Although we all love to see the varied wildlife in our beautiful countryside, wildlife creatures can become a nuisance when their presence threatens public health, crops, stored produce, buildings or the environment upon which they encroach. Some problems caused include -
Some species are vectors for disease and bacteria.
They can cause costly falls in revenue.
If pests are seen on premises or word spreads of their presence they can ruin reputations.
Legislation states that certain species must be actively controlled to maintain there populations at a sustainable level.
Pest species can cause four main problems when found on premises -
Many pest species are vectors for disease and bacteria
If pests are seen on premises or word spreads of their presence, they can ruin reputations
They can be responsible for costly falls in revenue
The presence of pests in industrial premises and in premises where food is stored or prepared is against the law and can result in major fines and even prison sentences in extreme cases. Simplified, the presence of pests means unhygienic premises, likely damage to goods and buildings, potential spread of disease and the possibility of unexpected expenditure.
Insects, rodents and birds contaminate food, equipment and work surfaces with excreta, hairs or parts of themselves, giving rise to 'foreign body' complaints by customers. Many such pests also carry bacteria, viruses, spores or parasites which may be passed on to people in food or drink. Some also produce allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
Over forty pathogenic organisms have been isolated from cockroaches inside buildings. The dried droppings of pigeons and starlings may carry respiratory infections.
Wildlife species can cause varying degrees of contamination to products, food, equipment and working surfaces, for example, the presence of Mole hills in a crop of silage can contaminate and make the crop unpalatable; Canada Geese droppings make can make surfaces slippery creating hazards to public health and safety. Many species also carry bacteria, viruses, spores or parasites which may be passed on to humans, live stock and pets resulting in infections.
Rats and mice have caused serious fires by gnawing the insulation from electrical cables, floods by puncturing pipes, and even death by chewing holes in gas pipes. They can also ruin packaging, polystyrene insulation and finished goods in store.
Insect infestation may cause the rejection of whole consignments of goods, the halting of production and the recall of products. Major contracts may be terminated if suppliers fail to meet hygiene standards laid down by their customers.
Pigeons and starlings incur substantial cleaning costs to remove their nests and droppings which are also reservoirs of insect infestation, and can block guttering and damage stonework.
When wildlife creatures encroach into areas of human activity, they can cause un-tolled damage and result in huge costs and losses. Rabbits can destroy crops resulting in huge losses, undermine embankments endangering human safety; Grey Squirrels can destroy saplings and trees by stripping their bark off; and Mink can decimate fish stocks and populations of song and ground nesting birds.
Loss of business
Prosecutions and fines for pest-infested premises make headlines that cause customers to shop or dine elsewhere. Loss of business means loss of profits, sometimes leading to closure. Damaged confidence and lost goodwill are inevitably caused by media reports such as "the hospital with death for lunch" or "butcher fined £15,000"
Damage and diseases caused by the presence of certain creatures can result in prosecutions from personal injury; the closure of premises; the restriction of activities, and the loss of custom due to products being damaged.
There are many pieces of legislation in the UK relating to the control of pests and wildlife creatures. A brief summary of the major pieces of legislation regarding the control of wildlife creatures, rodents and birds can be seen here. It is essential that legislation is adhered to as fines, closure and even jail sentences can occur from failure to do so.