The Mid-Winter Pest Update

Feb 16, 2018, 09:04 AM by Fred Speer

Spring officially arrives on March 20. However, unseasonably warm weather in California and parts of northern Nevada has caused some pests in and around commercial facilities to act confused, while other pests are acting like one might expect.

Greg Ingram, A.C.E., a corporate QA manager for Clark Pest Control, says he has witnessed a spike in mosquito and flying insect activity recently, something that Clark pest experts typically don’t see until spring.

“California and northern Nevada enjoy a variety of micro-climates that can impact not only the type of pest you might encounter, but where and when you encounter them,” says Ingram. “This winter, we have seen earlier activity with some non-seasonal pests, and slightly increased activity of more traditional winter pests – including rodents and wildlife.”

Abundant rain from the winter of 2016-2017 yielded an increase in plant growth, which helped to provide plentiful sources of food and harborage for disease-transmitting and destructive commensal rodents – mice, Norway rats, and roof rats.

With more places to eat and live on the exterior of a commercial facility, rodents improved their chances of gaining access to the holy grail of more food, water, and shelter on the inside.

And when colder temperatures and drier conditions arrived this winter, eliminating the rodents’ natural food sources, their first move was to use that proximity to structures to their advantage.

“This placed an emphasis on making sure our commercial facilities were focusing on pest exclusion and eliminating conducive conditions that could attract them,” says Ingram.

Ingram says three common conditions that attract pests to a facility in the winter include:

  1. Deficiencies in a facility’s sanitation programs
  2. Structural deficiencies, such as missing screens, openings in the foundation or roof, lack of door sweeps, loose seals on doors, windows, etc.
  3. Excess clutter inside and outside the facility (i.e., overcrowded storerooms, stacked wooden pallets, etc.)

Another factor that helped increase pest pressure in certain areas is the havoc wreaked by California’s wildfires, flooding, and mudslides.

“The natural habitats of rodents and other pests were disrupted by these events,” says Ingram, “and as a result, they went in search of more welcome environments – usually the closest structure.”

To keep pests out of your facility this winter (and all year around), Ingram recommends the following:

  • Take preventive action in the fall months to correct conditions that attract pests and allow them to gain access to your facility.
  • Get outside and perform a thorough inspection of the exterior of your facility with your maintenance staff and your pest management provider, so that you can identify items that need correction.
  • Create a defensible space around your facility by reducing excess landscape plantings and other conducive conditions.

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, call or text Clark Pest Control at (800) 936-3339.