Let’s face it. Pests can be a problem for businesses, and retail facilities are no exception. A single rodent, squirrel, bird, or insect infestation can escalate to unhappy employees, customers, and trigger negative online reviews. Just one cockroach skittering across the floor is enough to ruin your well-earned reputation. But where do they come from? Why do retail buildings suffer from pest activity? Let’s review the top reasons why pests are getting into your retail store. Your business can be suffering from one or many of these eight vulnerabilities.
- Open Entry Points
Open doors are unavoidable with the frequent foot traffic of customers and employees. One simple way to mitigate this problem is to avoid leaving doors propped open for extended periods of time. You may be tempted to leave the front door open when it’s nice out in the spring or summer. Unfortunately, warm weather also coincides with pest season. Even when doors are closed, there can still be small entry points where improper sealing is found. Try installing weather stripping and door sweeps to solve this issue. The same issue applies to windows. Ensure that screening is not torn and installed properly to avoid pest infestations.
- Moisture Issues
Pests need three main things to survive: food, shelter, and water. If even the smallest water source can be found around your business, pests can thrive. Regularly inspect pipes, drains, appliances, and water coolers for leaks or condensation. Make sure all problems are fixed by a professional as soon as possible to avoid drawing pests indoors. We’re all guilty of accidentally spilling drinks or dripping water off our hands after washing. Be as vigilant as possible to keep floors free of liquids that could attract pests. It’s important to quickly identify potential moisture sources outside of your store, as well. Make sure your property has adequate drainage and keep outdoor drains clear to help prevent water from backing up near your store, especially during periods of heavy rainfall and snow melts.
- Trash and Dumpsters
One of the top reasons why pests and wildlife are attracted to retail locations is an available food source. Trash cans and dumpsters left open, overflowing, or with unsecured lids make for a perfect environment for unwanted guests. Make it a habit to empty all garbage receptacles daily, moving everything into dumpsters or trash cans with secured lids. Do not let items accumulate around dumpster areas. Even non-food items can harbor pests and wildlife.
No matter what type of retail business you have, food is bound to exist. Whether it’s food products that you’re selling or employee meals, pests can lurk. Keep vigilant with cleaning and proper food storage. Keep loose food items in air-tight containers. By leaving food out in the open, ants and flies can quickly appear.
- Exterior Gaps and Cracks
Openings that lead from the exterior of your business in the form of gaps, holes, cracks and crevices in the walls, floors, ceilings, or foundation allow easy access for pests into your building. Mice and other insects can fit through surprisingly small spaces that may have gone unnoticed. Take a walk around the exterior of your building and inspect for potential entry points. Promptly seal them and repair/replace broken or improperly sealed windows and doors. Cooper Pest Solutions can address these issues and more with our Commercial Exclusion Service.
- Poor Cleaning Habits
While even spotless stores can still have pest problems, good cleaning practices can help you avoid pest invasions. Make a habit of regularly vacuuming or sweeping all crumbs and food particles from break rooms and pay special attention to areas behind furniture and appliances, as well as to cracks and crevices in floors, along baseboards and countertop corners. Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture regularly and mop hard surface floors.
- Neglected Landscaping
Many pests such as ticks, ants, centipedes, and termites thrive in brush and overgrown foliage. Something as simple as mulch beds that lay too close to the foundation of the structure can entice pests to enter. Ticks are especially drawn to unkempt areas like leaf piles, unmowed grass, brush, and tall weeds. Also ensure that plants including ground-level landscaping and tree branches do not touch the building. These spaces not only harbor pests, but tree limbs can be excellent natural bridges for ants and squirrels to reach your roof and gutters. Keep things tidy and taken care of around the property to ensure pests are deterred.
- Deliveries and Packaging
Another common way that pests enter retail facilities is through shipments, boxes, and containers. When goods are delivered from one place to another, the chances of stowaway pests like cockroaches and bed bugs significantly increase. If possible, find a space away from the store floor to inspect incoming shipments for signs of pest activity. Look for compromised packaging material, rips, tears and holes, as well as for droppings, actual pests and larvae. If you notice signs of pests, remove the delivery from your store as soon as possible and/or refuse delivery. For the deliveries that you keep, break down cardboard and wood boxes as soon as they’re unloaded and discard them away from the building to help prevent pest harborage areas.
Cooper Pest Solutions can get rid of active infestations and prevent new ones from developing in your retail location. As a business owner, you don’t have time to deal with nuisance pests and wildlife. That’s why we’re here to create custom plans for ongoing maintenance and control to meet the needs of your retail business. Give us a call at 800-949-2667 or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our commercial pest control specialists.