Pest control is a key environmental issue that must be considered when constructing or renovating space, particularly environments like healthcare facilities that need to be clean and sterile. Pest infestations can have serious consequences for healthcare facilities, from spreading disease, to impacting health inspection scores, to actual physical damage to the property. If pests infest your property during construction, it can be more challenging to remove them later, especially if they take cover in hollow areas or behind walls.
By implementing controls throughout the new build process, you can help prevent pest problems from escalating down the road. Flies and rodents are two of the biggest concerns, as they can easily get inside, carry many diseases and are focused on during inspections.
So, how do you maintain airborne and surface-oriented cleanliness and sterility throughout the facility during construction/renovation projects? A rodent management program implemented before, during and after construction is one way. Rodents need to be caught as early as possible, so it's important to have a pest management professional assess your space before renovations begin, during the process and then afterwards to continue good pest management.
An effective solution to blocking flying pests is plastic curtains and air curtains at frequently used entry/exit points. These keep flies out of the renovation and construction space. Making plans for the installation of these prior to rather than after the renovation occurs can prevent a pest infestation before it happens. Maintaining positive air flow is important during construction because of the increased chance that flying insects can get inside as workers come and go with construction materials. Fly light traps also help collect flies.
In areas under construction or renovation, keep an eye out for hollow areas that could provide pests with a home. If these go unnoticed, the pests will still be there -- likely In larger numbers -- once you're open and ready for business.
As your new facility opens, an exterior pest management program is critical to keeping pests from getting inside. You should work with a pest management professional to conduct regular inspections of the property to document conditions conducive to pests present on or around the building, and recommended corrective actions. Your pest management professional should also suggest other integrated approaches to reduce pests without relying solely on pesticides, such as recommendations on placement and type of exterior lighting or setting up baits that trap pests or pull them away from the building.
Consulting a pest management professional before starting construction can go a long way to prevent pest problems from developing. After inspecting the area, a pest control professional can make recommendations that are specific to your building and the local conditions that could affect pest pressures.