How small businesses are adapting during the lockdown

Control Solutions Pest Control

Serving the people and businesses of Suffolk, Control Solutions Pest Control is a small company that has been working in the industry for 15 years. Here, the owner, STEPHEN GOODRUM – or Ben, as he likes to be called – explains how his small business is adapting during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We have to adjust the way we work and operate to continue to perform the public health service that continues to be needed. This will only increase as we approach Summer, for pests like wasps, ants bedbugs and fleas. We don’t want the public to have to suffer from pests as well as isolating in the same house as rats and or mice.

“So, we have changed the way we work and what we wear to carry out our work in close proximity to some very vulnerable people. 

“Where we would wear full PPE for specialist cleaning work in lofts for bird and rodent disinfecting, we are now offering to wear this for more normal pest control work in people’s front rooms and businesses to keep them and ourselves as safe as we can.

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“We have been keeping ourselves safe from viruses and harmful bacteria that rodents and birds carry for over 15 years, so are used to this type of work. But we do wonder if it will now become part of our daily routine and workwear.

“We are starting to adapt with new risk assessments and working method statements, and now we don’t even write out paper reports which we have to do by law – we try to email these with health and safety information.

“One of the biggest challenges is getting that all-important PPE . We just took delivery of white boiler suits that we will only wear once for each visit before being safely laundered and re-used. However, the gloves, oversleeves and shoe covers will all need to be disposed of after each call. Our masks are made of rubber and can also be washed it will be just the filters that will need changing regularly. 

“So, we as a business are ready and adapting each day as more information comes our way.

“Being members of the British Pest Control Association also keeps us up to date with what the industry recommends.

“We are thankful of our great NHS and front line workers and support them the best we can but we are also mindful of the stress and mental wellbeing pests like bedbugs can put on people, so we will continue to work in the safest manner we can.

“We also worry about all the closed food establishments and hope people are still checking these as pests are not in lockdown and will continue to roam about.

“The image of the rat-man calling is a fast-changing one now and will be for the foreseeable future.”

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