The Importance of Pest Control in Retail Settings
Pests aren’t easy to get rid of on your own, and once an infestation has developed, it may be downright impossible. With pest control, you can have your pest problems taken care of and employ preventive measures to stop a future one from occurring.
All kinds of insects and rodents make their way into your store, whether through entryways, packaging, or on the backs of customers. Retail pests include mice and rats, cockroaches, spiders, ticks, beetles, moths, and more. In this blog, we’ll hone in on a few of the most common and dangerous types, including the following topics:
- Identifying Potential Pest Threats in Retail
- Prevention: The First Line of Defense
- Structural Measures to Keep Pests Out
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies
- Seasonal Pest Control Considerations
- Leveraging Technology in Pest Control
Identifying Potential Pest Threats in Retail
Common Pests in Retail Environments: Rodents, Insects, and More
Rodents look for dry, warm environments during the cooler months. This includes attics and inside the walls of buildings. If you hear scurrying in your store walls, you may have a problem. Aside from their unnerving presence, rodents spread diseases and can harm the integrity of your store products, damaging them during their food search.
Flies often get inside through open doors and windows. They seek out food and land on plenty of surfaces, spreading germs in the process. Flies carry and spread diseases like food poisoning and dysentery. Despite being a common bug to see, flies can negatively reflect the cleanness of your store and impact your customers’ impressions.
If you see one ant, there are likely more nearby. Ants work together to search for food and can show up in large numbers if your store supplies it. People don’t always know that ants transport bacteria, including E. Coli and salmonella, onto surfaces they touch. An ant problem can spread quickly and jeopardize food packaging.
Cockroaches are hard to eliminate once present. A 2020 study found that 60% of cockroach sightings in facilities were in breakrooms or kitchens and 39% near employee lockers. Keep in mind that cockroaches thoroughly explore stores without food products for sale, especially in areas where employees have lunch.
Stored Product Pests
Pests that affect stored products may appear in the packaged food you receive from your restaurant. These pests, such as grain and flour beetles, rice weevils, and Indianmeal moths, are tiny but can damage entire food packages. The infestation usually starts in the warehouse during the initial shipment of food. Once in your store, these pests can multiply and spread to other products and packages.
Recognizing Signs of Pest Infestation in Retail Spaces
If you suspect an infestation before pest control, look for the following signs to catch it early on.
- Seeing the pest
- Finding eggs or a nest
- Seeing droppings in or around the building
- Visible damage to equipment or packages (e.g., gnaw marks, clawing)
- Scurrying or scratching sounds in the walls or floorboards
- The smell of ammonia
Prevention: The First Line of Defense
Best Practices in Retail Cleanliness and Maintenance
Are you consistent in your efforts to keep your retail store clean and free of pests?
Consider the below:
- Sweep, mop, and vacuum to eliminate debris.
- Dispose of garbage in securely sealed bins and position dumpsters at a distance from the building.
- Seal gaps in walls, windows, and doors to prevent pests from entering.
- Opt for airtight containers for storing food products.
- Raise stored items to minimize potential hiding spots for pests.
- Examine incoming shipments for indications of pests before bringing them indoors.
- Trim vegetation surrounding the store perimeter.
- Educate staff on appropriate food handling and storage practices.
Employee Training: Key to Early Pest Detection and Prevention
Instruct employees to identify and promptly report signs of pests as listed above. This allows them to report a sign early on to avoid the development of an infestation.
Structural Measures to Keep Pests Out
Sealing Entry Points: A Critical Step in Pest Prevention
Rats are one thing; however, cockroaches and ants can fit into the smallest gaps. Because of this, you must ensure all openings and cracks in the foundation of your building are filled. Some of the primary spots to check for entry points include:
- Interior and exterior walls
- Windows and doors
- Exhaust fans and dryer vents
Importance of Proper Waste Management and Storage Practices
Many pests are attracted to decaying organic matter and will go out of their way to seek it out. Backed-up garbage and trash bins can develop a strong odor, attracting pests from miles away.
Make sure you and your employees remove trash bags and replace them with fresh new ones daily or whenever they become full. Likewise, properly seal cans and bins to keep pests out.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies
Customized IPM Approaches for Retail Stores
At Insectek, we offer an approach to pest control that considers your store’s individual needs. Our integrated pest management strategy eliminates all existing pests and implements preventative measures to prevent future problems.
Safe and Effective Use of Pest Control Treatments
We eliminate and prevent pests by using a method that’s safe and free of dangerous pesticides. With IPM, our primary focus is the safety of your establishment and the people inside. By combining multiple techniques, our team keeps your premises free of pests, so you don’t have to worry about future pest issues.
Seasonal Pest Control Considerations
Pest behavior changes as the seasons do, and that’s why our pest control does, too.
Adapting Pest Control Strategies for Different Seasons
During the cooler months, you may experience a sudden increase in pest behavior inside your building. This is because they’re seeking a warm, dry place to hunker down for the colder portion of the year. Because of this, we focus on indoor pest control, removing pests who have made their way in and sealing off openings.
In the warmer spring and summer months, we get to work on closing areas of your building off so that when fall hits, pests won’t have a way in. This time of year is typically more humid, and we’ll look for moisture-attracting factors like water fountains that may be a hotspot for pest activity.
Leveraging Technology in Pest Control
Pest control is more advanced than ever before. Because of this, a professional pest control company can incorporate some serious horsepower into the practice, using technology and the newest products.
Innovative Solutions for Efficient Pest Management
Smart Traps and Devices
Through smartphone apps, you can monitor and trigger traps to go off to catch even the most stubborn pests.
Automated Pest Control Devices
Automated devices can dispense controlled pesticides at specific times to minimize the amount and frequency of usage.
With digital mapping, you can identify high-risk areas and track the spread of pests. This is especially helpful for identifying pests on large pieces of land.
Monitor your property remotely to determine if pests are the cause of strange occurrences and to make sure they don’t return.
The Benefits of Modern Pest Control Techniques
Modern pest control services use practical applications while minimizing the need for harmful chemicals and pesticides. Pest control isn’t just about spraying pesticides; there are so many strategies that can be implemented.
Some exterminators will even suggest introducing a harmless species into your environment that will feed on the existing pests. Likewise, certain plants can deter pests to keep your exterior protected. Pest control is so much more than people realize, and it has the potential to save your building from the most extreme pest infestations.
We understand that, as a business owner, protecting your business is a top priority. Learn more about achieving a pest-free environment, and contact us today for commercial property pest control.