Landscapes and Pests: A Problematic Combination

Apr 26, 2021, 08:21 AM by Fred Speer

With warm weather now in the forecast, facility and property managers will turn their attention to improving the aesthetic look of the property surrounding their facilities.

A well-maintained landscape adds intrinsic value to a commercial facility, but it can also negatively impact pest pressure levels and increase the threat of pests gaining access to your facility, products, and customers.

Landscaping provides a place for pests like rodents, flies, cockroaches and stinging insects to establish nesting locations close to entry doors, windows and other openings.

Facility and property managers need to work with their maintenance department or landscape contractor to ensure that the exterior landscape of their facility is properly designed and maintained to reduce conducive conditions to pests.

Regular maintenance practices – regularly mowing grass and trimming trees and bushes, removing weeds, and thinning out or replacing densely overgrown shrubs and bushes with less dense varieties - will help reduce pest pressure.

What Attracts Pests to Landscapes?

How does a property’s landscaping contribute to a thriving pest population? What attracts pests to landscaping? Here is some information that explains the attraction.

  • A Food Source - Vegetation near structures can provide pests with readily available food sources. The sweet, sugary sap that plants produce is an attractive food source to ants and stinging insects as are the aphids that also come to feed off the plants. Fruit trees, date palms, Algerian ivy and boxelder trees are great examples of food sources that are very appealing to many insects.

  • A Place to Live - Rock or brush piles, dense foliage or ground cover, and mulch make for the ideal harborage location. While mulch may look attractive, it holds moisture and is attractive to cockroaches, ants, spiders, beetles, and termites. Maintaining a 2 ft. band that is free of grass, plants, or other organic material around the foundation will help create a pest buffer zone.

  • A Way Inside - Trees, bushes, and vines touching the structure provide pests with access to exterior walls and roofs where they can enter your business. Pests including roof rats, squirrels and ants will use tree limbs to access roof areas of a building and then gain access to sensitive areas of a facility through vents and other openings.

  • An Essential Element - Excess moisture is another attractant for pests. Maintaining a positive airflow around plants located near the structure will help prevent moisture build up. Performing regular maintenance tasks such as repairing broken sprinkler heads, sloping ground away from the building, directing sprinklers and downspouts away from structures, and using stone, rock, or other non-absorbent landscape materials will help prevent pest-attracting standing water or excessive moisture.

Conduct An Exterior Inspection

While conducting an exterior inspection with your maintenance department or landscape contractor to identify landscape conditions conducive to pests, be sure to take a 3-D view - not just ground level. Look for openings in the foundation, around window and door openings, and around gutters and roofs where pests can gain access.

Also, be sure to look for any power lines, vines, bushes or trees that are touching or within 6 feet of the roof. Other areas to inspect would include equipment ‘boneyards,’ seldom used storage areas, and waste management areas. Weeds in these areas provide attractive food and harborage locations that promote pest activity.

Additionally, look for signs of stinging insects that have established nests under eaves and overhangs, trees or around outdoor signage.

Clark Is More Than Pest Control

Even though Clark Pest Control is well-known for its pest-fighting prowess, it also has a green thumb. From high-quality, customized fertilizers blended for your specific patches of lawn, to meticulous tree and shrub care, to safe and effective weed and vegetation control, our mission is a healthy, green weed-free and pest-free property and grounds.

Our services are customizable, too. Use Clark’s Premier Commercial Lawn Care Service to combine any turf and ornamental services, like turf care, weed control or tree and shrub care, with our pest control and/or our termite monitoring programs. You’ll receive a comprehensive umbrella service that delivers all your pest, turf and ornamental needs together.

If you are looking for a pest management partner that understands your business and can help your company create a pest-free environment inside and out, give Clark Pest Control a call at (800) 936-3339.