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Sustainable Solutions for Green Buildings

As the usual practice goes, most buildings – commercial, industrial or residential – seek services of the pest management companies only when pest infestation has taken its toll. “In fact, effective pest management begins at the time of the construction, more so when it is a Green building. At The Ruby, we are working hand in hand with the facility head right from the time of construction,” says Veejai. The Ruby, a new commercial LEED building in Mumbai, is being maintained by Sila Solutions & Jason O’Connor Associates.

A 200sqm tall structure with integrated pest management systems in place has already commenced operations. “We were called in at the time of construction to put in place pre-construction pest control systems. We work very closely as a team with the FM.”

During and post construction, rodent control is one of the major issues keeping in mind the surrounding area of the premises. “The unique bait system introduced by Sterling has been procured especially for the project and implemented.”

Rodent Control

In general, rodent control includes using snap traps and other trapping devices (including glue boards), which are checked daily. Traps are placed out of the general view and strategically located so as not to be affected by routine cleaning procedures. All rodenticide are placed either in locations not accessible to children, pets, wildlife and domestic animals, tamper-resistant (often termed “tamper-proof”) bait boxes. Frequency of bait box servicing will depend upon the level of rodent infestation. All bait boxes are labelled and dated at the time of installation and each servicing. They are placed and maintained in accordance with an emphasis on the safety of non-target organisms. The following points are strictly adhered to:

a) The lids of all bait boxes are securely locked or fastened shut. Bait is placed in the baffle-protected feeding chamber of the box and never in the runway of the box.

b) All bait boxes are securely attached or anchored to the floor, ground, wall, etc., so that the box cannot be picked up or moved.

c) Solid poison baits are placed in distinctively marked bait stations or sturdy plastic, metal or wood construction – no paper or cardboard stations – and placed in areas normally inaccessible to users of the facilities, particularly children and pets.

d) All bait stations and trap locations are marked by placement or a distinctively coloured removable self-adhesive sticker placed on the nearest wall or column to make quick identification of each location.

e) A floor plan of each area has been made where bait stations and traps are located and numbered.The location of each numbered bait station and trap is entered in a diagram. These floor plans or diagrams are kept with the other records kept on the facilities.

“Rodenticide bait stations as such are not to be located in rooms where food for human or animal consumption is prepared, stored or served unless approved by the Customer.”

Pesticide Treatment

“Pest Management contract does not allow applying any pesticide which has not been listed on the “Customer’s Approved List of Pesticides”. As a general rule, application of pesticides in any area inside or outside the premises – in any room, closet, hallway, stairwell, court, driveway, planting bed, and similar locations – will not occur unless inspections or monitoring indicate the presence of pests in that specific area and alternate IPM methods or measures (physical, cultural, mechanical, biological) fail to suppress the pest population.”

At Ruby, with the onset of monsoon, Sterling has introduced special fly catchers procured for this project from abroad. It will be placed in strategic locations to ensure fly menace is under control.

“In most places, the pest company enters the premises only for treatment purposes. But at The Ruby, we have one pest man stationed permanently to make continuous rounds of the premises to ensure there is no scope for pest infestation. Even if we find any place not clean enough or there is some spillage, it is brought to the notice of the cleaning staff that gets into action immediately. Pest management is a team work and has to work in close coordination with various other maintenance departments.”

Further, an actual specimen of an insect pest or active signs of the same must be seen before pesticides are applied. A rodent dropping, burrow, or runway is sufficient to indicate the presence of rodents in an area.

Preventive Treatment

Preventive treatments at The Ruby have been applied both inside and outside the building, where inspections have indicated a potential insect or rodent infestation. This is applied on a case-by-case basis with approval after deliberating with the facility head.

Various options available include:

Chemical controls will be used primarily as a last resort and only after approval by the facility head on a case-by-case basis in accordance to Customer’s Approved List of Pesticides. “We submit labels and MSDS of all pesticides for review and if requested also submit sample of chemicals and materials for laboratory analysis as it may require.

“In cases where it can be determined that a particular chemical in use at the facility has, indeed, lost its effectiveness (due to reasons like resultant increase in resistance in the target pest population), those chemicals will be replaced with more effective ones.”

Safety and Chemical Data

As a practice, Sterling provides most current safety and technical data for chemicals like list of chemicals, including trade name and names of active and inert (including carriers and propellants) ingredients chemicals and their respective chemical classifications (i.e., Botanical etc. Besides, Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical, sample labels for each chemical, Antidote data where applicable, standard quick reference chart, list of poison control centres and its contacts details as per geographic area in which these facilities are located and all chemical controls is applied as approved by the customer, except insecticide or rodenticide baits.

We have devised IPM programme incorporating the advantageous use of all appropriate control options, including education, habitat modification, sanitation, alteration of maintenance activities, trapping and chemical controls.

A thorough, initial inspection had been conducted during the first month of the contract. The purpose of this initial inspection was to evaluate the pest control needs of the premises and to discuss these needs with the FM. The following specific points were addressed:

  1. Identification of problem areas in and around the building.
  2. Identification of structural features or personnel practices that are contributing to pest infestations.
  3. Discussion of the effectiveness of previous control efforts.
  4. Facilitation of Sterling IPM Team to all necessary areas. Access to building space will be coordinated with the customer representative.
  5. Informing Sterling Team of any restrictions or special safety precautions.

Record Keeping

All pest management data and documents are made available to the FM on demand. “Pest surveillance data is reported in a systematic fashion under which the number of pests or other indicators of pest population levels are revealed by the monitoring programme for the building.”

Besides pest and pesticide use data, a quarterly summary report on major pest management issues is submitted/discussed with the FM, which provides reports on sanitation, cleanliness and maintenance related to pest management.

Sterling maintains a complete and accurate pest management log book. Each building that is serviced under this contract will have its own logbook, which consists a copy of the Pest Management Plan and Service Schedule for the building, Pesticide labels & MSDS, the location of all traps, trapping devices, and bait stations in or around the premises.

“In fact, to ensure that the service at the premises does not get interrupted and required pest control measures are always available, we have introduced a well-equipped mobile van making rounds of all the premises we are servicing,” says Veejai.

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