Clark Commercial Blog – November 2021
Did you know forty-five percent of rodent issues take place during the fall and winter? This should raise a red warning flag to facility and property managers to make sure their pest exclusion efforts are up to the task.
Cooler weather can deplete a pest’s traditional food sources and commercial structures – especially food processing, distribution or warehousing facilities – become attractive locations, especially for rodents, searching for new food sources and a warmer place to wait out the winter.
It’s far easier to prevent a pest or rodent infestation than to eliminate it after it has been established in your facility. This means instituting a consistently applied pest exclusion program that starts with a thorough inspection of your facility both inside and out.
“We want to make structures as unattractive and hard to access for pests as possible,” said Nathan Pops, QA service manager for Clark Pest Control. “A comprehensive exclusion program, combined with good sanitation practices, can deliver an effective one-two punch to keep pests outdoors where they belong.”
The goal of an exclusion program is to identify structural deficiencies (cracks in the foundation, missing vent screens, missing door sweeps and weather stripping) that afford pests from cockroaches to rodents access to your facility.
Pops said an effective exclusion program is joint effort between clients and their pest management service provider. It can involve facility and property managers, and their maintenance/ engineering staff.
“Starting with the inspection of the property both clients and their pest management service providers need to identify items that need correction and ensure they are followed up,” said Pops. “This includes not only blocking pest access points but also sanitation and cleaning protocols, and employee training on how to reduce pest conducive conditions.”
Pest Vulnerable Areas
What areas are most vulnerable to have pests gaining access in a facility? Clark Pest Control has identified the following:
- Foundation Areas
- Roof/Roofing Materials
- Ventilation and Utility Openings/Chimneys
- Exterior Landscape (i.e., trees in contact with the roof)
- Exterior Doors/Windows
- Loading Docks
In this new era of increased scrutiny from third-party auditors and government inspectors, it is recommended corrective actions be documented and placed in the facility’s pest management file so it can be easily shared with auditors and inspectors.
Pops reminds clients that just because clients you did everything to keep pests, especially rodents out, it doesn’t mean they won’t keep trying to gain access.
“Pests are determined in their search for food, water and shelter and clients and their pest management service provider must be vigilant,” added Pops.
Pest Exclusion Checklist
- Walk around the entire foundation of the facility and check for cracks, gaps or holes. Holes as small as ¼ inch can be a potential entryway for mice or other pests. If you find cracks, gaps or holes, fill them with the appropriate materials.
- Don’t ignore weep holes – the small opening that allows water to drain from within an assembly. A weep hole can have a crack or gap inside of it that may not be visible to you from the outside but that a foraging insect may find. Fill weep holes with an appropriate material but still allow it to vent air and release moisture.
- Check around doors, door frames, and loading dock doors to ensure that there is a tight seal. Damaged, gnawed, worn, or missing door sweeps are one of the most common entry points for rodents and other pests.
- Inspect windows, screens and window frames and repair any damage. Don’t forget the windows located below ground level in window wells. Even if your wells are covered, the slightest gap will allow pests to crawl in and get access to your facility.
- Check openings where plumbing, gas and electric or cable wiring enters your facility as well as exhaust vents. Any gap around the pipes or wires should be filled with material to form a tight and secure closure. And don’t think you only need to check the entry points near the ground. Most rodents have no difficulty scaling siding, wires, or branches to get to openings above the ground.
- Inspect the roof line for any gaps. Ensure that the shingles, ventilators, chimney and vent screens are all in place and undamaged. Reattach areas that may be pulling away and fill any gaps.
- Install door sweeps. Various models of door sweeps are available and fit most common door sizes and types, and they are easy to install. Make sure to select one made of durable materials that can withstand the punishing environments (i.e., constant closing, forklifts, etc.) that are found in commercial facilities as well as the weather.
Clark Commercial – The Choice for Business Owners
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, give Clark Pest Control a call at (800) 936-3339.