21st March, 2012
Hawkers of pest control substances and environment fumigators are making brisk business in Lagos as residents take precautionary measures against the spread of Lassa Fever, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Lassa fever is an acute illness, transmitted through contaminated food by rodents’ urine and excreta.
NAN recalls that Lagos is one of the 18 states where the disease was reported to have ravaged in recent times.
In separate interviews, the pest contol hawkers told NAN that they have been recording more sales since the outbreak of the disease in in Lagos State.
Mr. Rasheed Bello, who hawks rat poison at Oshodi market, said that radio announcements that rat is the carrier of the lassa fever, has been a blessing to his business.
“There is serious rush for the rat poison and traps, as demands have doubled, compared to previous sales.
“I have no regret engaging in the business because I am recording large turnover in the rat killer business.
“Before, I used to sell the products within five days after production, but now, because of the fear people have for the lassa fever, I sell my product in two days as more people come to buy,” he told NAN.
Bello said that he produces the rat poison in powdery and gum-sticky form and that his profit has more than double from N800 gain per day to N3,000.
Another hawker, Mr. Kunle Ajayi, expressed surprise at the sudden increase in sales he has been recording in the last two weeks.
He said that during the raining season, he used to make more sales than the dry season, but because of the outbreak of the lassa fever, he has been making more sales.
“Early this year, the sales was not encouraging; I can barely sell 15 pieces of rat killer in a day before, but now I make more turnover, selling as much as 40 pieces daily,” Ajayi said.
Mr. Olushola Akanni, who works with ‘Pestgo’, a pest control company, told NAN in a telephone interview that companies and residents have been calling for service to fumigate their places.
He said that charges for fumigation depend on the size of the home or office and the environment.
According to him, fumigating a plot of land before was N15,000, but now that more people want to get rid of rodents in their environment, the cost is now N20,000 per plot.
He said because of the lassa fever crises, the company had increased its fumigation and pest control charges.
Mr. Yomi Kolawole, who operates fumigating business at Army Barrack in Oshodi also said that the outbreak of the lassa fever has boosted patronage of his business.
He noted that many people were yet to understand the danger of lasser fever and the rat as its carrier agent.
Kolawole expressed hope that by the time more people become aware of the disease, they will demand for fumigation service, “that will mean more businesses for us.”
To fumigate an office, he said he now charges N15,000, up from N10,000 previously charged, while fumigation of residential quarters cost N10,000, up from N7,000.
He advised that people should fumigate their houses to get rid of rats and other dangerous creatures that could threaten healthy environment.
Mrs. Adeola Adeoye, a hawker in Lagos Island also acknowledged boom in the sales of rat poison following the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.
She said that the disease had made Nigerians to be more cautious about their environment, adding that it has help her to record more sales in the last two months.
“I used to sell only one pack of rat poison before, but now, I sell over three packs.
“I guess it should be because of the lassa fever which is killing people now,” she said.
She said that in January, sales was low, but now that people are aware that rat kills when it passes urine in a food, more people are coming for the killer poison.
“Most homes have started buying different kinds of rat killers in order to prevent their family from contacting the disease,” NAN quotes her as saying.