Pest Control Challenges for Companies in Exeter

Set in the heart of Devon, Exeter is famed nationwide for its mild climate and natural beauty. Known as the “city in the country” as the surrounding green hills can be seen no matter where you are, Devon’s capital is becoming increasingly popular as a place both to live and visit.

Described by The Sunday Times as a “glorious gateway to the west” after being named one of the UK’s top 20 places to live in 2017, Exeter is a true mixture of ancient and modern with its Roman Walls, medieval cathedral and modern city centre. It was even named as one of the Independent’s top 10 places for a city break, alongside New York, Berlin and Rotterdam.


All this is helping to make Exeter one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK. However, as its popularity surges, so too does competition between the many local businesses that serve tourists, students and local residents throughout the year. It’s imperative, therefore, that all business owners that operate within the city do everything they can to keep their reputations intact. As such, commercial pest control needs to be the number one priority.

Like all cities, Exeter is no stranger to pest problems and if there’s one thing that can ruin a business’ reputation in the blink of an eye it is the presence of pests. Rats and mice in particular make a healthy living in Exeter. With an abundance of cafés, restaurants, hotels, takeaways and pubs comes an abundance of food waste and shelter for these invasive, disease-carrying rodents to exploit. Only by establishing commercial pest control contracts through local professionals can Exeter businesses avoid the myriad problems – including negative press and financial losses – that pests cause.

Pest Species Affecting Businesses in Exeter

Effective commercial pest control contracts are a necessity for all types of business. Food service outlets, have a responsibility to ensure that they maintain a pest-free environment at all times. It is absolutely untenable to put public health at risk by allowing bacteria- and disease-ridden rodents and insects to come into contact with food for human consumption.

All businesses that serve food must adhere to rigorous legislation designed to ensure proper health and hygiene standards are maintained. These include the Food Standards Act 1999, the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations and the EU’s Regulation No. 852/2004 On the Hygiene of Foodstuffs.

Even businesses that don’t serve food can attract and harbour pests. Any commercial premises that keeps refuse near to their premises, will soon draw rats, mice and various insect species if rigorous cleaning standards are not maintained. Offices, building sites and retail outlets are just as likely to be invaded by rats, mice and cockroaches looking for food and shelter as any restaurant, takeaway or café. The same is true for hotels, hostels, care homes, hospitals and hospices – all of which have the additional concern of bed bug infestations to worry about.

Let’s consider the most problematic pest species that Exeter business owners have to contend with, the problems they cause and how to spot signs of infestation.

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice pose perhaps the biggest threat to businesses. They are synonymous with filth and disease, meaning any business that becomes associated with a pest problem will have a severe reputation issue to deal with – one that can lead to loss of custom, revenue and profits. In addition, rats and mice will cause substantial damage to buildings, fixtures, sewer systems and machinery via gnawing. They will also contaminate any food they come into contact with, as well as food containers and packaging. From a business perspective, anything that rodents damage or contaminate will have to be either repaired or replaced at potentially significant costs.

Signs of pests include evidence of such damage, as well as droppings, footprints, greasy smear marks along walls and skirting boards, squeaks and scratching noises and actual sightings of the animals – either live or dead. Should you, a member of staff or a customer spot any of these signs, it is imperative that you call in the commercial pest control specialists immediately to deal with the infestation.


Cockroaches are more common in the UK that many business owners perhaps realise. This may well be due to the fact that they are photosensitive to light and often only come out once a premise closes. Cockroaches stay well-hidden during the day, emerging at night from cracks and crevices to feed and look for new places to shelter. All species of cockroach breed rapidly, meaning infestations can spiral out of control quickly – particularly because they remain mostly invisible to business owners. As such, professional commercial pest control strategies delivered and maintained by experts are necessary to ensure business premises are adequately safeguarded against cockroach infestations. This is important – cockroaches are carriers of disease-causing bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, as well as various types of viruses and parasitic worms.

Signs of a cockroach infestation include shed skins, egg casings, droppings (which may appear either as small solids in dry areas or as brown smear marks when there is plenty of water available) and dead specimens. A lingering and unpleasant smell – often described as “oily” or “musky” – is another tell-tale sign of a heavy infestation.

Bed Bugs

Affecting hotel, hostel and B&B owners, as well as care home operators, hospitals, hospices and housing associations, bed bugs can cause big problems and an infestation is notoriously difficult to rectify. Though they are not known to spread disease, they nonetheless cause severe irritation due to the fact that they feed on human blood and have to bite through skin to get to it. A bed bug infestation can spread rapidly throughout a building, ruining reputations and leading to costly room refurbishments.

Bed bugs are tiny creatures – about the size of a match head – and are expert hiders, all of which makes them incredibly difficult to spot. There are specific signs to look out for. These include shed skins and dark stains (from excreta) and blood spots on mattresses and the surrounding area. There can also be an unpleasant sweet, sickly odour emitted from the insects’ scent glands that can indicate an infestation. Any complaints received from tenants about being bitten in the night is of course a sure sign of infestation. If this happens or any of the other signs are present, it’s crucial that commercial pest control professionals are called in immediately.

Commercial Pest Control Solutions in Exeter

No matter what type of business you run in Exeter, the threat of pest infestation is present at all times. Rats and mice thrive throughout the city, as do cockroaches and bed bugs. All business owners in Exeter need to take proactive measures to ensure they are maintaining 100% pest-free environments for their staff and customers. By far the best way to achieve this is through taking out a commercial pest control contract with a local specialist.

Baroque Pest Services part of Safeguard Pest Control has over 30 years’ experience designing and implementing bespoke commercial pest control solutions for businesses in Exeter. We pride ourselves in providing a fast and effective service that delivers peace of mind for all of our customers.

Baroque Pest Services serves all kinds of industries including: Bars, Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants, Hotels and B&Bs, as well as Nursing Homes, Factories, Warehouses and Organic Farms.

Our service begins with a free survey and risk assessment of your commercial premises. We will then tailor a commercial pest control contract that suits your business’s precise needs. Contact your local pest control specialist today for free quotation.

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