It is not something you put on your calendar, but this week is Rodent Awareness Week. A big thank you to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) for sharing some tips on how to deter rodents.
- Perform regular rodent inspections. Knowing where to look and what to look for can help solve a rodent issue before it gets worse. The top sign of a rodent issue is seeing a live or dead rodent. Some other common signs of a rodent infestation are droppings, gnaw marks, nests, urine stains, and tracks or rub marks. It is also important to inspect any packages for pests before bringing them inside your facility.
- Remove any potential food sources regularly. Rodents are attracted to food which allows their populations to survive and thrive. Removing garbage in and outside your building regularly, cleaning high traffic areas, and storing any food products in sealed containers can keep rodents out by eliminating food sources that may attract them.
- Eliminate potential rodent harborage areas. Along with food, rodents also need shelter and they can find it in some obscure places including stairwells, shelves, lockers, worktables and machinery. Storage areas make the ideal home for a rodent as they are attracted to moist, dark places. Ensure that materials are not stored packed together, easily providing cover to pests. Outside your facility, overgrown lawns and other vegetation can also become potential home for rodents, so regular landscaping is extremely important.
- Reduce possible entryways. The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to stop them from getting inside. Rodents, however, are difficult to completely exclude as mice can fit through holes the size of a dime and rats a hole as small as a quarter. Help prevent access by ensuring areas where utility lines enter are sealed, sealing any cracks or holes in the outside of buildings, screening vents and windows, repairing any broken doors or windows, and installing door sweeps.
- Work with a licensed pest control professional. NPMA recommends that businesses work with a licensed pest control professional to handle any pest issues. They can assist in implementing an integrated pest management plan (IPM), a pest control practice that focuses on eliminating pests’ needs like food, water, and shelter, to ensure pests are managed properly as they quickly adapt to the current changes in their living environment. Partnering with a pest control professional during these times will help to protect our food supply and our critical national infrastructure, while also continuing to decrease the threat of pest-borne disease.