As the St. Louis area continues to face the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, many commercial spaces like offices, warehouses, and retail businesses are either closed completely or limiting who has access to their facilities. This has created a challenge when it comes to pest control; facility managers may be unable to perform regular maintenance that could prevent a pest infestation.
Without regular pest control treatment from an experienced team of experts, pests and rodents can set up shop causing major damage to the structure of the building. Termites can eat away at the interior of walls, rodents can chew through electrical wiring, roaches can impact the health and wellness of your employees, and ants can make a dent on inventory like food and beverage items that are being stored until its next use.
An uncontrolled infestation could grow so large that eradication can become a costly and extensive project and present contamination risks when the buildings finally open to full capacity. Understanding the biggest threat to a vacant commercial building is the first step to knowing how to best treat infestations and prevent them from happening throughout the closure, however long it may last.
As non-essential construction projects grind to a halt, buildings and building supplies are left unattended and vulnerable to termite infestation. Unrepaired leaks in commercial buildings create the perfect entrance for these pests to create a new home in the walls and damage the structure from the inside.
Piles of lumber left in or around construction sites or partially completed homes can draw termites to the area, as can wooden roofing materials. Paint that has been left to peel and crack because of deferred maintenance can open buildings up for termites to march right in, where they can go undetected while doing even more damage.
Rodents like rats and mice love to set up shop and multiply in areas that have access to an extensive supply of food and water. Mice can produce up to 60 offspring a year and rats have the potential to produce 70 a year. When they create nests in buildings — especially vacant ones — they’re protected from the elements of weather and predators, both of which can increase their survival rate.
Rodents are a particular concern in buildings that are near restaurants or schools that no longer have food in abundance. Because they’ve been shut down and the rodents’ food supply is cut off, they’ll move to neighboring facilities to eat. Dumpsters that aren’t emptied regularly are also an attraction for rats and mice looking for their next meal. Aside from the damage they do, their droppings can also transmit diseases and become vectors for parasites like ticks and fleas.
The most common place to find cockroaches are businesses that prepare and store food. They’re small and quick, eat virtually anything, reproduce rapidly, and carry diseases, all of which can cause a serious headache for business owners who may not be paying close attention due to limited operating hours and staffing cutbacks.
Roaches like dark, humid places that are hard to reach and harder to clean. When businesses are closed and the cleaning crew isn’t making their regular rounds, roaches can quickly become a huge problem. Droppings and egg casings can contaminate food and cause odors and staining, along with contributing to airborne allergens that could be dangerous to humans.
Ants are generally harmless to humans, but devastating to buildings and the inventory they hold. They are social insects and live in colonies, which means there are often many at a time concentrated in one area. They love to build nests in moist wood that’s a result of a lack of regular repair and growing leaks.
Like all pests, ants are just looking for a warm place to live and plenty of food to eat. Not only will they chew through the walls, but they’ll also destroy food items and swarm areas where moisture collects. Imagine the cost of repairs or inventory replenishment after coming back from a period of closure; businesses are already struggling enough.
Even if your St. Louis business or office building is closed to essential employees, our experienced pest control team can offer ways to keep it safe from pest infestation. We will work with you to create a maintenance plan that prevents widespread damage while keeping everyone safe and protected from the spread of illness. We provide advanced pest control services to businesses of all types across the greater St. Louis area. Contact us today for a free quote!