There hasn’t been an industry out there that hasn’t, in some way, been affected by the recent global outbreak of COVID-19. From essential to less essential markets, everyone had to either stop working temporarily or adopt a whole new way of doing business. Pest control businesses fell in the latter group.
With many restaurants, eat-outs, and other community-wide closures, there is a lot of food and waste generated that are bound to attract rodents. And if those establishments have cleared out all leftovers that might invite pest problems, that means they will start looking for food elsewhere – in people’s homes and the remaining functional businesses. That’s why the government has given pest control companies an essential business status during the pandemic.
It falls on you to protect the food supply and health of people. As an employer, your main concern should be to eliminate (or keep to a minimum) the exposure to the virus both for your employees and your customers. This means adopting strict safety measures to your existing service protocols.
Here is what you need to do to ensure everyone’s safety while continuing to provide your pest control service.
General Measures Against COVID-19 for Pest Control Professionals
For Your Employees
- Supply your team with the necessary PPE (personal protective equipment) and make sure that includes certified masks, gloves, coveralls, proper shoes, and other standard items.
- Educate your employees about how COVID-19 spreads and why it is important to protect each other at all times. Promote frequent handwashing, as well as covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing.
- Encourage team members to stay home if they exhibit symptoms of the virus. Do regular health checks at the beginning of every shift to ensure everyone is asymptomatic. Be sure to ask your employees if they’ve recently traveled outside the country or state and whether there is some in their household with symptoms of COVID-19.
- Supply your facility and service vehicles with the necessary sanitizers (containing at least 60% alcohol) and disinfectants so your employees can readily use them.
- Prior to each job, your employees should disinfect their vehicles, tools, and other items they will be using in their work process.
- Stagger shifts to ensure people’s working and break hours don’t overlap. It makes social distancing much easier. Everyone should keep at least 6 feet away from each other.
- Update your employees whenever there are new health and safety guidelines imposed by national or local authorities.
- Limit tool and vehicle sharing. Since pest control often comes with the risk of contracting rodent-borne infections and diseases, you’re probably already implementing that measure, but it is essentially important in the current times.
For your Customers
- Do your best to switch to virtual estimates. That may be extremely difficult in many cases, but you can always ask the client for cooperation and explain the reasoning behind your request. They can send pictures or a video of their pest problem, so you can give them an estimate and schedule an appointment without meeting in person beforehand. Doing that is extremely important to keep both sides healthy and safe.
- Ask your customers to vacate the property where you will be spraying and working. If you have to have in-person communication, be sure to keep 6 feet away. Always open a conversation with a customer by explaining the measures you’re taking to keep them and your team safe during the pandemic. That’s important for building trust with the customer and showing them you’re taking action and placing their health first.
- Discuss online payment to limit the physical interactions with the client.
Keep track of CDC’s updates, including their Rodent Control Guidelines, the World Health Organization website, and other local authority websites where you can track COVID-19-related news. Be sure to update your website with the safety measures you’re taking, as well as all social media platforms you’re on. You can also create a post on your Google My Business profile to let people know you’re still in business.
Taking prevention measures is extremely important in ensuring clients feel comfortable and safe enough to book your services during the pandemic. Be sure to bookmark this page as we will be updating it with new information.
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