New commercial director for Harvey Environmental
Chris Saunders joins Harvey Environmental Services as commercial director, bringing 26 years of experience in the pest control, washroom and facilities services sector to the table.
Chris joins Harvey from OCS Group UK Ltd, where he held a number of senior leadership roles including sales director, Cannon Pest Control, and head of sales, OCS Specialist Services; responsible for the new business growth of five sectors; commercial specialist cleaning, electrical compliance, security systems, window cleaning and grounds maintenance.
Chris said: “This is an exciting time to be joining Harvey Environmental Services and I am really pleased to be working within the Pest Control & Washroom Services sector again.
“Whilst at OCS, I took the opportunity to broaden my skill-base and I moved away from pest control business for a short while.
“This gave me invaluable exposure to other FM soft services that go hand in hand with pest control.
“Working within various bid teams on large bundled service opportunities has been instrumental in me becoming a real expert at delivering innovative and sustainable solutions that drive efficiencies and add value for our clients.
“My commercial understanding of the Facilities Services sector and my experience in leading successful business development teams will play an important part in driving Harvey Environmental Services forward in 2019 and beyond.
“I have a real passion for delivering the highest levels of customer service, protecting the environment and developing people.
“Therefore, joining Martin and the team at Harvey Environmental Services was not a difficult decision for me to make.
“Putting the customer first, having a ‘can-do’ attitude and completing the job to the highest standard possible first time, is the ethos of the business. This really is what inspires me.”
“Martin Harvey has been building this fantastic business since 2001.
“It is now time to really push forward and demonstrate to both new and existing customers that Harvey Environmental Services Ltd should be their first and only choice for Pest Control & Washroom Services. “
Martin said: “We’re really excited to welcome Chris to the team; I’ve known him for 26 years, as part of my sales team in a previous business and he was very successful.
“I’m absolutely delighted that we are back together again after all these years!”
Get us involved; it’s worth it.
Here’s a question for you…when carrying out a new build or refurbishment project, at what point do you engage with a pest controller?
a) Right from the outset
b) When works are nearly complete
c) When the premises are ready to open
You can guess what we’re going to say is the right answer can’t you?
We’re currently working with clients undergoing refurbishments of their restaurants and they took our advice to keep us in the loop every step of the way.
Why? There are a number of reasons. First, we can keep a close eye on any existing pest issues which may well be exacerbated by any digging or fundamental changes to the premises.
Secondly, we can advise of pest controls measures which can be put in place right from the outset.
For example, is there is a way to remove the beautiful marble worktops which link together perfectly if we need to, or is it a case of ‘once they’re in, they’re in’.
And the cook line planned for the new, state of the art open plan kitchen…is that on wheels so it can be pulled out for a deep clean?
We take a professional and long-term view to pest control management in these situations. Taking time to understand the workings of the site and where potential issues may lie, we can help our clients get things right from the start. Yes, we could make more money further down the line if they get it wrong, but really, we’re not in that game.
We understand the pressures the contractors are under to get the site ready for launch on the agreed date, so let us help where we have the expertise.
Get us involved from the outset, let us help. Let us come back during the build to ensure the contractor is meeting your needs for cook lines on wheels and removal worktops, as once they’ve handed over to you, it becomes your responsibility.
By taking such positive steps from the outset, we’re certain you’ll have less negative issues in the future.
Pizza with a side of….yeuch!
Just Eat listings include takeaways given zero ratings for hygiene
“Half of outlets rated as zero by the Food Standards Agency in Manchester, Bristol and London appear on the app.” – BBC News
Khyber Pass kebab shop fined over human faeces contamination
“… inspectors concluded people affected by the outbreak must have eaten food contaminated with human faeces.” – BBC News
Food hygiene is a postcode lottery and diners “might as well toss a coin”
“A takeaway was forced to temporarily close after inspectors discovered it was infested with cockroaches.” – The Daily Telegraph
You get the picture? Turns the stomach doesn’t it? And how many of you are now thinking about the last take away you had and whether that ‘fine’ establishment’s hygiene standards were up to scratch?
Because that’s the thing; many people don’t think to check such things when they order a take out.
Either you’re ordering a takeaway via apps like Just Eat, Deliveroo or Hungry House, or ringing direct to the local takeaway for delivery. How many of you would be brave enough to ask while ordering your 12” pepperoni pizza; ‘and can you tell me your hygiene standard please?’
Well, perhaps we should, as it is very clear, some of these takeaways on our doorsteps are offering a free side of something you most definitely didn’t order.
Let’s take the recent media storm around some of the takeaways operating under the Just Eat brand. While maintaining the hygiene standards within each establishment is not Just Eat’s responsibility, as a trusted national brand, there are calls for them to take some responsibility and rightly so.
There is also a call for the company to post hygiene rating alongside each takeaway listing so that customers can make an educated choice. In my opinion, they should only be promoting takeaways with a 4* rating or above. But then that is only my opinion.
Just Eat, which describes itself as “a world leader in online and mobile food ordering”, said it was “actively working to raise standards” but what can consumers do in the meantime to ensure they are tucking into exactly what they ordered and nothing more?
Well, there are search platforms out there, such as MunchDB, which allow you to see the official government (FSA) hygiene ratings of takeaways in the UK. They currently display ratings next to each establishment on food delivery websites: Just Eat, Hungry House & Deliveroo.
While information for these platforms is reliant on data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) it goes a long way in easing the mind of the hungry consumer.
And if you’re in any doubt as to what the different hygiene ratings mean, here’s a recap.
0 – Urgent Improvement Necessary
1 – Major Improvement Necessary
2 – Improvement Necessary
3 – Generally Satisfactory
4 – Good
5 – Very Good
Any restaurants with a low rating have a certain amount of time to improve before they are shut down. Restaurants that do not even meet the zero rating are shut down immediately.
It’s all rats tales!
We’ve all seen the headlines: Rats as big as cats! Giant rats spotted in New York!
Were they? Were they really though?
I’ve been working in the pest industry for many years now and never have I come across such whoppers! But they’re in the headlines all the time, so they must exist; right?
Oh, who am I to get in the way of a good story?
The ‘Giant 4-foot-long monster rat’ found in children’s playground in London’ headline shocker is a much better headline than ‘Man catches regular sized rat in playground’.
I get it; all I’m saying is, don’t be easily fooled or scared! It’s pretty much a certainty that you won’t ever find yourself face to face with a rat the same size as a small child anytime soon; unless you’re from The Gambia that is, which is home to the Gambian Giant Pouched rat.
Often, the image which you see doing the social media rounds and made you shudder is very much a case of smoke and mirrors; it is in fact down to the angle in which the photo has been taken.
In response to the giant 4ft monster rat above, Hackney Council responded with a tweet containing this image. Perspective eh?
Yep, it’s unlikely that the giant rat ever existed.
It’s funny how things seem to come up isn’t it? I’m writing this now after receiving a Google alert about Giant rat snared is biggest-ever measuring a whopping 20 inches to which my response was a little smirk and knowing shake of the head.
Then, a few hours later when searching for an article I came across a comment I had made when president of the BPCA.
And it read:
“Giant cannibal rat stories get front page news, even if they are fake. While it’s difficult to resist, I’d advise members ‘don’t join the bandwagon – stay clear of it’.
“BPCA has a role to play by offering guidance on how to answer this type of enquiry. I’d also say that the media always wants to go out and see a bad site, they aren’t interested in ‘safe’ or a site where you have successfully controlled an issue – that’s boring for them.
“No, the media generally seem to want ‘car crash TV’ or stories – we shouldn’t stoop to that level.”
I stand by my words.
Now, please can you spread news of Martin Harvey’s giant cup of coffee for me please!
Debbies on tour!
The ‘two Debbies’ crossed the Lancashire boundaries this month to head down south and share best practice with a close working partner of Harvey Environmental.
Office staff Debbie Wilkinson and Deborah Wood took a two-day trip to London to visit Beaver Pest Control, a loyal contractor to Harvey who are well up-to-speed on technical advances in the sector.
Martin Harvey said: “It’s always good to appreciate what someone else does well and learn from it and Beaver are extremely good at reducing unnecessary paperwork by instead relying on new technologies.
“Paperwork is the bane of the two Debbies’ life, but also of our Service management team and so we thought it worthwhile to send them down to Beaver to see what they felt could be in brought back up North and potentially implemented within our own business.”
Deborah Wood said: “It was a really worthwhile trip for Debbie and I, as it was good to see how others do things and compare with how we do them here at Harvey.
“I think we offered as many tips as they did, so I would say that all round it proved a success.”
We asked them for their sight-seeing shots but said they said they didn’t have any time for that. Hmmmmm…
A digital revolution for Harvey
The days of manual inputting data have come to an end for the Harvey Environmental service team.
The company has invested in advanced digital software and touch screen mobile devices in order to streamline processes for customers and internal staff alike.
The decision to make the shift from manual to digital was made following recent visits to partner companies who already use this technology in their everyday work.
Deborah Wood and Debbie Wilkinson, who share the administrative work in the office agreed that this would be a beneficial move; cutting down on unnecessary paperwork and streamlining processes.
Martin Harvey said: “It just makes perfect sense for us as a business. The technology is fantastic and we know it works as it is used by some other 30+ pest control businesses across the country.
“We were spending a lot of time duplicating unnecessary paperwork, so this will improve internal efficiencies no end.
“The service team will input information directly on to their handheld device, get the customer signature, click send and that information will be recorded on our central system and the customer will receive a summary of the visit by email within the hour.
“We can use the technology to book follow up visits, flag up any areas of concern and manage multi-site operations effectively; the positives are endless and we can’t wait to get started.”
Final demos are now taking place before the system is rolled out to the full team
Tackling feral pigeons
Offices and commercial premises provide the perfect place for feral pigeons to land and nest, providing high, flat spaces for them to live safely.
Creatures of habit, pigeons are loyal to their nesting sites and can be regularly found on window ledges, balconies, roofs and even external air conditioning units.
A study in 2011 on London pigeons, estimated that, at that time, there were a staggering 850,000 pigeons taking over large swathes of the city.
Not only do roosting feral pigeons cause unwanted damage to property, causing blockages with feathers, twigs and other debris, their droppings, often found outside eateries and retail outlets, are unsightly and unhygienic for patrons and employees alike.
Harvey Environmental is an expert in dealing with the removal of pigeons or other birds contaminating your business and does so under the guidance of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
We understand how to safely remove the nests of pigeons and other pest birds from your premises and the measures you should put in place to discourage them from making your business their home in the future.
Speak to us about your pigeon, or other pest bird contamination today.
Food. Pests. Leave no margin for error
Leave no margin for error
When it comes to food there can absolutely be no margin for error when it comes to pest control. Failure to prevent or tackle pests on your premises can lead to customer illness, a bad reputation and potential closure.
So, what can food businesses do to protect their customers and their business from the unnecessary pest issues?
Yes, we’ve all heard the saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and this also applies to pest control. In fact, it is the very best form of pest management.
Pests are always looking for that opportunity to access food, warmth and shelter and it only takes a gap in the wall and a few crumbs of food to entice them in. Any exposed food, unwashed containers or pans and any remaining food debris left on the premises overnight are enough to bring them your way.
Bins too are a huge attraction to the hungry mouse or rat, so be sure to demonstrate vigilance when disposing of waste; get them outside your premises and they’re one whisker closer to the inside.
Ensure regimented cleaning processes which everyone adheres to and check, check and check again. Are all storage containers secured before you put them in the store cupboard? Have pallets coming in from an external supplier been checked for any unwanted extras?
Know your enemy
Good housekeeping practices employed by all staff will certainly help, but this must be coupled with regular inspection and monitoring from a professional pest controller, working closely with a nominated person within the business.
Key to this approach is understanding the enemy and ensuring early detection of any pests. Rodent droppings and any sign of gnawed products, packaging or foods are huge warning signs, but that’s not to say there aren’t other problems which are lurking in cupboards and storerooms.
The sooner a problem is discovered, the quicker a solution can be made.
The more information a pest controller has, the more effective the intervention will be; hence the importance of up-to-date records. Any sightings should be recorded accurately and with as much information as possible, as should any pest treatments advised and carried out.
We carry out free site visits for any food business looking to use our expertise, and with a wealth of big brand clients to our name, we must be doing something right.
Stop cockroaches from bugging your premises
1. Prevent access to food sources
Cockroaches will eat anything and will happily chow down on any foody temptation that comes their way. Like humans, they enjoy a mixed diet of protein and carbohydrates, but unlike us, they can last one or two weeks without water, providing the moisture content of the food they’re having is high.
As such, the best way to rid your premises of cockroaches is to eliminate access to food supply.
While they can live for a few weeks without water, they ideally don’t want to, so make sure you remove any temptations, such as standing water in sinks, buckets or troughs.
Keep food sources away from cockroaches by cleaning away any waste effectively and ensuring any temptations are safely packed away in airtight containers within a store cupboard where possible. Bins are, of course, a cockroach’s dream, so be sure to keep refuse areas clean and tidy; it only takes the residue from a single tin to tempt the hungry cockroach.
Although you can take the necessary procedures to limit the food accessible to cockroaches, this will not remove them 100%. Cockroaches are known to consume other forms of food that may sound strange to you and me. Studies show that cockroaches will eat paper, glue and even turn to cannibalism when traditional forms of food are not available.
- Batten down the hatches
Cockroaches release a pheromone in their droppings, which offers a welcome light to fellow cockroaches to come and join the party. Any areas of clutter within your workplace, especially if damp, are the perfect place for cockroaches to make their new home and invite their friends to join them.
Think about damp areas you might have on your premises, such as pipes and drains or piles of leaves; these are the perfect cockroach breeding grounds.
Ensuring regular maintenance checks in these areas will expose any signs of concern, as well as highlighting any remedy works which may be taken in order to prevent cockroaches making their mark.
Consider any access points from which cockroaches might enter your property, through cracks and gaps in walls, skirting boards, sockets or through kitchen and bathroom pipework and fill in where possible.
If you need to seek professional advice as to a potential cockroach issue, please contact us.
Do I have mice or rats on my premises?
If you’re already asking this question, the answer is likely to be YES.
Even if you never see the actual perpetrators themselves, mice and rats leave pretty damning evidence as to their presence on your premises
Below are some simple ways to determine whether you have a rodent infestation and identify whether it’s a rat or a mouse.
Look for droppings –
Finding rodent dropping on your premises is a clear sign of pest and also helps you to identify whether rats or mice are your unwelcome guests.
Make sure you get a close look, as from a distance, the droppings may just look like a pile of dirt which you may ignore.
Close inspection of the droppings will quickly help you to identify the perpetrator; shiny black and between ½ and ¾ inch long says rat, while small, smooth droppings with a pointed edge says mouse. Rat droppings tend to be in one particular place and mouse droppings are found scattered indiscriminately – effectively wherever they are active.
The urine that they often dribble tends to be invisible – but it’s important to know that it is still hazardous – Weils disease is spread by Rat urine and can be fatal.
Can you see teeth/chew marks?
Another tell tale sign as to what you’re dealing is teeth/chew marks, usually found on wooden surfaces like door frames, skirting boards and inside cupboards, however they chew on any hard surface – which sometimes includes water/gas pipes and electrical/data cables.
Typically, rat teeth marks are 1/8-inch long, while smaller, scratchier marks usually indicate mice. You will likely be able to hear them gnawing away at the wood with their teeth and a little investigation should be able to distinguish where they’ve been and how they’ve got in there.
Are there any tracks and tail trails?
Any dust within a room or space will highlight tiny footprints or lines from tails being dragged along. Check skirting boards, in corners and near sources of food. These footprints or lines may even be able to help you determine where the perpetrator is entering and leaving your premises.
Can you see any smears?
These canny rodents tend to stick to walls and skirting boards when moving around your premises, so if you see any unexplainable marks, you may well have rats or mice. Rodents have grease on their fur and after time they leave a greasy mark on corners of walls, around holes that they squeeze through and on electrical cables that they climb on
Is there a musky smell in the air?
Rodents have a very distinctive smell, so if you start to notice a musky odour that you haven’t smelt before, you might want to investigate further
Can you hear scratching and squeaking?
These nocturnal rodents rule the roost at nights, so if there is someone on your premises overnight, they may well have heard scratching and squeaking noises. Worse still, they may well have seen a rat or mouse scurrying across the floor!
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, its highly likely that you have a mouse or rat issue.
We’re here to help.