Rodent control both aboard vessels and within premises in the port area has always been of major importance in preventing the spread of rat-borne disease from foreign shores. Rats spread diseases such as Plague, Leptospirosis (Weil's Disease) and food poisoning such as Salmonella. In addition rats can cause significant damage to food cargoes, food premises and equipment.
Mice can be a problem on river pleasure craft, especially those that are permanently moored. They gain access via gangways, services ducting and pipe work and continue to live and breed on board, spreading dirt and disease wherever they go, damaging the structure, food and food packaging, contaminating food preparation surfaces, utensils and equipment.
Cockroaches can be a problem on some merchant vessels because there are lots of spaces on ships which are hard to access and treat, including behind and below equipment, in voids and ducting and between bulkheads and deckheads.
Cockroaches spread diseases such as Salmonella and other food poisoning bacteria as well as being a potential vector for viral infections. They multiply into large colonies very quickly given warm, dark, damp conditions and a ready supply of food. Their treatment and eradication is essential to improving and maintaining good public health standards on board ships.