Picture this: it’s early morning, your customers are just making their way into your gym, spa, or athletic center for a morning exercise, and they spot the very last thing they want to see before a workout or a massage: something dark and ominous scurrying across the floor.
At this point, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they got up, packed all of their gear, and walked out the door without ever getting to the reason they came by in the first place. If you’re lucky, they won’t leave a scathing review online - but in most cases they will, and this might just detract hundreds of potential customers from ever even visiting.
Want to avoid this nightmare scenario? It all starts with proper pest management, especially in those areas that customers spend a good deal of their time: locker rooms. By keeping your locker room or changing area pest-free and clean, you help give customers peace of mind long before they ever get a chance to get freaked out - or, worse, get sick from contact with infected invaders.
Most Common Locker Room Pests
Although most locker rooms will, at some point, deal with pest issues, not all pest problems are the same. When it comes to keeping your locker room or changing area pest free, it’s often helpful to break the severity of the infestation into one of three categories. This can help you determine how intensive your eradication process needs to be, and how serious the problem is for your customers and clients.
Level 1 Pests - Easy to Spot, Relatively Easy To Eradicate
Because locker rooms and changing areas tend to experience some of the highest traffic of any area in your gym, spa, or athletic space, these have the highest chance of hosting some invaders from the outside that can be immediately apparent. These pests include:
Although certainly not simple to remove from the premises and potentially involving extensive eradication measures by an experienced pest professional, many of these pests actually host their nests outside or come from the outside to begin with. That means keeping them from returning can be as simple as identifying and closing off cracks, holes, or any other entrances to your business from the outside.
Ask your pest management specialist to examine your building for any unseen openings to the outdoors and take steps to close off this access. With luck, this will keep these level 1 pests from returning in the near future.
Level 2 Pests - Easy To Spot, Tough To Remove
Sometimes, the worst visitors from the outdoors can be among the toughest can get rid of. These most likely include the following:
These are pests that will make themselves apparent almost as soon as they enter your building, usually by leaving droppings or other markers of their presence visible to you and your clients. In many cases, they will initially be attracted to the moisture available in locker rooms, as well as to food or any edible items left in lockers for extended periods of time. However, these pests also have a habit of finding their way into your walls and ductwork, which means fully eradicating them from your business can be a difficult process.
If you notice rodents or termites making a mess of your interior walls or locker areas, be sure to get in contact with a pest professional experienced in fully inspecting commercial areas and eradicating pests with accuracy.
Level 3 Pests - Tough To Spot, Tougher To Get Rid Of
Those owners who’ve dealt with major pest issues in athletic facilities know that the worst pests a business can face are the ones that stay hidden when you come looking, and which scurry into their hiding spaces as soon as you flick on the lights. Notoriously tough to get rid of and even tougher to find their nests.
These Level 3 pests include:
- Bed Bugs
Because many of these pests find their way inside on the clothing or gear of your clients themselves, keeping pests like bedbugs and lice contained once an outbreak has begun can be a serious challenge. Likewise, pests like cockroaches and silverfish can deposit eggs hidden deep within the walls of your facility, making full eradication extremely difficult. In the event that your business experiences any of these pests, it’s important to immediately contact an experienced pest professional to get rid of the ones there now, and make sure more cannot make their nest in the future.
Tips To Keep Pests Out Of Your Changing and Storage Areas
Want to make it as difficult as possible for pests like these to find a home in your locker room or changing area? Here are a few tips to make your changing and storage space as uninviting as possible:
- Keep food and edible items to a minimum in these storage areas, especially in dark and secure locker spaces.
- Remove standing water and moisture from as much of the area as possible, as all pests need easy access to water to maintain a presence in any area.
- Institute a regular or quarterly inspection schedule with yoru pest management specialist to catch any issues before they become major problems.
Other Types of Locker Room Pests
Not all pests that may infest a locker room, however, crawl on tiny legs - some take a firm grip and refuse to let go. These include environmental pests, including the big one: mold.
Mold thrives in moist, humid, or otherwise wet environments, and can transfer via airborne spores through ductwork, from other buildings, and into other areas of your property. Once it’s in, mold can be notoriously tough to get rid of - and can cause some serious health effects to your employees, your customers, and just about anyone who’s hanging around your locker room or changing areas.
Whether you notice mold or not, it’s always a good idea to have a professional mold expert take a look and keep a close eye on your most prevalent mold hot-spots. By keeping humidity and moisture buildup at a minimum, you can help prevent mold from ever gaining a foothold in your locker room area.
Need Help? We’re Here To Make Things Easy
Keeping your athletic area, spa, or gym pest free and inviting to your guests is much more than just a good suggestion - it’s a requirement, and failure to do so could very likely bring a swift and painful end to your profits. Instead of leaving your pest control to chance, get in touch with a professional pest management specialist today and make sure your space is secured from even the toughest pests long before they ever find their way inside.
Nothing ruins a good workout or relaxing spa day quite like a cockroach in the corner. Our pest experts at JP Pest Services know pests, and know how to keep them away from your business. Get in touch today and see what we can do to protect your clients - and yourself - from an invasion in the locker room.