How to Keep Pests Out of Your Commercial Property This Winter
While it is true pest activity slows down during the colder winter months, commercial property and facility managers need to know pests are still present and can threaten people, property and products.
The best thing you can do to avoid inviting pests inside your grocery store, office building, restaurant or food processing facility is to eliminate food sources. Anything edible is fair game to these opportunistic winter pests looking for a meal and a place to stay.
Developing and following comprehensive cleaning and sanitation protocols, and taking care of structural maintenance tasks, including exclusion work, is essential to a successful pest management program.
Rodents will sneak in for a winter warm-up through open gaps, cracks and holes along the exterior, windows and foundation of commercial structures. Have a game plan for your maintenance staff of pest management service provider to seal off all entry points and let pests know your facility isn’t a winter hideaway.
Cockroaches are naturally drawn to warm and humid locations inside commercial properties and winter is no different. Your best defense against cockroaches is following good cleaning and sanitation practices. Also eliminate excess moisture sources caused by leaky faucets, loose fittings on food production equipment, backed up drains and following cleaning of production areas.
Since bed bugs don’t die off or hibernate during the winter months like other pests, property managers need to take proper measures to ensure they don’t take up residence in apartments or condominiums. Winter is also a good time to start a proactive program of monitoring and educating residents or employees on how to spot signs of bed bugs.
Spiders crawl around all year and still give residents, employees and customers a scare. If your commercial property provides spiders with a warm, humid place (i.e., storage rooms and closets, food pantries, etc.) to hide, they’ll be all over it. Reducing clutter in storage locations and following good exclusion practices will keep spiders out.
To prevent pods of cluster flies in the winter, caulk and seal all openings and crevices around your facility’s windows, doors, utility pipes, and behind chimneys. Cluster flies will squeeze through any small opening to seek out a warm space to ride out the winter weather, so pest proofing is necessary. This type of house fly doesn’t lay eggs or breed indoors, so they are more of a nuisance than anything; however, if you properly seal up your facility in time, you won’t have to worry about them making a surprising visit during an unseasonably warm winter day.
Just like with summer fruit fly infestations, these winter pests only want you for your food sources. Fruit flies have an uncanny ability to seek out rotting fruit and plant material in kitchen areas, and they’ll do anything to get a piece of it. Cutting off access to their food supply is your best way to prevent a winter infestation. Cleaning kitchen, bar and processing area drains now while these pests are less prevalent to make sure it’s not the perfect place for them to start breeding when spring arrives.
Pest Exclusion is The Key
The most effective defense against pests is preventing them from gaining access to commercial facilities in the first place. It starts with your maintenance team or pest management professional staying on top of exclusion practices from top to bottom:
- Use quality exclusion materials installed by a trained professional or you will be wasting your time and money.
- Inspect and seal all insect and rodent pathways entering or connecting to structures at ground level, below ground and above ground.
- Most pest exclusion programs forget to cover a structure’s roof – one of the most common entry points for insects and rodents with its multiple vents and utility openings.
- Make sure overhead loading dock and entry doors have sturdy weather-stripping installed to deny pests, especially rodents, access.
Discover The Sprague Difference
If you are looking for an innovative pest management service provider for your commercial property, connect with the Sprague pest management experts at 800.272.4988.