The volume of product moving through your operations has reached new levels during the pandemic as consumers moved their shopping almost exclusively online. What’s good for business is also good for pests – increased demand and accelerated processes mean hitchhiking pests have a greater chance of easing their way into the supply chain undetected and landing in one of your warehouses. With operations at peak capacity, it could be easy to let pest control slip. But it’s important to double-down and stay alert. Start by working with your pest control provider to make sure your program is set up to keep pace with your business. Then make sure your facilities have preventive measures in place to ensure pests aren’t one of the things moving through your operation.
Assess Key Elements of Your Pest Program
Consider the frequency with which your technician is visiting your operation. If the volume of packages, trucks, transport vehicles and even personnel has increased in the last year, that’s added variables to the pest control equation that could make more frequent service a strong proactive measure against pests.
Warehouses are the middlemen of the supply chain, receiving products from somewhere before sending them to their next destination. Like other processes in your business, a consistent approach across the operation can reinforce quality control with your pest management. A set scope at each location means you know the pest protocol for incoming and outgoing shipments.
When a pest problem does occur, resolving it depends on your ability to trace back to where it originated. That means creating points in the product journey where inspections account for any signs of pest activity or give the all-clear. Gnaw marks from rodents and dampened or damaged cardboard that could harbor cockroaches can serve as early warning signs. The type of product you’re shipping and storing could also attract specific pest types, so ask your provider to assess threats unique to your operation.
Take Preventive Measures
In addition to making sure your pest program is optimized to protect your operation, you can also take proactive steps from a maintenance perspective to help reduce the risk of pest problems at your warehouse.
- Maintain landscaping – As spring and summer bring vegetation back to full bloom, make sure it’s trimmed back from the building’s exterior to minimize pest access. Gravel strips, areas of gravel instead of foliage landscaping that run along the perimeter of a building, also provide a buffer that’s exposed rather than providing any cover for invaders.
- Monitor moisture – Retention ponds, water features, and even standing water in puddles on asphalt around parking lots and loading docks can create pest pressure from mosquitoes, cockroaches, rodents, and just about any other pest that needs water to survive. Pay attention to anywhere water is gathering routinely and consider how to improve drainage or grading to prevent it from happening.
- Manage Airflow – Airflow is a simple thing that you can ensure is working in your favor. Positive airflow pushes air out of your warehouse, deterring flying insects. In areas where doors open more frequently, install air curtains for an added layer of protection.
With so many moving parts in your operation and demand pushing you to go faster, move more, and deliver next-level service, pest control is likely not your most pressing concern. So, it’s okay to call on outside professional help to protect your products and put in the proactive measures that keep pests from infiltrating your warehouse and becoming another problem to solve. Who you choose makes a difference, though. So, make sure you know what to ask when you’re looking to choose a pest control provider.