Most pests sleep through winter, hibernating beneath rocks and logs or inside trees and compost. When they finally emerge in late spring, they can wreak havoc on your building – damaging your woodwork, tearing up the insulation, triggering allergies, spreading disease, biting, stinging, and destroying your inventory. It doesn’t matter whether you sell food or not. Fabric, leather, glue ‒ rodents and insects will eat practically anything.
The best way to stop them is to prevent them from gaining a foothold by sealing your building off from the pests outside.
Weatherstrip Your Doors
Most pests don’t sneak into your building. They come in through the front door, either by crawling under the door frame or through cracks in the door jamb. In order to keep them out, make sure your doors are weatherstipped. A nylon or rubber brush will lock out most pests, keeping them safely outside until it’s time for them to sleep again.
Weatherstripping’s stought, but it wears out over time, especially if it’s exposed to rough winter weather. Rain, wind, snow, ice, and other elements will slowly degrade it until it can’t create an effective seal any more. So do a check. If you find any cracks or ragged sections, have it replaced as soon as possible.
Close Your Doors & Windows
Open doors might be good for circulation, but they’re also an invitation to bugs and other critters. Some warehouses have bird’s nests in their rafters because they left the doors open for too long. Obviously, some businesses can’t afford to leave their doors shuttered for most of the day (e.g. shipping companies), but in most cases they’re left open by accident.
In this situation, one obvious solution is to install air curtains or a fly fan to help create an “air door” that birds and pest cannot fly through.
Unless you live in a warm climate, cracks typically don’t remain hidden for very long. If you feel a draft or have one area of your workspace that never seems to heat up or cool down, it’s likely there’s a crack somewhere nearby.
Take a walk around your building. Examine your windows and skylights. Look at your above ground piping, if you have any. If cracks occur, that’s generally where you’ll find them. Sealing them with caulk is the most effective way of dealing with the problem and it costs next to nothing.
Clear Away Refuse
Garbage attracts both rodents and insects, so keep the area around your building clean. Pick up litter and dispose of it in a dumpster with a sealable lid.
Clean Up After Your Employees
One of the reasons bugs stick around is because you provide the perfect environment for them. Bugs love dirty bathrooms and kitchens, so make sure yours are spic and span. Wipe down your counters. Mop your floors. Spray under the sink and inside your cupboards, anywhere they might be hiding.
Trim Back Trees & Bushes
While it’s nice to have some foliage around your building, letting it grow too close creates a pathway for insects and rodents. They creep out along the branches and drop into your roof. Or maybe they set up a nest and then go exploring. Either way, it’s best to keep shrubs and trees away from your roof and entrances.