Watching for Signs of Rodents during Fall and Winter

As the weather gets cooler, rodents look for warmth, as well as new sources of food and water, inside commercial structures. In fact, industry research estimates that 45 percent of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. 
To promote vigilance against rodents and the health risks mice, rats and other rodents pose, Sprague and our peers from the National Pest Management Association have declared October 22-28, 2017 to be Rodent Awareness Week. 
Rodents are not merely a nuisance to commercial locations but in food processing facilities, these pests are a serious threat to food safety. Rodents can spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella, e Coli and Listeria.
It is vital for commercial property and facility managers to know how to spot a rodent infestation within their facilities and take the necessary steps to avoid these unwanted visitors.
Common signs of a rodent infestation in a commercial facility include:
  • Droppings: Rodent fecal pellets are often left behind in places where food products or ingredients are stored or shipped out from. Storage rooms, shipping pallets and containers, employee lockers, along exterior walls and on exposed structural beams are all likely places where rodent droppings are found in a commercial facility.
  • Gnaw Marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood, wires, cardboard boxes and shrink wrap on shipping pallets. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk for a fire.
  • Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas – storage rooms are a prime location – where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as rodents like to build nests out of these materials.
  • Rub Marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks from their oily fur (it looks like black shoe polish) along walls as they as they travel between their nest and food source in a food processing plant or warehouse.
Rodents: Rats & Mice