Rodents and Pests Are Abound This Spring
Do April showers really bring May flowers? While that old saying usually holds true, spring rains also can lead to increased pest pressure in and around commercial facilities.
According to Clark Pest Control’s Matt Wise, commercial quality assurance supervisor and associate certified entomologist, pest pressure, especially in the form of rodents, is on the rise so far this season.
“We are seeing a spike in rodent pressure, particularly with roof rats, in commercial accounts and that can be a real concern for clients,” says Wise. “It puts a strain on facility and QA managers, and threatens the integrity of their facility and the safety of the products they produce.”
Wise says even a single insect or rodent in a food plant is cause for concern. And with more stringent regulatory mandates and audit standards, and the threat of serious brand reputation damage due to the viral ability of social media – would you want a Snapchat photo of a rodent in your facility going viral in a few hours? - the food industry is looking to their professional pest management for solutions.
“We are consulting on a wider variety of issues when it comes to pest prevention solutions including the importance of inspecting incoming shipments, knowing your suppliers, strict adherence to sanitation programs and correcting structural deficiencies,” says Wise.
The rise in rodent activity can be attributed to a warm winter and recent heavy spring rains that have promoted vegetation growth on the exterior of facilities and provided rodents with a place to eat and nest.
This brings rodents closer to structures and allows them to “probe” for ways to gain access to a facility through the following entry points:
- Open loading dock doors or doors without door sweeps
- Openings in the foundation
- Shipping pallets that are frequently moved in and out
- Uncovered shipments of unprocessed food (i.e. grain, seed, etc.) waiting to be unloaded
- Tree limbs touching the roof where an open ventilation screen or opening in the roof can be located
Wise also mentioned he has seen an increase in new construction and renovations projects on adjacent properties stirring up rodent activity and forcing them to seek “quieter” accommodations in nearby buildings.
Flying insect and stored product pest pressure will also increase with the rising temperatures, and Wise recommends additional pest monitoring (i.e. pheromone, insect and rodent traps) programs be deployed to gather valuable data on pest populations levels and identify harborage locations.
“The data we collect is our ammunition to verify and validate if the programs we have in place are working and what adjustments are needed as pest pressure rises with warmer weather,” says Wise.
If you are looking for a pest management partner that understands your business and can help your company create a culture of food safety as well as deliver exceptional results and outstanding client care, give Clark Pest Control a call at (800) 936-3339.