Landscape Design Tips to Reduce Pest Pressure

Food processing, distribution, storage and service operations are more vital than ever right now. Enhanced cleaning, sanitation and disinfection protocols are the new norm, but it is important to maintain vigilance in preventing food-borne illnesses caused by pests as well.

Pest pressures from rodents, cockroaches, flies, stored product pests and other pests will not cease during these uncertain times. That is why it is critical to stay on top of your facility’s pest prevention and management programs.

Sprague Pest Solutions is committed to providing its clients with the innovative and IPM-based solutions it has advocated for decades and delivering those solutions with the safety of its employees and clients in mind.

Here are the Sprague Essentials – helpful tips for maintaining  effective pest management programs in this new era of food safety.

Landscape Design Tips to Reduce Pest Pressure

April showers bring May flowers. That age-old statement applies not only to the flowers in your yard but to the landscape plants, shrubs and trees that are often found around commercial buildings including office buildings, healthcare facilities, schools, and retail centers.

While shrubs and trees add to the aesthetic appearance of your facility, they can also encourage pest activity.

Pests including rodents, cockroaches, ants, stinging insects, and termites will use the outdoor landscape of your facility to establish nests, find sources for food and water, and gain access to your facility. However, with appropriate landscape design and adherence to regular maintenance practices, facility managers can squash pest pressures.

Mulch looks decorative but it’s a refuge for pests around your facility. Replacing mulch with a 10 to 12-inch barrier of decorative stones will eliminate hiding places.

Regularly mow grass, prune bushes and trim trees; ants and rodents can use branches to gain access to roofs and ventilation openings. Thin out or replace densely overgrown shrubs and plants with less dense varieties. Break up dense plantings with pathways of stones (at least 6 inches deep and 36 inches wide is recommended).

Eliminating excess moisture and maintaining a positive airflow around landscapes located near your facility will also prevent moisture build up and discourage pests.

  • Proper guttering and soil grading to move water away from buildings and parking lot.
  • Switch to automatic watering systems to avoid excessive moisture.
  • Use pea sized gravel (1 to 3 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide) around the perimeter of your building to create a pest “unfriendly” zone.
  • Keep grass low and limit the use of plantings and mulch on the exterior.
  • Plant shrubs and trees 3 to 6 feet away from the facility.
  • Avoid Pachysandra and juniper plants that promote burrowing and digging by rodents.
  • Avoid azaleas and other plants that promote aphids, scales, or other honeydew-producing homopteran insects.
  • Prune all branches and vines away from the roof and exterior walls.
  • Remove all leaf and limb debris as they drop and accumulate, especially from flat roofs.

Sprague Pest Solutions provides preventive and remedial pest management and food safety consulting services to leading food processing, agriculture, healthcare, and hospitality and distribution facilities across the Western U.S. The company operates service centers in seven states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California. Call 855.805.0755 to find out how Sprague can better protect your facility, products, employees and customers from pests.

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