During the school year, children spend a majority of their time in school where they learn, eat a meal, play, and socialize with others. Ideally, a school should be a safe place in which to do all those things. Unfortunately, schools can also attract harmful pests, especially rodents and cockroaches. These creatures can put students and teachers at risk and disrupt the learning process. Fortunately, with a combination of preventive measures and commercial pest control services in Guelph, schools can be free from pests.
Why Do Pests Infest Schools?
Most schools serve students at least one meal a day, while some serve breakfast as well as lunch. All that food is typically prepared on-site and then disposed of in dumpsters afterward. Pests are attracted to easy meals, so they are most often found in school kitchens, food storage areas, and dumpsters where the food is disposed of. Not all students eat school lunch, preferring to bring a packed lunch from home. Children, especially young children, are prone to forgetfulness and may leave food in storage areas rather than taking it home and disposing of garbage properly.
School is often out of session during the summer. During this time, the empty building offers shelter and protection from predators. Pests may take advantage of the quiet and deserted hallways free of hundreds of pounding feet and shouting voices to make nests, breed, and raise young. While some pests are frightened away when the students return in the fall, others adapt to remain in their new homes.
What Are the Dangers of Pests in Schools?
One of the biggest dangers is the spread of disease. Cockroaches can contaminate food with their feces. Their excrement contains bacteria that can make people sick. Rodents are hosts to parasites such as fleas and ticks that can spread disease to people by biting them. Not only that, but rodents may also be carriers of dangerous diseases such as hantavirus, which spreads through their urine. It causes severe respiratory distress and, while not always fatal, there is no cure or medication to treat it.
Pests such as rodents or spiders may make nests in little-used storage areas inside classrooms. If the storage areas are disturbed, the pests may feel threatened and try to bite in self-defence. Some species of spiders have a venomous bite strong enough to harm humans. In addition to being very painful, the bite of a rodent could spread disease through the bloodstream. Even if there is no physical illness, the trauma of an animal attack could scar a child psychologically.
What Are Some Steps To Keep Pests out of Schools?
Fortunately, there are things that teachers and administrators can do, with the help and cooperation of parents and students, to keep schools free from pests. While it would not be practical to stop serving meals and not allow anyone to eat during school hours, it is possible to dispose of food properly to prevent it from attracting pests to the classroom. Students should be instructed to dispose of food waste in the proper receptacle as soon as possible, and janitorial staff should dispose of it in a timely fashion. Each classroom should have a designated area for sack or box lunch storage, and teachers should make sure that students take lunch boxes and bags home at the end of every day. Parents should be instructed on the proper storage and packing of food items in airtight containers that prevent odours from escaping.
Classrooms should be carefully organized to avoid clutter. Supplies should be stored in sealable plastic containers, preferably on shelves rather than on the floor. Teachers should involve students in a weekly clean-up in which the room is organized.
Despite efforts such as these, pests may still get into your school. Commercial pest control services in Guelph from Truly Nolen provide solutions to keep your school safe and clean.