After summer ends and the weather cools down, it is a good time for facilities managers to evaluate their pest management strategies; as little critters find the outdoors too cold for their liking they will surely try to find a warmer locale inside your buildings.
The five most common types of pests that affect businesses are rodents, cockroaches, stored product pests (moths, weevils, beetles and others), flies and ants, according to data from Terminix Commercial.
Facility managers have a lot to gain from delving into their pest management strategy and revising it. For those who do not have a management plan to deter and mitigate these destructive forces, now is the best time to start one. It is better to be late than never, especially when it could mean the difference between recovering or losing thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory.
Terminix supplies four strategies to deal with these creatures:
Control the point of access. It is crucial to inspect physical entry points to the facility. Stopping pests at the point of entry when the weather starts to turn cold is the simplest way to avoid a pest mess. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends sealing any hole with a diameter larger than a pencil to prevent rodents from entering. Rodents can chew through structural components such as electrical wiring, drywall, and potentially introduce allergens. If you see one mouse, it is a signal to call in a professional; one female mouse can have up to 35 offspring per year. Trapping mice by yourself in this fashion is a slow and ineffective strategy—the lone mouse may die but the pack will survive.
Know where and what to inspect. Pests can appear without a sound. Conduct routine inspections for signs of an infestation throughout the facility, even hidden spaces such as drains and pipes. Cockroaches need moisture to survive and often travel into facilities through dark pipes that provide a steady supply of hydration. They are both silent and nocturnal, so it can be challenging to find them. There are many physical signs of pest infestations, including bite or chew marks on furniture or other objects, droppings, or physical sightings of the pests themselves.
Implement sanitation procedures early and often. Proper sanitation can build a strong base foundation to hold together pest management strategies. Emphasize to employees the importance of regular cleaning of common areas and specifically instruct to remove food and beverages from workspaces at the end of every day.
It’s a team effort. Proactively identifying and resolving pest challenges is a tough task, and requires partnership among janitorial, facilities and pest management staff. If a pest problem is identified, facility managers should alert others on the team to ensure that it can be property addressed and any challenges can be rectified, both internally and externally.