5 common hiding spots for pests

Properties that saw increased vacancy during the height of the pandemic may still struggle with a long list of measures as they welcome more and more guests to the facilities. Prioritizing these steps can be overwhelming, but they are important. The last thing a commercial cleaning executive needs is to overlook a key action point when it comes to welcoming residents back.

After months of dealing with the pandemic, the facility’s guests are more focused than ever on their surroundings. As a result, they are more likely to notice problems including the presence of unsightly and undesirable pests.

Cleaning teams should consider these important steps to ensure the doors are opened to happy guests, not pests.

  • 1. Check the exterior of the facility.

Overgrown trees or shrubs that touch the building provide an attractive shelter for a wide variety of pests. Plant teams should prune back plants to prevent insects like ants from using them to get into the building.

It is important to also seal large cracks or gaps in the building facade to avoid further access points. A hole only a quarter inch wide is big enough for a rodent to squeeze through.

Teams should check plumbing throughout the facility – especially in toilets and kitchen areas – to make sure there are no leaks. Also, don’t forget the roof, where it is important to make sure that the air conditioners on the roof are not leaking or giving off excessive condensation.

Removing moisture and standing water sources can help prevent a pest problem. A thimble full of water is enough for the mosquitoes to multiply and multiply.

  • 3. Watch out for drains.

Any additional infrastructure problems encountered during quarantine, especially with drains, can also create entry points for pests. Without frequent use, flush pipes and floor drains can run dry, creating an open path for pests from the sewers below.

Train the facility’s teams to flush floor drains with water to refill p-siphons and fix any problems they may have. It is also important to remind staff to look out for signs of pest activity around drain tops and grilles.

  • 4. Practice proper hygiene.

A build-up of waste is not only an eyesore, but also a pest paradise. Teams should check all trash cans to make sure they have been emptied. If not, repack, seal and remove immediately and check for cockroach and fly activity. Resume normal garbage collection if the service was previously stopped or if garbage has accumulated during the shutdown.

  • 5. Examine offices, lockers, and break rooms.

Encourage staff to search their desks, lockers, and other personal drawers for any food left behind and any signs of pest or pest damage as the facility increases.

In areas where food has been left behind, facility teams should use a flashlight with the lights off to check for signs of cockroach activity. Be sure to check out abandoned houseplants that may have been a food source for pests whose normal food sources were not available.

Since these tasks are in the foreground in building cleaning, teams can reduce manageable numbers of unwanted guests. It is best to contact an expert if the infestation is severe. Pest control experts can conduct a full inspection to find issues that the facility teams may have overlooked.

Frank Meek is the technical service manager at Rollins. As a state-certified entomologist and 30-year-old industry veteran, Meek is a recognized leader in the field of pest control.

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