Hotels & Palaces

Masa technicians carrying out an inspection.

Masa technicians carrying out an inspection.

Pest preventive measures are key

Implementing long-term solutions ensures an effective pest control strategy is in place. However, there is a lack of awareness of the importance of taking preventive measures, says MIRZA WAQAR AHMAD.

November 2017

Pest control is a key aspect of the daily operations of hotels, palaces and luxury villas. Clients particularly in the hospitality business have zero tolerance for pests as well as pest control materials that are not safe and hence taking preventive measures is the best solution to long-term control.

To avoid serious damage in these buildings, the services of pest exterminators such as Masa Establishment for Pest Extermination, Maintenance and Contracting should be hired on a regular basis to prevent pest infestations. While this might seem a little pricey initially, it produces substantial savings in the long run by preventing damage to homes and businesses.

Masa is well-experienced in scientific pest control and its technicians align integrated pest management (IPM) solutions with the internal standards and controls of clients. The company’s certified procedures centre on prevention and eliminating pest sources with minimal environmental impact.

Masa believes although pest control requires a lot of work and resources, it is a necessity. Pest management is important and every business in the GCC should consider applying it for the following reasons:

Alshieshakly ... quality services.

Alshieshakly ... quality services.

• Preventing damage to structures: In the GCC, people spend billions on damage repairs caused by termite infestation. These pests consume wood and wood products such as plywood and paper. Once they have burrowed into the wood components, they can eat wooden beams, floorings and walls from the inside. This renders the wooden structures weak and vulnerable to collapse, putting life safety at risk. Termite infestation can be especially problematic in old homes and structures that have not been treated for years.

• Preventing allergies: Pests can cause a range of health issues, such as skin allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems. Bed bugs and mosquitoes, for example, are notorious for causing skin rashes. Pests also carry certain allergens that can cause strong allergic reactions in some people. Cockroaches, for example, can cause allergies in at least seven to 10 per cent of the human population. They are also one of the leading causes of asthma in children.

• Avoiding diseases and other health risks: Infections of the skin, urinary tract and intestines, dysentery, dengue, malaria and food poisoning are just a few of the diseases that pests can cause. They carry a number of bacteria and viruses that can affect human and animal health. Although many of these diseases can be treated, they can cause serious health issues in children and the elderly, requiring professional medical treatment or hospitalisation and thus costing thousands of dollars in medical costs.

• Preventing damage to household items: Pest control has to be done regularly to save furniture, carpets and clothing and avoid the expenses associated with repairs and replacements. Burrowing insects cause damage to the wooden and fabric components of furniture. Some pests, such as carpet bugs, moths, cockroaches and silverfish are also attracted to fabric, often using it as a source of food.

• Maintenance of food supply: Without proper pest management, almost 20 per cent of our food supply could be consumed by rodents alone. According to research, millions of dollars’ worth of food is lost to rodent attacks and infestation each year. Pests not only consume food, they also leave behind undesirable organic matter such as dead skin, body parts, faeces and urine, all of which can affect food quality. Implementing pest control measures can help prevent food waste and contamination in the homes and hospitality businesses.

A mistake that people usually make is they hire the services of pest exterminators at their homes only when a problem arises. But the truth is when an infestation is noticed, the damage has already been done. This happens mainly due to a lack of awareness about pests and the hazards associated with them.

Saudi-based Masa Establishment for Pest Extermination, Maintenance and Contracting was set up by Mousaied Alshieshakly in 1980.  It offers a regular procedure for preventive pest treatment. Usually, this is performed weekly, monthly or several times a year.

* Mirza Waqar Ahmad is an entomologist at Masa Establishment, which is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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