The cooler temperature this morning arrived right on time for the first day of Fall! The crisp cool air and lingering fog put everyone in the mood for a warm cup of coffee and a comfy cardigan, but we aren’t the only ones getting cozy this time of year. As the nights begin to get cool fall insects and rodents will begin to look for a shelter to winter over in and if you aren’t careful, your business may fit the bill. It’s warm, there is plenty of water and food available – could there be a better place for mice or wasps to nest during the winter?
Fall brings plenty of threats to NW Missouri businesses, as insects and rodents that are living happily outside will begin to look for shelter. Common pests this time of year are fall invaders such as stink bugs and lady beetles as well as spiders and flies. While most of these aren’t harmful to your staff or your customers, they tend to gather in large numbers both outside and inside of buildings causing a mess and anxiety for some.
Rodent populations have been growing over the years and will continue to be a nuisance this winter. However, mice and rats are not just an annoyance they bring diseases and health threats putting your team and customers at risk. Rodents are always attracted to business due to the ease of entry, continuous food and water supply and the cozy warmth we all find so comforting.
- Take a walk around the exterior of your business. The weather is beautiful so it’s a great time to inspect the exterior for overgrown landscaping. Are the bushes and shrubs touching the side of the structure? Are tree branches touching or hanging over the building? Has trash, leaves and other debris blown up against the foundation? If so, have these areas trimmed and cleaned up. Bushes, shrubs and overgrown ground foliage can create a safe area for rodents, spiders and small insects to search for entry into your building.
- Look at the foundation once the clean up is complete. Look for small cracks, gaps and loose mortar. These are the most common entry points for pests, especially ants. These can be found anywhere from the bottom of the foundation to the roof line. They can also be found around utility openings. Fill the thin cracks, missing mortar, and small gaps by applying a weatherproof silicon caulking.
- Inspect windows and doors, especially garage doors and loading docks. Check the seal around all windows and repair any torn screens. Look for gaps between the ground and the bottom of the door or around the edges. Adding weather-stripping and installing door sweeps will minimize the chance of pests entering. Install closing hinges to ensure doors close behind people automatically. Think about how your facility is used. Do you have a receiving or storage area that typically has a door left open for extended times? Does a door get propped open during staff breaks? Sometime these situations can be avoided during cooler months, but often times they cannot. In this case you will want to have a prevention plan in place with a professional pest control company.
- Relocate the dumpster 15-20 feet away from your building. Trash always attracts insects like roaches and flies as well as rodents and other wildlife. Having the dumpster close to the building may be convenient, but having it located further away will help keep pests from slipping in unnoticed. Keep your parking lot clear of trash to prevent attracting pests from neighboring structures. Put lids on all trash cans. Having trash in sealed containers will also prevents pests from getting into them and knocking them over.
- Use Dusk to Dawn Bug Light Bulbs in light fixtures located near doors and windows. The amber light will provide plenty of light without attracting insects, which in turn helps control spiders by eliminating their food source.
Now is the time to prevent fall pests from invading your business. Many of these tips will not only help with pest prevention, but will save you money in the long run by being more energy efficient. Putting it off could lead to a greater loss of time, money and reputation later.
For help with fall pest prevention and control in your business contact us today. Our experienced pest professionals can provide you with a structure assessment and work with you to keep pests out this fall.