Government facilities encompass a wide range of buildings. Offices, schools, and even public transportation can be considered government-owned and operated. Because of this, your pest prevention approach can vary depending on the type of government facility. One may be more prone to rodents, while another deals with cockroach outbreaks.
With the variety of pests that may show up at your facility doors, it’s essential to understand their primary indicators and how to deal with them. In this blog, we’ll look at the following pests:
1. Rodents: Mice and Rats
Identifying Signs of Rodent Infestation
Rodents may be sneaky when they initially make their way in, but an infestation has clear signs that are easy to identify. Look for the following indicators of a mouse or rat infestation:
- Droppings in drawers, cupboards, under the sink, or in and around food packaging
- Nesting material, including shredded paper and fabric
- Chew marks in plastic and cardboard food packaging
- The smell of ammonia
- Holes in walls and floorboards
Effective Rodent Control Strategies
Rodents prefer to live within the walls and floors, making their way out at night in search of food. Because they’re making use of the shelter and food your facility provides, the key to controlling rodents is to create barriers to these things through the following:
- Closing up holes, gaps, and cracks in your facility’s foundation, walls, windows, and doors.
- Properly sealing food items
- Removing open water sources
- Taking out the trash regularly and avoiding a build-up of food decay
- Removing nesting material, such as mulch, cardboard boxes, and leaf piles
Health Risks Associated with Cockroaches
Cockroaches are a tricky pest to deal with. They’re not only adaptable to their environment, but they also breed rapidly. A few roaches in your facility become an all-out infestation within a month. Their appearance isn’t the only thing that makes them so unwanted. Cockroaches have serious health risks, like disease and allergen sources. A cockroach infestation puts people in your facility at risk for:
- Allergic reactions
- E. coli
- Digestive issues
- And more
Advanced Solutions for Cockroach Eradication
Because cockroaches are motivated and resilient, you must take precautions to stop them. Once an infestation begins, you’ll likely need professional pest control to eradicate them.
Gel baits, baking soda, boric acid, and essential oil sprays can kill roaches and deter them from entering by placing them near windows and other entry points.
Along with using elimination methods like the ones above, you can take the following steps to prevent future roach issues:
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes sitting out
- Clean up crumbs and water spills
- Remove open water sources
- Remove cardboard and other clutter
- Take out the garbage frequently
- Fix plumbing leaks
- Close up gaps and cracks in walls, windows, and doors
Understanding Different Types of Ant Infestations
Arizona is home to over 300 ant species with varying behaviors. They’re also the most common pest to find indoors. While we can’t each class, we can discuss the main infestation types that occur.
Fire ants have a brownish-red head and body with a black rear. They prefer to nest near building perimeters and landscaping, posing risks as they inflict painful bites and stings and can infest food packaging.
Pavement ants are small with a dark brownish-black color. They don’t bite but will get into food packaging nest inside the walls of your facility where there’s humidity and warmth.
Carpenter ants have a dark-colored body and narrow waist with jointed antennae. Like pavement ants, they nest within the foundation of walls and will cause damage to wooden structures, putting the integrity of your facility at risk.
Argentine ants don’t bite or sting but diligently seek food and water in your facility. They’re small and brown and will create a musty odor when crushed. Like other ants, these pests will infest and contaminate food sources.
Preventive Measures and Treatment Options for Ants
Ants show up in large numbers due to moving as a pack. Even worse, spotting and killing one will trigger a pheromone that attracts more. To practice preventative measures, consider the following steps:
- Avoid leaving food out and clean up crumbs and spills
- Eliminate moisture and open water sources
- Close-up cracks in walls, windows, doors, and floorboards
- Use ant baits for existing ants in your facility
Ant bait is one of the best methods to get rid of these pests. Ants will take the bait back to their colony and spread the poison, ultimately killing off the population.
The Structural Threat Posed by Termites
When termites are left undealt, they can cause significant property damage and make a building unstable and dangerous. Some termite colonies can eat up to a pound of wood a day. Termites can’t be wholly eliminated with regular pest control, let alone DIY “remedies.” It takes a special form of pest control, integrated pest management (IPM), to eradicate termite infestations.
Integrated Approaches to Termite Control
IPM gets rid of even the most resilient pests by manipulating the environment to deter and get rid of an infestation. For termites, this may look at taking the following steps:
- Placing termite baits near nesting ground and entryways
- Treating wood and entryways with termiticide (a liquid barrier around the exterior wall or inside wood galleys)
- Closing openings in foundation walls, windows, and doors once termites are eradicated
Impact of Flies on Hygiene and Health
As flies land on various surfaces, they can spread disease, including food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea-causing pathogens. There have even been cases of flies carrying anthrax. Because of these risks, fly infestations must be dealt with once recognized.
Implementing Effective Fly Control Methods
Flies tend to make their way inside buildings through open windows and doors. Some effective ways to combat their search for food and shelter are to do the following:
- Avoid leaving doors and windows open
- Use door sweeps
- Put screens over the ventilation
- Fix openings and cracks in doors, windows, and walls
- Cleanup crumbs and spills
- Take out the trash frequently to avoid a build-up of odors
Managing Mosquitoes in Outdoor Government Areas
Mosquitoes are pests that come in swarms. They don’t just leave red, itchy bumps; they put people at risk of various diseases. The Environmental Protection Agency considers mosquitoes to be the most dangerous pest worldwide. They can carry serious diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and dengue virus.
Safe and Sustainable Mosquito Control Techniques
Mosquitoes are especially drawn to moisture. Mosquitoes may gather and populate if your facility has ponds, lakes, water fountains, or areas exposed to rainfall. Because of this, the best way to deter mosquitoes is to control or eliminate water sources altogether. This gets rid of their breeding grounds.
If removing a water source from your facility is unreasonable, consider methods of controlling the mosquito population, like aerial sprays, zappers, and natural remedies like peppermint, catnip, and sage. When a mosquito infestation gets to a certain point, it may be best to call the professionals so they can implement the most effective measures to rid your facility of these pests.
7. Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs in Public Office Spaces: A Growing Concern
You’d think that bed bugs prefer homes and other places with beds; thus the name. In reality, bed bugs will get into any space that offers material-based items. They’re not only looking for places to hide away; bed bugs need food and feed on human blood.
Comprehensive Treatment Plans for Bed Bug Elimination
Bed bugs often require pest control because of how stubborn and quickly they spread. One method that may decrease the population is washing infested materials in water at extreme heat (115 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
To eradicate a bed bug population will take a professional appointment. They’ll have the tools and resources to safely but effectively exterminate the termite population as a whole.
Implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The Importance of a Tailored IPM Strategy in Government Buildings
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a proactive approach that emphasizes modifying the environment first, rather than immediately resorting to chemicals, to reduce the use of pesticides. For instance, IPM experts address issues like gaps in a building’s foundation to stop pests before they become a problem.
IPM resorts to pesticides when other methods are insufficient, especially for severe or widespread pest issues. In government buildings, pesticides are mainly applied to eliminate large or serious pest infestations that can’t be handled effectively by other means.
Regular Inspections and Continuous Monitoring
Your IPM team will perform routine checks when they come for their scheduled visits. In this way, they can identify and address any new issues that have emerged. Over time, your pest control plan will become more effective as your exterminators put the best methods into practice for your facility’s specific needs.