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Pest Control for Ships

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Pest Control Aboard Commercial and Cruise Ships

The shipping industry provides an excellent “vehicle” for pests such as rodents, cockroaches, bedbugs, mosquitoes and fleas to live and thrive. Since ships are in port for very short periods of time to be serviced and stocked, early identification of pests is very important to prevent larger infestations.Continual monitoring is especially important to keep ships pest free. This is all part of Cypress Creek’s Integrated Pest Management program.

commercial pest control guide

Pests gain access to the ships a variety of ways:

  • Food and supplies being loaded onto the ship may be infested from substandard practices of suppliers.
  • Pest can enter through open spaces such as ramps, doors, portholes and ropes securing the ship to the pier.
  • Passengers  and crews’ luggage can introduce pests such as bedbugs onto the ship.
  • Pests may also enter on humans and pose a risk of infecting other passengers and crew.
  • Birds that land on the ship while in port or in transit can carry pests onto a ship as well.
  • Livestock that may be transported via ship may also introduce pests.

Once onboard the ship, there are many places that provide harborage for these pests. Ships contain many inaccessible ceilings, ducts, voids and walls. Standing water provides breeding sites and water sources for many pests such as mosquitoes, rats and mice.

Pest Spread Diseases Aboard Ships

The inability to rid a ship of pests creates certain problems, including disrupting the ecosystem and more worrisome, spreading diseases to passengers and crew members.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can spread disease via their bodies and droppings. They can carry dysentery, gastro-enteritis, typhoid and food poisoning organisms, which is spreads when coming into contact with our food. Cockroaches are able to breed rapidly. They are also highly resilient to treatment.

Rats

Rats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases either directly through handling, scratches and bites or indirectly through fleas, ticks and mites that have fed on an infected host. Rodent urine is responsible for the spread of hantavirus and leptospirosis.

Fleas

Fleas aboard the ship can transmit diseases such as plague, tularaemia, myxomatosis.

Mosquitos

Mosquitoes transmit diseases such as malaria, as well as viruses such as dengue and yellow fever to name a few. Aside from being annoying they can spread their diseases not only to passengers on the ship but to entire communities upon their arrival to new destinations.

It is important to monitor and act quickly when pests are discovered. Failure to do so can result in lost revenue from passengers, contamination of cargo foodstuffs, and damage to a shipping line’s reputation.