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How Pests Impact Your Bottom Line

We all know pests can be a pain, but some infestations can wait to be treated, right? Wrong. Pests pose problems to all kinds of businesses and even a small number of invaders can negatively impact your bottom line. Whether you’re in hospitality, healthcare, property management, or logistics, learn how pests can affect profits and why it’s so important to protect against them.

Hospitality

If you’re in hospitality and reading this, protecting against pests is probably already high on your list of priorities. No one wants to share a room with rats or roaches, or even worse, bring home bed bugs from a stay in your establishment. Keeping pests out from the start is crucial to keeping up a good reputation that creates repeat guests.


But pests also pose another indirect problem: property damage. Rodents will chew through anything – including drywall and electrical wiring; cockroaches can ruin food in your kitchen, and pest droppings in vents can require expensive cleanings to make the air safe to breathe again. Protect against pests to avoid or reduce these costly maintenance expenditures.

Those are the ways an active infestation can hurt your bottom line. But failing to take proactive measures, or taking ineffective measures against an infestation, can also hurt your bottom line in two more important ways. First, reactive treatments are always more expensive than proactive ones. Dealing with a large infestation requires more time, more people, more resources, and therefore more money to implement than proactive treatments. Second, reactive pest control measures, like taking care of a full-on cockroach infestation or treating for bed bugs, sometimes require preparation and lengthy closures. That means while you’re spending money on an expensive treatment, you also can’t operate your business to make up the difference.

While there are some immediate costs to scheduling proactive pest control, it’s the inexpensive option in the long run and provides some important benefits: you protect against expensive repairs caused by pest damage and avoid more expensive reactive treatments. In addition, by protecting against infestations and nipping them in the bud, you’re ensuring pests can’t interrupt the operation of your business and actively managing your reputation. These are all good business practices that lead to a healthier long-term outlook than simply dealing with pests as they come.

Property Management

It can be a challenge to keep pests out of the properties you manage. While some residents understand their part in keeping your building pest-free, others move in with bad habits that can contribute to an infestation. Even with great residents, pests can be sneaky, making them difficult to detect until the problem is already at an advanced stage.

So how do they affect your bottom line? Firstly, your residents hate pests. Most people are frightened of them, and some are even allergic. Pests ruin their food and create nasty odors from the waste they leave behind, making your property a hard place to live. In some states, infestations can give residents legal grounds to break their lease, cutting off rental payments and leaving you to seek out new renters with the disadvantage of a bad reputation.

Besides, damage to your reputation, pests can also leave lasting damage to your property. You may have to replace insulation, electrical wiring, drywall, and even more if you delay. Waiting to deal with an infestation can also make cleaning it up more costly. The longer you let pests run free, the more challenging and expensive it will be to eliminate them and clean up their mess. All of this devalues your rental properties, creating downward pressure on your rental rates and the price of your properties if you ever intend to sell.

The immediate costs of having pests at your properties are steep. They can drive out good residents and make it difficult to find new ones, leading to decreases in rent while you rebuild your reputation. They can also lead to expensive treatments and repairs and devalue your rental property over time. Staying proactive with one of our commercial plans protects your residents and your investment from these pesky invaders.

Pests and healthcare don't mix.

Healthcare

Pests and healthcare do not mix. Much of the history of public medicine has involved treatment of diseases transmitted by pests. Given that healthcare facilities must provide treatment while maintaining the highest levels of sanitation a pest infestation poses serious risks to your business operations. They can obviously disrupt sanitation procedures, but they can also interrupt treatment, negatively impacting your ability to attract patients and collect payment and most importantly, not being able to provide your patients with quality care.
 
Let’s start with the direct risks to patients caused by pests. Some pests like rodents and insects such as mosquitoes can spread vector-borne diseases like West Nile, Lyme disease, and even rabies. Cockroaches and rats can also leave droppings that spread bacteria and trigger asthma attacks. Your patients have already come in because they’re dealing with a health issue they need treated. An unknown infestation can exacerbate pre-existing issues and even cause them to contract a new disease they didn’t walk in with. While this is already immensely damaging to your professional reputation, pests in your healthcare business can also expose you to expensive malpractice lawsuits. These steep costs are reason enough to stay multiple steps ahead of potential pests.

Much like in hospitality, patients can bring in bed bugs and other pests that infest beds, expensive machinery, and utilities. Facilities will need to be treated, repaired, or even decommissioned if the damage is serious enough. While a reactive bed bug treatment is expensive enough, catching an infestation late can result in lengthy closures, the difficult logistical work of transferring patients to other hospitals, and replacing ruined equipment.

Just like the sanitation measures you take to treat your healthcare facility, the best way to protect your healthcare business from pests is to be proactive. Scheduling regular inspections with a pest professional can help you eliminate infestations at first introduction and even help keep pests out, preventing more expensive treatments and closures, and protecting you from legal exposure.

Logistics

Pests have been a threat to logistics and warehousing businesses since the beginning of time. However, the complex nature of our global supply chain has only multiplied and magnified the risks posed by pests. Squirrels, rodents like mice and rats, birds, and insects can infiltrate warehouses, trucks, trains, and ships to spoil merchandise by chewing through it or pooping in it (yuck). These warehouse and transportation infestations have always led to the costly replacement of damaged goods and even made logistical workers – and consumers – sick.

While replacing spoiled goods is already expensive, failing to deal with infestations can impact your business in more costly ways. Delivering pest-ridden merchandise will result in a disadvantageous payment renegotiation, damage to your reputation, and expenditures treating your fleet.

Pests can also harm the people moving goods. While the effects of stinging pests can be felt inside a warehouse, birds, rodents, and other insects that take up residence can fill the air with bacteria and disease that make it unsafe for workers to breath. Infestations in your warehouse can force workers to take sick time (already a problem in a world affected by COVID-19) hurting your fulfillment rates. Workers who fail to take this costly time off can also make those they work with, and even you, sick, leading to larger shutdowns and inefficiencies that will cost your business even more money.

Finally, failing to take proactive measures can multiply problems with your clients – even if you weren’t knowingly neglectful. Pests that hitch a ride in your deliveries can spread to warehouses where you drop them off – leading to closures while your clients treat their facilities, deal with disease among their workers, or initiate recalls because pests made it from them to the end consumer. It is much harder to collect revenue from clients who are closed, performing recalls, and dealing with reputation damages of their own – especially if they feel you might have played a role in contaminating their facilities.

If the infestation can be traced back to you, even if pests came to you from somewhere else, you can also be held liable for damage caused to clients and consumers. Implementing a proactive pest management program is crucial to limiting your legal exposure. Not to mention a proactive program against birds, rodents, and other pests is crucial to keeping your business, and global business, healthy and functioning.

Get ahead of potential infestations

While running a business is incredibly worthwhile, it’s also a tremendous challenge. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. The best way to prevent losses is to get ahead of infestations with a protection plan. If you have an infestation or are just planning ahead, you can learn more about Western Pest Services Commercial offerings.

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