As temperatures begin to drop, outdoor pests, such as cockroaches, some species of spiders, and rodents, attracted to the warmth and potential food inside your facility, will attempt to gain unwanted entrance and make a home for the winter.
Integrated Control and Management of Winter Pests and Rodents
Labor Day typically marks the end of many outdoor pest management and control efforts due to a lack of visible activity.
However, cooler temperatures often drive many pests and rodents seeking food and warmth indoors, spreading disease and filth, damaging the built environment, and negatively impacting occupants' mental and physical health.
Preventing pests from entering your facility through proactive maintenance and management programs is significantly more efficient and cost-effective than getting rid of them and repairing the damage once they gain entry.
A key factor in prevention is facility cleanliness and hygiene.
Enhanced Cleaning Measures to Combat Pest and Rodent Infestations
A critical step in preventing pests and rodents from entering your facility is ongoing monitoring and inspections.
Cleaning personnel routinely walk through most, if not every space inside a facility, clean in places most occupants don't go, and are commonly trained to recognize signs of pest infestations that will require cleaning, such as rat droppings, and structural issues that allow pests and rodents to gain access into the facility, making them ideal candidates for ongoing pest monitoring and facility inspections.
Additionally, cleaning personnel are typically responsible for the removal of clutter, where pests and rodents can hide and nest, as well as garbage--potentially serving as a food supply for unwanted critters.
And finally, cleaning as a preventative measure removes sources of food or odors that attract pests and rodents, such as waste from meals consumed at desks or in lounges, sugar and other sweet smells from coffee or soda spills and waste, and numerous other sources.
Common Issues Associated With Pest and Rodent Infestations
The three most common issues associated with pest and rodent infestations are:
- The spread of disease.
- Negative psychological impacts on facility occupants, and;
- The financial cost of removal, cleanup, and facility repairs.
According to Pest World;
Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health because certain proteins (called allergens) found in cockroach feces, saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.
Cockroaches can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including pathogens that are potentially dangerous to humans.
Cockroaches have been implicated in the spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella species, six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens.
Further, while cockroach infestations typically do not result in expensive facility damage, the financial cost of rodent infestations to the US economy has been estimated well into the billions of dollars annually.
According to one 2013 study;
Because urban rats and mice exhibit high reproductive rates, have the capacity to spread diseases, and a propensity to destroy structures and consumer goods, they remain viable threats to human health and commerce.
Initial estimates by the United Nations in 1982 reported that rats destroyed > 42 million tons of food worldwide that was worth $30 billion dollars.
In the US, the economic cost of rat damage was estimated at $19 billion/year; many times greater than any other invasive animal species.
Proactive Steps to Prevent Winter Pest Infestations
Proactively preventing pest and rodent infestations is relatively straightforward and aligns well with high-quality cleaning and maintenance programs.
- Prioritize facility cleanliness - Clean thoroughly and often. Wiping down surfaces and vacuuming will remove pest attractants. Remove waste from the facility daily. And clean the inside of waste receptacles as needed.
- Maintain dumpster sanitation - Keep dumpsters away from the building and sealed shut. Clean up trash that falls around and under dumpsters. Pressure wash the space as needed to remove food and liquid stains and buildup that attract animals and insects, and;
- Keep the doors and windows closed - Pests and rodents are attracted to the warmth inside your building and will enter via whatever method is available. Keeping doors and windows closed, maintaining screens, and sealing any holes or breaches in the building will help keep pests and rodents outside.
References & Resources
- Pest Management Prep For Winter
- Common Pests And How They Get Into Facilities
- Pest-Proofing Tips From Professionals
- Integrated Pest Management Tips That Work
- Techniques To Control Pests In Long-Term Care Facilities
As temperatures drop, unwanted disease-carrying pests, like cockroaches, and rodents such as mice and rats, will seek warmth indoors, leaving a trail of filth and destruction in their wake.
The presence of these pests will not only lead to probable health code violations and potential fines, but will repulse customers and significantly damage the mental health of office workers and students.
Integrating winter pest control measures with your facility cleaning and maintenance will help prevent the spread of illness among office workers and customers, protect the building from expensive damage, and protect your organization's professional image and reputation.
Outsourcing is a proven method for onboarding rising in-demand sustainable cleaning for health services, tools, and expertise for a fraction of the cost of maintaining a similar service with direct hires.
If you would like more information regarding the effectiveness of high-performance infection prevention and control measures, or if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your facility's custodial needs, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield, CA, call (661) 437-3253
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In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253
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