extremely useful. He said: “You’re so busy doing your day-to-day job, it’s all too easy to keep following the same processes.

“Visiting other companies and seeing how they operate certainly opens your eyes to other ways of working and how technology such as Service Tracker can be used to full potential.

“I’m really glad of the opportunity and look forward to the next road (or train) trip!”

Five of the most common pests

Five of the most common pests…

Pests! They come in all shapes and forms and depending on where you are in the world can be troublesome, annoying or even deadly. We see all different kinds of pests when out and about and here are five of the most common.

Rats

Rats can cause serious infestations. A natural survivor, rats breed extremely fast and are carriers of many dangerous diseases. A bite or scratch from a rat can cause serious illness in humans and animals. The largest group of mammals in the world, theorists believe that you’re never more than 50m away from a rat. No distance at all. For businesses, rats prove a huge health hazard as they eat and spoil foods and spread diseases.

Mice

Even worse than a rat? A mouse! A lot smaller in size, this rodent needs less food and water to survive and reproduces even quicker than rats meaning they can populate a space very quickly. Mice also carry more diseases, including in their fur which unlike rats who groom themselves, they leave dirty. This gives them a greasy protective layer that helps them squeeze through narrow spaces. It’s essential that if you have even one mouse that you call in a pest controller like us. We can quickly get rid of the problem in a humane way and put steps in place to prevent any more mice appearing!

Pigeons

Birds are a nuisance for any workplace – especially pigeons! Not only are they unsightly, they can cost a lot of money as they are capable of destroying buildings and spreading disease through their fouling. Add into the mix feathers and nests and you can also be looking at blocked gutters and chimneys – a maintenance nightmare! What’s more, customers often don’t want to be entering a premises surrounded by birds – especially if it’s a food environment. Harvey Environmental are highly experienced in providing effective bird deterrent solutions and can also solve any existing bird issues.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches carry many diseases including salmonella, dysentery and gastro-enteritis so finding just one in your business is a huge cause for concern – especially if you work with good. With tough exteriors, an ability to breed rapidly and a significant health risk, cockroach issues need to be tackled immediately. Only expert products and treatments are powerful enough to eliminate them. Cockroaches are also often brought in through deliveries, so vigilance is essential!

Flying Insects

Not only are they unwelcome and distracting, flying insects also bring germs and nasty diseases that can be catastrophic especially for food environments. Insects must not come into contact with food at any stage and if they did, you could lose your reputation, your hygiene rating or worse face a hefty fine and be closed down.

Thankfully though, despite their large numbers and fast breeding cycle, flies can easily be dealt with. We can offer expert advice and solutions from fly units to fly screens.

If you’re concerned about pest control and want expert, no nonsense advice on how to prevent pests or tackle them, get in touch with us today.

Don’t ignore pigeon poo

Pigeons are a nuisance and can often cause damage to buildings and spread disease – not to mention the mess they make which is unsightly for both business and customer.

But there’s a bigger problem facing businesses – and that’s the potential cost of their mess!

Pigeon droppings are a health hazard and according to an article by the BBC, National Rail have just paid £27,000 to a commuter who ‘probably slipped on pigeon poo’ at London’s Paddington station.

Note the word probably, yet still, a huge payout.

Add to that bird debris such as feathers and nesting materials blocking gutters and damaging roofs and pigeons quickly become too costly a problem to ignore.

Any public facing business, whether a shopping centre, restaurant, bar, shop or office, needs to ensure pigeons are dealt with in order to keep both customers and employees safe and avoid any unwanted fines which could come from an accident involving pigeon poo.

The problem is, pigeons are loyal to their nesting sites and can often be found on ledges, balconies, roofs and on external air conditioning units and the longer they’re there, the harder it is to get rid of them.

That’s where Harvey Environmental can help. We’re experts in dealing with the removal of pigeons or other birds contaminating your business and can help you put measures in place to discourage them from making your premises their home in the future.

Everything we do is under the guidance of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. So, if you have a pigeon problem speak to us today because, as Northern Rail found out, it can be a costly problem to ignore.

World Environment Day 2019

Harvey Environmental Services ethos is to always consider the impact our activities have on the environment before delivering any service to our clients. On World Environment Day, this highlights how important it is.

Chris Saunders (Commercial Director) say’s ‘When working with our clients to maintain a pest free environment, we always aim to use non-tox methods of control and eradication first. The basic principles of  pest control are exclusion and restriction i.e. preventing pests from entering buildings and not attracting them in the first place. If pesticides are required to control an infestation, these are only used until the eradication is achieved and then it is removed. Our operation delivers service in the most efficient way possible. Initiatives include; planning our schedules to reduce travel, utilising electronic reporting to reduce the use of paper and only working with suppliers who’s values match our environmental protection focus’.

For free advice on how we can deliver a non-toxic pest control service for your business, please contact us!

Harvey becomes Diamond Ambassador

We recently attended one of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce Diamond Ambassador events and we were so impressed we came away as members!

The Chamber’s Diamond Ambassador membership was created to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Chamber’s 125th Anniversary in 2012.

Its purpose is to bring together a network of business leaders, CEOs and MDs to form long term relationships and become spokespeople for their sector.

We believed it to be the perfect fit for purpose and comes at exactly the right time, following the appointment of Chris Saunders as Commercial Director and other key developments in the directional journey of the business.

Members of the ambassador programme are encouraged to work with the Chamber to drive Lancashire, Northern Powerhouse and Government policy.

Not a problem for our MD Martin Harvey, former president of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), who is not afraid to speak out on issues which need to be addressed.

He said: “We were really impressed by the structure and content of the Diamond Ambassador programme and think we can add value to the group, as well as build relationships with likeminded individuals.”

Always be prepared to learn

To be the best you have to be prepared to keep learning, which is exactly what four of our team members did when the headed even further ‘up North’ last week.

Our friends at Graham Environmental Services, in Blairgowrie, Scotland, welcomed Steve Crowley, Neil Sharp, Deborah Wood and Chris Saunders to their offices for two days, to show them how they utilise Service Tracker in their business.

We have recently implemented Service Tracker into our business in order to streamline our service and to help make us paper-free and we wanted to be sure we were using the system to its full potential – as well as picking up any hints and tips from a business that is very well respected and has grown rapidly.

Graham Environmental has been using the system for several years now, so were very well placed to demonstrate the system’s full workings and answer any questions from our team.

Martin Harvey said: “Graham Environmental are a long term colleague of Harvey Environmental and fellow member of the BPCA, so we share the same working values and principles.

“The visit really gave members of our team the information they needed to come back and share with the rest of the Harvey team and they were really enthused by the system’s capabilities, which we have not yet had time to fully harness.

“We will be looking into these areas in coming weeks to ensure that our visit was worthwhile and send a huge thanks to Graham’s team for their hospitality.”

The rise in demand for pest control across the UK

2018 saw a huge rise in the need for pest control across the UK. From the hot weather to the social issues around waste disposal, it’s hard to pin-point an exact reason. Have a look at the points below and let us know why you think it is.
• What winter? The number of rats has been generally increasing throughout the UK for a number of years now. We haven’t had any truly harsh winters in the UK for a while. These bitterly cold winters used to cull the number of rats we saw. At the moment, there are an estimated 15 million brown rats in our country.
• The planet is getting hotter. Climate change and the abundance of food available to rats and mice means their population is soaring and thriving.
• A long hot summer! The unprecedented hot weather we experience from May-August in 2018 meant a surge in the number of wasps. This was completely unexpected after a reported decline in the number of wasp’s nests in 2017. Kevin Higgins, BPCA Technical Advisor, explains that although they already expected 2018 to be a big year for wasps, the warm weather had an impact and exceeded all initial expectations. “The early abundance of fruit in the fields and gardens gives better feeding conditions in which they can thrive. Wasps get giddy on the fruit, it makes them slightly inebriated, and this is when they are most likely to sting.”
• Waste Disposal, or lack of! Many councils across the UK cut how often they collected waste, which obviously led to huge problems with rubbish building up and rats and flies having a field day! This, combined with the heat causing food to rot faster, led to many pest control companies dealing with up to 15% more rat problems than usual.

So, how is 2019 looking? The high numbers of wasps and rodents are expected to continue into this year. Our advice is to ensure your pest controller can minimise pest activity effectively. Make sure bin and food waste is sealed and disposed of correctly, and ensure your building has no gaps for pests to enter.
If you need more advice on how to keep your business running pest-free, get in touch.