Nothing has been normal over the past year. Nothing, that is, except for the pests that continue to pose a problem for commercial property owners and managers.
While many human activities have been altered in ways we’ve never experienced, pest activity has gone on as if nothing were amiss. In fact, pest activity increased during the pandemic, as pests’ food sources (e.g., food waste from restaurants and garbage from office buildings) decreased.
What does this mean for commercial property owners and managers?
Robert Barringer, a commercial sales representative for Clark Pest Control’s Auburn, CA office, says commercial properties can expect increased pest pressure levels this spring.
“We are gearing up for a busy spring season when it comes to pests,” says Barringer. “From ants and rodents to occasional invaders like earwigs and crickets, pest pressure is on the rise.”
Recent heavy rains have also forced pests to adapt. Ants, for example, require moisture, but not the type that floods them out of their nests. When flooding occurs, ants will search for drier accommodations, often inside commercial properties.
Ants seeking less-soggy harborage sites will often head straight for wall voids inside structures. From there, they will hunt for food waste and debris under ovens or food-processing equipment, in floor cracks and crevices, or under shipping pallets.
Flying insect and stored product pest pressure will also increase with the rising temperatures. Commercial properties should look at adding pest monitoring (e.g., pheromone, insect, and rodent trap) programs to gather valuable data on pest populations levels and identify possible sources of infestations.
Letting pests in
A single insect or rodent in a commercial property is cause for concern, especially if the property is involved in food processing and distribution. More stringent regulatory mandates and audit standards, the threat of recalls and financial losses, and the risk of serious brand reputation damage due to the viral potentials of social media all can turn into unhappy endings for commercial property owners and management.
Pests live outside, and correcting conducive conditions that promote their presence on the exterior of a commercial property need to be addressed. Trimming tree limbs so they don’t touch roofs, eliminating weeds and overgrown shrubs, picking up debris, and simply cutting the grass regularly will eliminate natural pest harborage locations near commercial properties.
Pests need help to gain access to commercial properties, and that often comes in the form of overlooked maintenance or sanitation practices, according to Barringer.
Pests will probe a structure’s defenses and gain access to a facility through the following entry points:
- Open loading dock doors or exterior doors missing door sweeps
- Cracks and openings in the foundation
- On shipping or storage pallets that are frequently moved in and out
- Inside incoming shipments of food (e.g., grain, seed, etc.) and non-food products
- Through ventilation or utility access openings, including those on the roof
Reducing the risk
This spring, Clark Pest Control is working with commercial property owners and managers to strengthen their pest management programs and adopt a proactive approach. Clark is stressing the importance of adopting the following best management practices:
- Inspecting incoming shipments for signs of pest activity
- Strictly adhering to sanitation and cleaning protocols
- Making pest exclusion a priority by correcting structural and maintenance deficiencies
- Staying on top of property maintenance, including weed control
- Cleaning up clutter in storage or equipment boneyards
- Do not hesitating to call a pest professional when increased pest activity is observed
Clark Pest Control remains committed to safeguarding your business 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 business.
If your company is looking for a pest management partner that understands your business and can help you protect your products, employees, and customers, call Clark Pest Control at (800) 936-3339.