Black Friday for Pests: Pest Management in Retail Facilities

Want to make it Black Friday for pests in your retail facility? Retail outlets including those located in strip or conventional shopping malls, sprawling mixed-use “lifestyle” centers or stand-alone big box outlets

present a host of unique service needs when it comes to the prevention and elimination of pests. 


The Sprague Pest Experts have extensive experience working with retail clients to keep pests in check. Sprague uses only the most advanced, targeted treatment protocols to protect your employees, customers and products from unwanted pest incursions.

The Trojan Horse Problem

The process in which a product is made, warehoused, transported, warehoused again, possibly transported again, and then displayed and sold can lead to pest issues. All along the path from the manufacturer to the consumer, there are opportunities for insect and rodent pests to “Trojan horse” their way inside a retail facility. 

Most retail establishments receive numerous deliveries of incoming goods and information on how and when deliveries occur in a facility should be shared with your pest management partner. 

This information may prove valuable in solving a pest problem. For example, a retail client with a bird inside their store discovered that it was a common practice for one of the staff to open up the garage loading dock door in anticipation of a scheduled delivery. Knowing this fact and changing the practice, helped reduce the likelihood of birds reentering that location. 

Taking Pest Inventory

Another factor that impacts pest activity in a retail facility is stock movement and rotation. The longer an item sits in a warehouse, stock room or on a retail display shelf, the higher the potential that it may be affected by an unwanted insect or rodent pest.

In many retail locations there are certain products that are more susceptible to pest infestation than others. For example, bird seed in a hardware store or the candy counter in a drug store can be prime targets for pests. 

It is important for the client and pest management provider to identify these potentially sensitive areas within the facility and note the type of displays and shelving used. Certain types of shelving systems create more potential pest harborages and are harder to gain access for cleaning, inspection and needed pest treatment. 

In retail establishments it is very common to have a secondary point of infestation for stored product pests, such as Indian meal moths, that provide points of reinfestation. One example the Sprague Pest Experts came across involved spilled bird seed.

All the stock had to be removed from the shelves and the gondola “kick plates” removed to allow access to clean up and remove spilled bird seed from this area that was causing continual reinfestation. 

The Pest Next Door

The Sprague Pest Experts also want clients to be aware of the potential impact that adjacent retail spaces can have on pest issues. This is especially true in areas such as ‘strip mall’ centers. For example, there was a case where a retail space tenant was hearing the noise of a “large animal” walking on their overhead drop ceiling. 

Upon investigation it was found that the “large animal” was actually a family of raccoons that were entering on the opposite end of the building that had a common ceiling void. To add interest and difficulty, another tenant was putting out food every evening to feed the animals. 

This is why the Sprague Pest Experts will put on their “secret shopper” hat and closely inspect and investigate a retail facility and the surrounding areas for signs of conditions that make it conducive for pests to gain access.

(Source: Portions of this article were adapted from the PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management)

Commercial Properties