Warehouse Pest Control: How to Avoid Rats
Warehouses are for storing goods, not rats. With shipments constantly moving in and out of your facility, the risk of letting in a four-legged intruder runs high. Rodent prevention is a must to keep your operations focused on maximizing profits, rather than how to avoid rats.
While rats are year-round pests, they are even more likely to invade your business in the cooler months. As temperatures dip, rodents seek refuge in man-made structures to stay warm. Unfortunately for us, warehousing facilities make an ideal shelter for rodents due to the sustenance and shelter they inadvertently offer. Once inside, these critters can cause extensive damage that results in monetary consequences.
Preventive measures are critical to help keep rodents from biting into your profits. Your best means of prevention is an informed warehouse pest control plan that starts with a strong partnership with a pest management professional and is sustained by the continued involvement of your employees.
- Know the Signs. The first step in how to avoid rats is recognizing telltale signs of their presence. While the flow of day-to-day business may not be conducive to spending dedicated time checking for signs of a rodent issue, the time investment is worth avoiding the consequences. From grease stains on walls and shipments to gnawed boxes and electrical wires, rodents know how to leave their mark. Don’t let evidence like this go unnoticed, since signs like these mean it’s likely you are dealing with these unwanted pests – contact your pest management provider as soon as you notice any signs of rodents.
- Train your employees. As your eyes and ears on the ground, your employees’ positions make them your warehouse’s first line of pest control defense. Ask your pest management provider if they offer resources or training sessions to help inform your employees about their imperative role in rodent prevention. And make sure you have a process in place on how to report and record pest activity. This way, employees know where to report signs of rats in your warehouse, which can help you avoid further issues.
- Seal your building. Eliminating possible entry points is a must and is better done before cooler weather sets in prompting rodents to seek shelter. Notice and seal gaps in doorways and windows. And don’t forget to trim exterior landscaping that can otherwise attract pests. Pay careful attention to the perimeter of your building. Exterior bait stations can help reduce rodent pressure and lessen the likelihood of rodents getting inside.
- Inspect incoming shipments. Inspect every skid, every time. Even if your warehouse protocols on par, there’s no guarantee that the same can be said of your suppliers. Incentivize employees to take a good look at the shipments they receive. Ideally, when that truck is opened up, they should inspect for signs of rodent activity. Be sure they know when and how to cancel a shipment, since canceling a pest-carrying shipment before it enters the warehouse can help prevent a rodent infestation.
- Rotate your product. Products that enter your warehouse first should be shipped out first, meaning the oldest item should always be sent out first. The longer product sits, the more vulnerable it is to rodent activity. Reduce the chance of your products offering harborage by regularly moving products within the warehouse. Occasionally moving items also helps reduce the possibility of a mice or rat problem by limiting dark, undisturbed spaces that are otherwise ideal rodent shelters.
- Store your product with care. Maintain an “inspection aisle” between stacks of product and the walls. This space should be wide enough to enable your service technician to inspect behind and between stacks. Split food storage up into sections, so if one area is infested, it will take longer for rodents to expand their presence to other items. Spacing products out helps provide cushion, allowing you to act if you find out that one area is compromised.
Proactive measures like these can help save an extensive amount of money, time, and cause for headaches. Investing the time upfront can help you save time in the long run. Never hesitate to reach out to a pest management professional with warehouse experience – they can help address the problem and teach you how to avoid rats, and any other pests, from eating away at your bottom line. Using an integrated pest management plan, you can get ahead of any pest issue – contact us to learn more about our customized solutions.