The threat presented by rodents to commercial facilities across California is continuous. Rodent pressure is ever-present, especially in urban areas where food and harborage locations are available in abundance.
Over the past 18 months, rodents have taken advantage of the pandemic. When offices, restaurants, schools, and non-essential businesses closed, the garbage and food waste that was usually deposited in alleyway dumpsters and garbage cans, or left in trash bags, disappeared, and the rats were left with nothing. What resulted was increased and aggressive foraging, as rodents desperately searched for food.
Rodents also had commercial facilities to themselves. They roamed freely inside and reproduced in significant numbers, with little or no human interference. This put commercial facilities in a tight spot, especially as they reopened and welcomed customers and employees back.
The presence of rodent droppings and urine in commercial properties, especially those involved with food processing and service, presents a host of threats. Rodents can contaminate food, food-preparation surfaces, and equipment, and can spread harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. They also can trigger allergies and asthma.
Rodents also present a threat to the structural integrity of properties, as they can chew through wood, drywall, packaging, and finished goods. Rodents also can gnaw through electrical wiring, which increases the risk for fires.
Developing a rodent exclusion program
Property managers and business owners should work with their pest management service partner to design and implement an effective rodent exclusion program – the most effective way to keep your facility rodent free.
Rodent exclusion is founded on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. It can be applied to any commercial account, from a multi-acre food processing or distribution plant to a restaurant or office building.
The key elements of an effective rodent exclusion program include:
- Use quality exclusion materials installed by a trained professional, or you will be wasting your time and money.
- Inspect and seal all rodent pathways that enter or connect to structures at ground level, below ground, and above ground.
- Ensure that overhead loading dock and entry doors have sturdy weatherstripping installed to deny rodents access.
- Keep the landscape around your facility minimal and well maintained. Overgrown shrubs and grass provide the perfect cover for rodents looking for a way in. Tree limbs in contact with a structure can provide roof rats with easy access through openings on the roof.
- Don’t underestimate a rodent’s ability to gain access to a building – a mouse only needs an aperture of a quarter-inch to make its way inside.
Sanitation is also rodent management
Rodent exclusion, however, is not limited to structural repairs. Effective rodent management also includes practicing good sanitation.
Sanitation is fundamental to rat control and must be continuous. If sanitation measures aren’t properly maintained, the benefits of other measures will be lost, and rodents will quickly return.
Good sanitation practices in and around commercial properties buildings will reduce available shelter and food sources for rodents. Make sure that food-processing equipment is cleaned regularly, garbage is removed frequently, and that dumpsters and garbage cans have tight-fitting covers and are located away from building entrances.
Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your business or commercial property from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
If your commercial property demands innovative pest management solutions and a pest management partner that understands your business, call Clark Pest Control at (800) 936-3339.