Having pests in the workplace is definitely a headache. They can cause you to lose your potential clients, employees, or even your loyal customers. To avoid an embarrassing and potentially hazardous situation, here are some tips that you can follow so to keep pests out of your business establishment:
Rodents (Mice, Rats, Etc)
Rodents are not only a nuisance, but they can also pose a significant health threat to your employees and patrons. According to researches and studies, rats can carry a wide range of diseases and bacteria that can be a threat to humans.
- Be aware of droppings: If you notice any rodent related evidence such as droppings, this could be an indicator that your property is infested with these pests. Additionally, gnawed or nibbled food and/or its packaging is another sign of rodents, as is gnaw marks around holes or gaps in the woodwork of any building. This indicates that rodent may have made its way into your workplace.
- Seal cracks: Harmful diseases are typically communicated via the droppings or urine that rats leave behind. Inspect building openings and utility entries for cracks.
The most effective prevention method is resealing all cracks. This is because rats can squeeze through holes as small as one inch in width. Some mice can squeeze through holes even smaller than that. In addition to checking for cracks in the walls or windows, ensure that the edges of heating and air vents are also sealed. Seal any cracks with concrete, mortar, steel wool, or metal flashing.
- Dispose of waste properly: Another strategy to keep mice and rats at bay is to ensure that lots are clean and clear of trash or other detritus. Mice and rats are attracted to exposed trash cans, so it’s important to keep them sealed and outside only for a minimal period of time.
Ask your employees (and be sure to practice this yourself as well) to keep any food in the kitchen rather than in their desk drawers, or store any food in their desks in pest-resistant, hard-to-gnaw containers.
- Mount storage sheds: Rodents love tiny and dark spaces where they can have access to a lot of different destinations. That’s why they love tunneling. Mount storage sheds on concrete slabs to discourage tunneling.
- Keep Workplace Dry: Dry up rodent water sources by repairing leaky faucets or indoors and outdoor pipes by eliminating bird feeders and bird baths.
- Reduce food sources for rodents: Decrease natural food sources near the property by gathering any tree fruit and nuts promptly when they fall to the ground. Similarly, keep the surrounding areas clean, especially when there are possible food sources for rodents.
- Mind your greenery: Your plants and other natural ornaments can also attract rodents. Prune shrubs, vines hanging on buildings and tree limbs overhanging roofs should be cleared out to eliminate possible shelter for rodents or pathways for building entry.
- Look for rat exterminators and pest control services: Non-professional attempts to eliminate rats may end up with a reduction in infestation level, but not enough to fully remove the problem. You may not notice the rodents for a while, but rest assured, they shall breed sooner rather than later. It is always better if you can look for pest control services as soon as possible.
This is the general rule of thumb if you want to keep rodents away: keep in mind that mice and rats are attracted to environments where there is plenty of food. An important preventative strategy, therefore, is to keep your commercial property as clean as possible at all times. Clean down kitchens, vacuum often and deep clean carpets on a regular basis. These spots can hold dirt, grime and food detritus which in turn attract pests.
Lastly, other rodents such as squirrels can also carry different diseases. Thus, they need to be dealt with differently. Sometimes, you might notice droppings and quickly conclude that they are from mice. Especially in commercial establishments near forests, other rodents might be a problem. Read on with materials (like Squirrel Poop vs Rat Poop – Identifying Rodent Droppings – Never Pest) on this topic so that you can be more sure of what kind of rodent you’re dealing with.
Insects (Flies, Spiders, Etc.)
In many commercial establishments – especially in the food industry – fly infestation is definitely a problem. Surely, even if you are aware of your property’s cleanliness every time, these pests can still find their way in your place. The big problem about it is that flies carry a lot of diseases, and they can spread it really easily. Here are the things that you need to do and religiously follow to help prevent swarms of flies invading your place.
- Clean every surface with disinfectant: Clean your working areas (especially places where you prepare or stock food) regularly with a good disinfectant solution. Bleach-based or chlorine-based cleaners are the best options.
- Dispose of waste properly: Always make sure that you and your coworkers throw away any stored waste and keep dustbins covered at all times. Garbage cans are a fly’s favorite breeding grounds, so cutting the source would help reduce them in numbers.
- Always cover your food: Keep all of your food covered. This includes fruits which are either cut or whole. In turn, doing so help reduce the number of fruit flies in you area.
- Maintain indoor plants properly: If you have indoor plants, try not to overwater them. Stagnant water attracts flies and other insects such as mosquitoes. Prune them well and discard any dead plant matter.
- Use window nets: A best way to prevent flies from entering your home is to use window screens. In this way, you can enjoy the cool breeze while keeping the flies out.
- Try insect repellent sprays: Use insect repellent sprays in the establishment. It’s not a bad investment at all. Of course, this may be an additional expense for you, but if it can make sure that there wouldn’t be any more flies around your business area, then the return on investment would be far greater.
Sometimes, other critters such as spiders can also be a nuisance. For one, spiders aren’t as threatening to the health as flies are, but they leave cobwebs that aren’t aesthetically pleasing, which they can be a catalyst for your establishment to be flagged as unsanitary. Furthermore, they can also carry diseases that can harm people in your workplace. As such, you should still deal with them as you would any other pest.
The most effective strategy to keep spiders out is to caulk any gaps, big or small, on the property. Gaps typically appear around the edges of windows, doors, and any other entry points. These are spots for insects and spiders to creep in. Other effective strategies include dusting and cleaning hard to reach or high up areas, as well as constant vacuuming.
Mosquitoes might also be a big problem for you, and their natural breeding space is stagnant liquids. Drain sumps, inlet pits, and stormwater pits are all potential breeding sites that can produce extremely high numbers of mosquitoes when water pools in the bottom of the pit. Plant pots, when overwatered, can also be breeding spots for mosquitoes. Always make sure that your water containers aren’t exposed, and that you also clean the surrounding areas.