How to keep your commercial properties free of rodents in winter
With the Valley experiencing cooler weather as fall ushers in winter, pests aren’t dormant and rodents are still up to no good at commercial properties.
Damage from rodents can be very costly to commercial properties – not only to buildings, equipment, and electrics, but contamination of food and stock can be significant. Although baiting is a common solution for rodent problems in commercial situations, without a robust rodent management plan, there is the danger of having to use excessive bait with often poor results.
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This is not good for the bottom line or the client.
Rodent control firm Bell, a preferred vendor of Scottsdale-based CimeX Control Pest Management, utilizes a five-part rodent pest management program. It consists of:
• Inspection and identification;
• Baiting and trapping;
• Population knockdown;
• Exclusion and sanitation;
• Monitoring and maintenance baiting.
The process of inspection and identification is essential for understanding the situation and putting the right solutions in place. However, as with rats and mice continually attempting to push their way indoors, it’s critical to concentrate on rodent prevention as well as treatment. In this regard, exclusion and sanitation measures will be vital in preventing future problems once the initial infestation has been dealt with.
Rodent-proofing potential entry points is the first step. It’s important to identify all possible rodent entry points. With possible entry points as small as 15 millimeters (half an inch) for rats and less than 10 millimeters (a third of an inch) for mice and often large buildings to assess, this can be a time-consuming process.
Look for direct entry points such as burrows under foundations, open doors, chewed entry points, areas around drain pipes, in crawl spaces, and around utility entry points (electricity, water, gas, air conditioning). Also consider assisted entry points where vertical wires, pipes and tree limbs have allowed access to the building.
All entry points need to be sealed. For holes in walls, gaps around utility entrance points and gaps around doors and windows, suitable rodent-proof fillers need to be used. For elements that can be used by rodents to access the building such as vegetation, wires, and drainpipes, these need to be trimmed back (trees) or protected (drain pipes) to prevent rodents climbing the element.
For doorways, self-closing devices should be used on frequently-used doors. Vinyl, rubber, or bristle sweep seals need be installed under large doors to eliminate gaps.
The second step is to clean up potential rodent harboring sites. Maintaining a 1-meter (one third of a foot) clear zone around the perimeter of buildings is a great starting point. Remove weeds and clutter and clear away piles of wood, pallets, and junk from the property.
The third step for making the property less attractive to rodents is to reduce sources of food and water. Ensure garbage is placed in hard, well-sealed garbage containers, and that food is stored in hard, sealed containers or rodent-proof rooms. Ensure any food spills are cleaned up immediately.
Once you have implemented your exclusion and sanitation program, efforts by rodents to return to their old feeding grounds will be strongest a week or two after the building has been sealed. Look for new holes and tunnels during this period and treat as needed.
Exclusion and sanitation programs can be involved and time consuming on large commercial sites. In the long run, though, they can save time, money – and your reputation.
Author: Fernando Torres is the owner of CimeX Control Pest Management. For more information call (480) 364-7499 or visit cimexcontrol.com.