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Four Common Pests Impacting Facilities In 2023
Owners and facility managers can use these insights to help keep commercial facilities pest-free. One thing that is not in short supply for many of commercial spaces is pests.
At Solid Rock Facility Management Company Limited we identified four common pests that facility executives should be on the lookout for in 2023: rodents, stored product pests, the spotted lanternfly, and birds. These pests commonly seek shelter in or around large warehouses, facilities, and distribution centers. Commercial property owners and facility managers can use these commercial pest insights to help keep commercial facilities and warehouse spaces pest-free.
Rodent activity is increasing throughout many commercial industries. Roof rat populations are well established on the west coast and southern states. Colder than normal winter temperatures may create additional rodent pressure as rodents, and other pests, will try to come into the interior of the structures for warmth.
To help keep rodents from moving into commercial spaces, facility management should conduct an extensive walkthrough of the facility and address potential issues, including:
Entrances. Fit weather-stripping around exterior doors. Rats can squeeze through gaps as small as a quarter. They will also enlarge gaps by gnawing at them.Gaps in exterior walls. Fill holes or small openings (around utility cables or pipework) with stainless steel wire wool, caulking or concrete. Steel or aluminum plating can also be used.Roofs. Repair roof damage and use wire mesh to seal gaps. Rats often enter through gaps in broken roof tiles or under eaves.Vegetation. Trim vegetation away from the building’s exterior. Rats climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into loft spaces and attics.Drains and sewer pipes. Ensure all sewer pipe damage is repaired in a timely manner. Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and into toilets. Additionally, use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains and check that all drain pipes are in good working order.
Stored Product Pests
Facilities that process, store, or sell grains and dried goods are at risk of infestation by stored product pests. These pests can rapidly move throughout a facility to attack dried, stored foods in grocery stores, warehouses, and food processing facilities, ultimately destroying the products. They can feed on any number of products including pet food, birdseed, pasta, dried fruits, chocolate, and flour and grain products, causing contamination issues and making facilities susceptible to shutdowns and lost business.
In addition, some stored product insects create cocoons and webbing that can clog machinery and lead to costly downtime. The Indian meal moth, Cigarette beetle, Drugstore beetle, and Warehouse beetle are just a few of the most common stored product insect species that can disrupt production at your facility.
Facility managers should be trained to identify specific signs of a potential stored product pest infestation. Those signs may include:
Stored product pest infestations in a facility can appear in a small area, such as a bag or pallet of raw material. However, if left undetected, infestations can disperse rapidly throughout the premises. Therefore, vigilant regular inspections and monitoring are an integral part of managing stored product pests. If pest activity is found, control methods will involve small isolated treatments. If the infestation is extensive and dispersed throughout the property, it may be necessary to treat the entire premises using space treatments.
A “newer” pest making its way across the world is the spotted lanternfly.
Although most commonly reported in a residential setting, these pests have also been found flocking toward the exterior lighting and surrounding landscapes of commercial facilities.
They are also excellent hitchhikers and can attach themselves to workers’ clothing and incoming shipments. To prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly, facility executives can start by inspecting the vehicles and supplies coming in and out of facilities.
Inspect vehicles to ensure spotted lanternflies are not hitching a ride on or under the vehicle or have laid eggs. Remove the insects and/or egg masses before traveling to prevent spreading to other areas of the country.
Look for “putty” or smears of mud: The eggs look like a smear of mud and one egg mass can have up to 50 eggs. Take a credit card or a scraper, scrape off the eggs, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away. Report spotted lanternflies if new to the area: If spotted lanternflies are new to the area, notify the appropriate agency, such as the state department of agriculture. A pest professional can also help determine the correct reporting body.
Birds are often overlooked in the pest conversation. Yet, bird droppings can cause histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis in humans. Additionally, pigeons and sparrows have been found to be reservoir species for encephalitis viruses such as West Nile Virus, which are carried by mosquitoes. Bird droppings around food and retail locations may be inadvertently brought into the interior of establishments, potentially causing cross-contamination. Birds and bird nests may also be sources of various bugs and mites.
Birds seek shelter and often find easy food sources around larger commercial buildings with decreased foot traffic. Although different regions and climates attract various types of birds, many species survive and thrive longer through colder seasons thanks, in part, to warmer temperatures. Undoubtedly, bird droppings and the birds responsible are more than just an eyesore for a business.
To deter pigeons and birds away from commercial properties, facility managers can use these tactics:
Incorporate bird-scaring decoys. Be sure to regularly change the decoy’s position to outsmart the birds.Put up signage. Strongly discourage feeding birds.Remove food and trash sources. Secure garbage bin lids and don’t leave trash bags or unused packing material in the open, as birds can use the disposed of materials to build nests.Secure plastic curtains to openings at loading docks. This will keep birds from flying or walking in.
For adequate, integrated pest control solutions and methodologies kindly contact Solid Rock Facility Management Company Limited
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