Warehouse Pest Control Best Practices
In an age of booming online retail and e-Commerce growth, the footprints of warehouses are getting bigger by the day. Unfortunately, this expansion is great for pests, who now have more space than ever to stretch out and become a problem in your facility. Pest control is especially important for food industry facilities and warehouses, which have additional compliance regulations to keep in mind.
Along with being unsightly and unhygienic for employees, pest infestation can present huge issues for warehouses and the organizations that use them. Imagine what would happen if you found pest droppings or damage to your inventory, and aside from the cost associated with large-scale fumigation, the downtime could put a huge dent in the bottom line.
Although insects are common in warehouses, other infestations include rodents and birds. Below we talk about some of the frequent pest offenders, the signs that they’ve moved in, and what you can do to prevent them from setting up shop in the first place.
If you see a cockroach, you’ve got a problem! Often, though, they leave evidence of their presence before you spot them crawling throughout your warehouse. Cockroach feces can range from dark and cylindrical to something that looks like coffee grounds, and it could indicate a large or long-term infestation. Egg casings, musty odors, and dead roaches are also signs it’s time to call a pro.
Because roaches need food, water, and shelter to survive, your warehouse should eliminate all of these roach opportunities with a strategic and comprehensive cleaning plan. Remove the cardboard, keep dumpsters and recycling receptacles clutter-free, and invest in monitors that could alert you to cockroaches in your warehouse.
Between the rafters and the shelving, there’s plenty of prime real estate for birds to nest in your warehouse. Flying, swooping, and chattering can be distracting for employees, and droppings can contaminate your inventory and equipment with dangerous and infectious pathogens.
Look first to your loading dock areas when it comes to keeping our feathered friends out of your warehouse. Enforce best practices for quickly shutting dock doors and other entrances. Depending on your location, the birds may also be a protected species — something that requires expert knowledge when it comes to infestation resolution.
Even with a rigorous and consistent cleaning schedule, there are plenty of dirty, dark corners in your warehouse for flies to create ground zero. It doesn’t help that they’re also small and quick, and could enter the building through a variety of cracks, doors, and windows. They’re annoying and unhygienic and some species could pass on dangerous pathogens.
Keep a close eye on gaps to the outside world in windows and doors, along with any drain systems your warehouse uses — these are like a playground for flies. Implement strict cleanliness rules in the break room, regularly empty trash cans, and clean out dumpsters of residue that can attract flies.
Rats can enter your warehouse through cracks the size of quarters and mice come through spaces no smaller than a dime. Similar to cockroaches, they can quickly become a widespread problem. Rodent droppings also contain harmful pathogens that aren’t good for employees, products, or the customers that receive them. Tracking these droppings can give you a better idea of where rodents are making a home in your warehouse.
As with preventing other pests, the best way to keep rodents from your warehouse is by looking at your building closely for gaps, cracks, and holes that are a virtual “open” sign. Regularly inspect the exterior of your building and keep a close eye out for droppings.
Less frequently, other wildlife (think: squirrels, raccoons, and other small animals) will get into your warehouse. While they’re no less disruptive than other pests, they could be rabid or even pregnant and looking for a warm spot to give birth. They can disrupt your workers and your warehouse processes and require specialized skills to remove them.
While these pests and their nests are easy to spot — especially when it comes to the bigger animals — the same rule of infestation prevention applies: Keep them out in the first place! Make sure your facility manager is well-educated on the signs of these animals and other pests.
Pestshield’s business motto is making sure your business stays pest-free at all times. We understand your reputation is at stake, which is why we work quickly and efficiently to deliver the commercial pest control services you need. Connect with us online now or call today, so we can get eliminate your pest issue as soon as possible.