Getting the right warehouse pest control program
As cavernous areas holding all manner of goods, warehouses are an easy target for common pests. By far, rat infestations are the greatest threat to any depot for the damage they may cause to equipment and stored goods. Having an appropriate warehouse pest control program is not only a wise precaution but essential for the smooth running of the operations.
Dark corners, nooks and crannies, under-shelf areas, and wide-open roofs can play host to everything from cockroaches to pigeons. And the cost of an unchecked pest infestation can be monumental; aside from damaging stock, unwanted warehouse pests can tear a company‘s reputation to shreds. In this post, we outline which warehouse pests to look out for and what quick pest control solutions you can put in place.
Tailoring your warehouse pest control Program
Warehouses and factories can harbour a wide range of pests. The particular ones likely to infest your stockrooms normally depend largely on what it is used for. Also the rountine inspection visits frequency will depend on the nature of the goods.
Food processing centres, for instance, are much more likely to experience outbreaks of cockroaches, fruit flies, and mealworms due to the presence of large amounts of foodstuff from different areas. Factories dealing with textiles and fabrics, on the other hand, may see infestations of carpet beetles and moths. Regardless of what your warehouse is used for, these are some of the most common pests we‘ve encountered, and the damage they cause:
- Mice and rats – Rodents can inhabit small spaces within warehouses, making their way into air filtration systems or even stock. Aside from posing a serious health and safety risk through their droppings (especially for pest control in food warehouse), they can gnaw through electrical cables and cause delays to operations. Furthermore, a rat outbreak can also be linked to an underlying issue with the surrounding areas or the drains.
- Cockroaches – Warehouses are, in some ways, the perfect environment for cockroaches. They thrive in common warehouse materials like cardboard and wood, and can multiply rapidly in unchecked corners. The biggest risk from cockroaches is infection from disease, but they can also contaminate your shipping operation and be passed on to contaminate the premises of your clients. Not what you want in an outgoing order to a client.
- Pigeons – They might not be the pest you first think of, but they can cause a lot of damage in warehouses and factories. Perched high above in the roof or on beams, pigeons leave droppings that carry harmful pathogens.
- Moths – They can become a huge problem for textile and carpet businesses. If some goods are exposed for too long, they will get contaminated and/or damaged. Once again, there is the same risk of transmitting the infestation to the premises of your clients or homes of your customers. Warehouse moth control can deal with large spaces using a ULV fumigation round. However, the warehouse moth larvae may be sheltered to it, so breaking the moth life cycle does require multiple visits.
- Stored Product Insects – There are all kinds of insects that can feed on dry food stuffs such as cereals and seeds, as well as their by-products. When primary stocks of grains are damaged, they will often be downgraded, resulting in a loss of income. But if a final product or its packaging is contaminated, it will result in the eventual destruction of any contaminated stocks.
It is best to design your warehouse pest control procedure with enough contingency and redundancy to face any possibilities. Insect monitoring should be included even though you only focused on builder’s warehouse rat traps.
How to avoid rats in warehouse settings
Most of the jobs we go to involve rats coming in from the surrounding areas. There are often gaps under the shutter in the loading bay area, above all if the floor is not even. Placing threshold rubber seals can be a good way to keep them out, but we often find that the rats attack them from the side. As you design your warehouse pest control program, including a budget for proofing maintenance is as important as the initial exclusion work.
How to get rid of rats in warehouse floors
When a rat infestation has already taken hold, you will need to fight them on every level and using every trick in the books. A few years back, we found a rat problem in warehouse staff areas that was very troublesome. We did the proofing of a staff kitchen and bathrooms that allowed the staff to be actually able to use these facilities safely. Sadly, the rats could still be heard inside the walls. It took placing rat bait stations around the perimeter, on the main floor as well as within the drain system, to bring it down. Once the rat problem had been dealt with, we carried out some proofing on the main floor and around the machinery.
Warehouse pest control checklist
To make sure that your warehouse doesn‘t fall foul to the effects of a pest infestation, consider these measures.
- Physical barriers
Despite warehouses and factories being large areas, it‘s important to know every possible access point for potential pests. For any warehouses dealing with food products, there should be an ante-room where a strict hygiene protocol takes place for employees. In terms of entries to the warehouse, consider installing self-closing doors and air curtains to minimise the risk of any pests following staff inside.
- Regular monitoring
Integrate a check for pests alongside your regular cleaning schedule. This includes monitoring areas that are commonly overlooked in the day-to-day running of the business – behind/underneath racks, disused storerooms, neglected corners, etc. The more thorough you are, the less likely an infestation is to occur.
- Warehouse bugs
Warehouse bugs would typically be stored product insects rather than the seasonal ant outbreak. Indian meal moths in warehouses are very common around flour bags. As well, other types of warehouse moth infestations can spread to the office areas and affect the staff. But it could also be flies that really need sorting out. To tackle flying insects, you can bug screen warehouse windows all around the perimeter or have the bug zapper warehouse distribution focused in the food preparation areas or where the raw products are kept.
The only time we had to do a bed bug spray warehouse treatment was in a semi-industrial estate. It was a textile designer studio/depot, and they had brought in a chest full of samples from the USA. Normally, the heat tent of the chest would have been more appropriate, but it took them a long time to notice the bed bugs.
“A warehouse pest control program will allow swift response“
If you do uncover (or suspect) an infestation during a regular check, then you should contact a professional pest controller as soon as possible. Using the expertise and experience of a pest controller will ensure that any damage to your business is limited – both in terms of operations and reputation.
A pest breakout in your warehouse can bring your business to a standstill. Whether they cause damage to your stock or the building itself, pests can end up losing you a lot of money. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have measures in place to prevent pests from entering the premises in the first place, and employ the services of a pest controller as soon as you suspect a potential outbreak. If you do not already have a warehouse pest control program in place, we can put a contract in place to cover your needs.
Working in London and around the South East, Inoculand is keeping factories and warehouses operational with effective pest control services. If you‘re looking for a reliable, efficient pest controller for your warehouse or factory, get in contact to see how we can help.