There’s no doubt that construction is an important industry in the UK. In 2022, the gross value added (GVA) of the construction sector amounted to almost £128.9bn. And in London alone, the average construction cost of buildings is approximately £3,108 per square metre.
But when it comes to construction projects, pest control is a crucial aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. Pests can cause serious damage to building structures and materials and, if not properly treated, can even pose health risks to workers.
Hence, as your pest control experts in London, we’ll provide you with our top tips for construction pest control that will help you keep your site pest-free.
Pest control problems on building sites
Are you aware of the risks posed by pests on your construction site? Here are some of the most common pests and the problems that they cause:
Foxes can be a major problem on construction sites, as they can take up residence and transmit diseases like toxocariasis and toxoplasmosis. There were approximately 18 foxes per square kilometre in London in 2022, but this number is likely to increase, according to the London Wildlife Trust. Foxes are therefore a common problem that needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively to avoid unforeseen damage and nuisance.
Rats and mice
Rats and mice can cause serious damage to your construction site and even pose a health risk. They carry parasites, contaminate the site with fur and urine, and their constant gnawing makes your woodwork, electric wiring, gas pipes, and water pipes vulnerable. The damage from an infestation can cost you hundreds of thousands of pounds and render the building uninhabitable.
Pigeons are another pest to watch out for, as their droppings can cause extensive damage to the exterior of your building, including:
- anodised metal surfaces
- cladding materials
- and timber framing
Roosting birds can also inhabit lofts and tank rooms, and roofs can become corroded. Scaffolding covered in bird droppings can become a major health and safety hazard, especially in damp conditions or when particles of fouling dust and bacteria become airborne.
Construction sites provide an ideal environment for pests. The construction process can create new habitats for pests, while the presence of food and water sources makes it easy for them to survive and reproduce.
To avoid these problems, it’s important to take preventative measures. Don’t let pests ruin your building project or put your health and safety at risk.
Construction pest control tips
Taking preventative measures and taking swift action to address pest problems can help ensure the safety and well-being of workers and the successful completion of construction projects.
In addition to prioritising health and safety, it’s also financially beneficial to stay vigilant against pest issues. If health inspectors find signs of pests on site, they have the authority to halt work, causing delays that will compromise already tight timeframes and have financial consequences. Moreover, such issues can harm the reputation of the project, potentially leading to further complications in the future.
You can take steps to prevent pest problems by being aware of the signs of infestation, such as droppings, scratch marks, scuffs, holes, and gnawed cables, and taking practical measures to minimise the risk of unwanted guests.
Arranging for rubbish to be collected by a waste contractor and properly managing temporary facilities are among the most important preventative measures.
Here are our top construction pest control tips for dealing with pests effectively:
- Inspect raw materials regularly
Raw materials have the potential to harbour pests and should be inspected thoroughly for signs of infestation before they are brought to the construction site. Builders can also review the specifications beforehand to determine if particular materials are more susceptible to pest infestation than others.
Stockpiles of raw materials should be checked regularly for additional signs of infestation. Rats, mice and other pests may make their homes in these piles, leading to contamination. It’s important to periodically check and consider using bait traps.
- Site cleanliness is a must
Construction sites can be busy and cluttered, but cleanliness is crucial for construction pest control. You must maintain a clean site to keep pests at bay. This can be achieved by cleaning up after meals, storing food properly, and adhering to a strict waste removal schedule. Maintaining a clean site can significantly help keep pests away from your construction project.
- Don’t forget water drainage
Water is a natural magnet for pests and can also facilitate the growth of mould, bacteria and plants that could attract them.
As a project manager, you should thoroughly examine the water drainage setup and ensure it’s designed to divert pests away from the site. For example, the water flow should be directed downhill and away from the primary building area to keep the site dry and free from pests.
Use moisture barriers on above-ground foundations. Builders suggest using a six-mil polyethylene film to cover the area beneath the structure. Additionally, some builders also recommend using moisture barriers under slab foundations to prevent moisture buildup.
- Work with landscapers
When a construction project is nearing completion, landscaping staff may begin work on the exterior design. However, it’s essential to consider the risks associated with landscaping in terms of pest control.
Some types of plants, such as fruit trees, can attract pests and potentially undermine existing pest control strategies. Therefore, it may be beneficial to include pest-repelling plants in the landscaping design.
- Hire a construction pest control expert early
Overseeing the construction of a building is a challenging task. You must consider building plans, contractors, zoning laws, material supplies, and more. Adding pest control to your list of problems can make things more difficult, especially since you need to eliminate pests without hindering the workers’ progress.
That’s why it’s wise to hire a pest control expert right from the start of a construction project. While it may entail an additional expense, it’s an investment that can save a lot of trouble and expense in the long run. A seasoned professional can identify potential pest problems at the outset and provide advice on how to pretreat the site and manage pest control during construction.
If you want to prevent pest infestations and minimise the risk of damage to your building site, pest control is the answer. Preventive measures and appropriate construction pest control methods can ensure a pest-free environment on your construction site. And we can help you.
At Dyno-Pest, we offer a comprehensive range of pest control and prevention services, including bird-proofing systems and specialised scaffolding cleaning. We can work within your budget to provide cost-effective pest prevention solutions.
Our clients in the construction industry can take advantage of our free on-site survey, and we take full responsibility for pest management on their premises. Thus, you can rely on us to handle all aspects of pest control and prevention so that you can focus on your work.
If you’re interested in our construction pest control services or would like to discuss upcoming projects that require pest control in London, please contact us to speak with one of our Dyno-Pest experts today.