Colleges and universities need to quickly deal with pests before they threaten the health of students or cause structural damage. Pests can hide in dormitories where they are attracted to the food and water students may leave behind. They may breed in utility rooms where they can do so relatively undisturbed. Preventing this requires a pest management plan.
Prevention is much better than trying to deal with infestations that have already taken hold. Knowing which pests they have to contend with can help administrators to set up effective prevention processes. Here are the top five pests colleges and universities have to deal with.
Cockroaches lured by water or food can quickly find their way into school buildings. Students may have snacks in their dorm rooms that attract cockroaches. They usually prefer dark, moist sites like drains where they can feed on decaying matter. Once cockroaches lay their eggs, they can spread quickly throughout a building, often hiding behind walls or above the ceiling.
The shed skin of cockroaches contains allergens that can be a problem for students with asthma or other respiratory conditions. They can also carry bacteria on their bodies.
- Bed bugs
Bed bugs are effective invaders that can breed in large numbers. Once they have established colonies, they can be difficult to remove. Students may carry them around in backpacks or in their clothing. They are hard to remove from bedding as they can survive gentle washes. They breed rapidly and can be one of the most persistent pests. Only a single access point is necessary for an infestation to occur.
Bed bugs aren’t known to transmit disease, but their bites can be itchy and irritating. This can lead to scratching and the chances of a secondary infection. They can also cause mild to severe allergic reactions.
Flies buzzing around in search of food, going into garbage cans and flying through windows can easily spread disease. They breed in animal waste and decaying organic matter. This means they carry and transmit numerous diseases. Some of the common viruses and bacteria they carry are:
- Food poisoning
- Eye infections
Managing a fly population requires removing animal waste, moist environments for depositing eggs, decaying plant matter and garbage. Students who become ill with food poisoning or another illness may find they need help from Proessaywriting.com to keep up with their studies.
Mice and rats often make their way inside buildings in search of food, water and shelter, especially in cold weather. Mice are tiny and can easily squeeze in through cracks or holes. Rats are bigger but
Rodents can spread over 35 diseases to humans. They can spread to students in various ways.
- They may handle them directly.
- They may have contact with rodent urine or feces.
- They may be bitten by a rodent.
- They may be infected indirectly by a tick or flea that’s fed on an infected rodent.
Ants live in colonies made up of thousands of members. An ant problem is compounded in older buildings where there may be plenty of gaps for ant invaders to squeeze through in search of food and water. Their colonies usually exist outside the buildings and not inside, which makes it more difficult to find the source of an infestation. The ants may only go into the buildings to find food or water. Once an ant finds a food source, it leaves a pheromone trail so other ants will follow.
Ants can contaminate food, but they don’t generally cause any health problems. Some ants, like fire ants, can cause welts and allergic reactions as they inject formic acid into the skin. Carpenter ants nest in decaying wood and can cause costly damage to wooden structures in older buildings.
Preventative measures include creating physical barriers to entry for pests and ensuring scrupulous cleanliness in buildings. All floors should be regularly swept and vacuumed to ensure no crumbs are present. Administrators must ensure there are enough garbage cans available and that they are regularly emptied. They should enforce rules against littering as a pest deterrent. Any leaking taps should be repaired immediately.
A big part of prevention is educating and encouraging faculty and students to take actions that discourage pests. They should be advised not to leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. They should keep any food scraps in containers in a refrigerator.
It is much harder to deal with a pest infestation once it has already occurred. Administrators should know what pests they have to deal with and take appropriate preventative measures. Even the best preventative efforts may not stop all pest invasions. If an invasion has already occurred, they have to take corrective measures and often have to reach out for professional help.
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