Strengthening Pest Management Programs in Commercial Properties
Businesses and commercial properties have been through a lot in the last year. Pests, however, have not had much sympathy for the plight of business owners and property managers. They continue to forage for food, water and shelter, annoy residents and employees, and threaten food supplies.
On a recent Sprague webinar, Shane Hartnett, regional manager for Sprague, outlined how business owners and property managers can strengthen their pest management programs during these challenging times.
The Sprague Fresh Start program encompasses a holistic, integrated pest management (IPM) approach to prevent and eliminate pests in commercial properties.
“Commercial properties have been operating under three scenarios during the pandemic,” said Hartnett. “They’ve been closed the entire time and do not have a reopening date identified; they were closed but are preparing to reopen; or they have been open with reduced capacity or hours. Each scenario requires a pest management strategy.”
Three Scenarios – One Solution
In commercial properties that have remained closed and do not have a set reopening date the absence of humans has allowed pests to go undisturbed. Harnett said reduced availability of food and water sources has also changed pest behavior.
“Clients have reported seeing rodents outdoors during the day because their normal food sources have been eliminated,” said Hartnett. “We’ve seen fly and cockroach activity on the rise in dried-up drains or due to left behind sanitation or structural issues. Pests are in survival mode.”
Hartnett recommends business owners and property managers maintain a regular service schedule even if they are closed. The Fresh Start program includes ongoing interior and exterior inspections for signs of pest activity or pest conducive conditions including:
- Rodent droppings
- Dead or live insect evidence
- Sanitation/structural conditions
- Vegetation overgrowth
- Dumpster condition
- Rodent proofing and exclusion
Electrical and plumbing conduits, for example, are often overlooked access points for pests including ants (Odorous house ants often use these openings) and rodents.
Monitoring for insect and rodent activity is also incorporated in the program, including the deployment of electronic monitoring and cameras. Clients and their pest management service provider can get a good idea from a sticky trap or monitoring device as to the level of pest pressure and the possible source of the infestation.
The absence of employees and customers provides pest management professionals with more transparent control options including mass trapping, fogging and deployment of rodent baiting programs indoors. It also allowed for pest exclusion programs to be improved.
“Without people coming and going in commercial properties it has been a little easier to perform services like exclusion or large-scale rodent control programs,’ said Harnett. “It has allowed us to be aggressive in our approach.”
Open for Business and Pests
For businesses that have remained open, pest management programs should be delivered with minimal interruption to day-to-day operations. They should also provide confidence to business owners, property managers, and their customers, guests, residents and employees that pests won’t adversely impact their ability to stay open.
A service now being added by commercial properties is disinfection services. Protecting employees, customers and residents from potentially harmful bacteria and viruses is a top priority for business owners and property managers. The service can mitigate risks and restore confidence that the property is safe to visit, work or live in.
Ready to Get Back in the Game
For properties preparing to reopen, the Fresh Start program helps ensure that employees and customers come back to a pest-free environment.
“Closed buildings are under an increased risk for rodent and pest pressure,” said Hartnett. “Dried drains provide flies and cockroaches with access, so it’s important to get caught up on preexisting pest issues, as well as address new ones.”
The Fresh Start program includes a detailed inspection of the property and identify where pests are most likely to be a problem. These can include:
- Refuse areas
- Customer areas
- Other pest prone areas (loading docks, entryways, landscaping near structures, etc.)
Hartnett said it is important for your company’s pest management partner to document all activities and actions taken to prevent and/or eliminate pests.
In addition to documenting what was done and why, it’s important to collect and analyze data gathered during monitoring and inspections. Using data encourages a proactive approach to designing and adjusting dynamic pest management programs that are based on facts and science, not guesswork.
For more information on how Sprague Pest Solutions can assist you reopen your commercial property, call 855.805.0755.