After a winter that included heavy rains, wind, snow and ice, it’s well worth your while to perform a thorough inspection of the exterior of your facility to see how your pest exclusion efforts fared.
What are you looking for? Freezing weather can cause structural damage and create access points for pests in the form of torn ventilation screens, expanded cracks and openings in the foundation, torn off shingles and damaged roofing materials, and damaged caulk and door sweeps.
Take stock of the damage and wear and tear that winter’s wrath delivered and make a checklist for your maintenance department or pest management partner as part of your facility’s on-going integrated pest management (IPM) program.
The Exclusion Checklist for Commercial Facilities
- Walk around the entire foundation of your facility and check for cracks, gaps or holes. Holes as small as ¼ inch can be a potential entryway for mice or other rodents. If you find cracks, gaps or holes, fill them with the appropriate materials.
- Don’t ignore weep holes – the small opening that allows water to drain from within an assembly. A weep hole can have a crack or gap inside of it that may not be visible to you from the outside but that a foraging insect may find. Fill weep holes with an appropriate material but still allow it to vent air and release moisture.
- Check around all of your doors, door frames, and loading dock doors to ensure that there is a tight seal. Damaged, gnawed, worn, or missing door sweeps are one of the most common entry points for rodents and other pests.
- Check all windows, screens and window frames and repair any damages. Don’t forget the windows down in the window wells. Even if your wells are covered, with the is the slightest gap, the pests will crawl in the wells and can make an access route to your facility.
- Check openings where plumbing, gas and electric or cable wiring enters your facility as well as exhaust vents. Any gap around the pipes or wires should be filled with material to form a tight and secure closure. And don’t think you only need to check the entry points near the ground. Most rodents – especially roof rats – have no difficulty scaling siding, wires, or branches to get to openings high above the ground.
- Inspect the roof line for any gaps. Ensure that the shingles, ventilators, chimney and vent screens are all in place and undamaged. Reattach areas that may be pulling away and fill any gaps
Slamming the Door on Pests With Door Sweeps
An easy way to check to see if door frames are doing their job keeping pests out is to do the inspection at night. Turn on the interior lights in the room, warehouse, etc. and then go outside and see if you can see any light escaping around the door frame. If light can come out, then pests can get in and door sweeps need to be installed.
Various models of door sweeps are available and fit most common door sizes and types, and they are easy to install. Make sure to select one made of durable materials that can withstand the punishing environments (i.e. constant closing, forklifts, etc.) that are found in commercial facilities as well as the weather.
Not sure what door sweep to purchase? The pest exclusion experts at Sprague can assist you select the correct model and install them for you to keep pests on the outside looking in.