Winter rodent prevention strategies

Dec 16, 2022, 12:49 PM by Fred Speer

Winter’s cooler and wetter weather typically reduces overall pest activity. Still, rodents continue their trend of being ever-present in and around commercial facilities all year long.

Rodent pressure remains intense in major urban areas across California, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Long Beach. What do commercial property owners and managers need to do to protect their facilities from rodent incursions this winter? The short answer: Be proactive.

Rodents, especially rats, are a product of their environment. Control measures, including traps and baits, are designed to act on the rodents. But if you don’t proactively change the environment or conditions in a facility, they will always find a way to survive.

Inconsistent sanitation practices, especially unsecured or overflowing dumpsters on the exterior of commercial facilities, can be a driving force behind robust rodent populations.

Three out of four commercial outlets in a strip mall or on a city block can be doing all the right things regarding sanitation and exclusion. But if one restaurant or tenant slacks off, the rodent population can explode and cause headaches for everyone else.

A proactive approach

Designing and implementing proactive rodent control programs is what property and facility managers need to focus on this winter. What proactive practices can be added to rodent control programs to enhance their effectiveness?

  • Review and adjust protocols for inspecting incoming shipments before they leave the loading dock and enter your facility. Don’t be afraid to reject a shipment if you suspect it has been compromised by rodents or other pests.
  • Communicate any sightings of rodents, droppings, or damage to packaging with your pest management service provider so they can investigate. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to assume nothing’s wrong.
  • Conduct assessments of your rodent management program twice a year with your pest management service provider to identify weak spots and deficiencies that need to be addressed. Make changes based on your findings and review of trend data, and document what you intend to do. Include plant management in the process so they are in the loop.
  • Make sure any corrective actions that are noted in your assessments or practice audits are followed up on and documented.
  • Pay attention to the presence of other pests, especially stored product pests like grain or rice weevils. These pests and rodents enjoy some of the same foods (e.g., grains, rice), so if one is present, the other may be, too.


Rodent exclusion checklist

Rodents are quite clever and resourceful at identifying ways to access a structure. This fact stresses the importance of making rodent exclusion your first line of defense. Exclusion work can be handled by your maintenance staff, your pest management service provider, or a combination of both.

Look beyond the obvious areas for rodent entry, like windows and loading dock and entry doors, to vents, pipes, utility openings, cracks in the foundation, and openings on the roof. Stay on top of sanitation and cleaning protocols.

  • Carefully inspect incoming shipments for signs of rodents.
  • Stay on top of structural and landscape management practices.
  • Repair or replace all torn or missing window and door screens.
  • Replace old or missing weatherstripping.
  • Install door sweeps to help create a barrier against rodents by closing gaps under entry and loading dock doors.
  • Use water-resistant sealant or adhesive to fill in cracks, crevices, or gaps in your foundation that could give rodents a route inside.
  • Repair or replace broken or missing vent covers with rodent-proof material.


Clark Pest Control – rodent control experts

If you are looking for a pest management partner that understands your business and can help your company create an effective year-round rodent management program, call Clark Pest Control at (800) 936-3339.