Pest management is essential to maintaining health and safety standards in a facility. In the digital age, it’s also an increasingly important strategy from a PR and branding perspective. Word of a pest sighting spreads fast. There are entire websites dedicated to collecting and sharing user-sourced pest reports, plus a number of review publishing platforms like Yelp. But arguably, the real power and PR threat comes from social media. On sites like Facebook and Twitter, images and videos of pests in unexpected places can quickly go viral. All of this contributes to a more substantial media appetite for the best stories, like this recent expose on a Bronx building dubbed “rat central.”
The added pressure of social media and reviews puts the pressure on facilities uphold higher standards of cleanliness. For families living in low-income housing, this can be a lifeline. Take that “rat central” piece or the numerous other exposes revealing people struggling to escape from living in pest infested facilities because of poor or negligent building management. Digital media gives those in these kinds of desperate situations a voice and helps them get the aid they need and often are legally entitled to.
While social media and other digital tools help hold facilities more accountable, they can also lead to fabricated reports or unfair vindication. By and large, in our experience, facility managers are people who take pride in their property or properties and strive to offer clean, safe environments without making prices unreasonable. Pests can slip into well-kept facilities from time to time. As the temperature drops, the mere warmth of a facility can attract unwanted attention from insects, rodents and other unwelcome guests. All it takes is one unpleasant sighting to provide fuel for a social media fiasco or inspire a poor review, which can prove quite costly. For instance, a University of Kentucky study recently found that reviews mentioning pests significantly lower the value of rooms.
Year round pest management is the best way to keep your facility up to par with health and safety standards and to mitigate your risk of becoming part of a digital media fueled melodrama. Pest management professionals and in some cases, their trained canine coworkers can spot signs of an infestation long before you, your building residents or your customers can. What’s more, they can catch holes in your pest defense system and implement tools of deterrence to keep anything unwelcomed from moving in. Having a long term pest management plan (versus sporadic check-ins whenever problems arise) also means developing a relationship with a team of professionals who will get to understand your facility in depth and better predict what pest problems could arise within it.