Pest control on farms
As large, open spaces with constant movement between buildings, farms can unfortunately become home to a range of pests. Whether it’s an infestation of rats in warehouses or the continual appearance of moles in fields, pests can cause significant damage to yields and equipment. In this post, we detail the risks posed by farm pests and how to deal with them.
The problem with pests…
For arable farms, pests can pose a serious risk to yields. Wild rabbits, for instance, are estimated to cost British farming at least £1 million each year – with half of that amount accounted for by lost crops. Chewing through wheat, barley, and oats, rabbits are just one of the animals eating into the profits of farmers; mice, rats, and moles also have an insatiable appetite for freely available field-food.
The field isn’t the only place where pests can get to your crops. If appropriate measures aren’t in place, rodents, insects and birds can contaminate your hard-earned yield once it’s been harvested. Making their way into warehouses, they can feed on any crops that haven’t been stored securely and leave droppings among them. The result? A significant amount of waste.
Damaged buildings and equipment
Perhaps even more costly to farmers is damage to buildings, vehicles, and equipment. Rats and mice can gnaw through wood, metal, concrete and electric cables, not only damaging structures and equipment, but increasing the risk of a fire. With machines out of action and buildings not meeting safety standards, maintenance costs can soon add up.
How to deal with pests on the farm
Any farm pest control process starts with a full assessment. This will look at what pests are likely to be on the farm, what damage they’re causing, and where they’re coming from. Once the situation has been gaged, an action plan can be put into place to effectively deal with the pest infestation.
Depending on the type of pest identified, baiting is the next step to take. Bait stations are placed in key strategic points around the premises in order to maximise exposure to pests – hidden corners of calving sheds and unused storage warehouses, for instance, can prove fertile grounds for problem pests. Another consideration is the type of bait used; a professional pest controller will only use bait designed to target one specific pest, so that no other animals are harmed during the process.
If there’s an infestation inside a farm building, then a professional pest controller will be able to identify the access points for pests and install physical measures to bar entry. This might mean putting specially-designed grills over drains, vents, or any other openings into the buildings.
A regular inspection from a pest controller is important in preventing an outbreak. Not only will they look for signs of pests, but they will check and maintain any measures already installed. Whilst this is useful in ensuring the smooth running of farm operations, it may also help in providing important paperwork for regulatory purposes (for example, to qualify for the Red Tractor badge of food safety assurance).
Farmers are no strangers to the risks posed by pests, but they may lack the time and resources to deal with them effectively. By employing the services of a professional pest controller on an on-going basis, they can save themselves the hassle and ensure their business isn’t brought to a standstill by an infestation.
Dealing with a pest problem on your farm? Get in touch with Inoculand to see how we can help. Operating around London and the South East, our expert pest controllers make sure that businesses remain pest-free with minimal disruption to their operations