Warehouse Woes: Keeping Mice Out of Your Distribution Center
If you feel like shouting, “Rats!” because of rodents in your warehouses or distribution center, you’re not alone. Rodents are an ever-present problem in warehouse-type environments. Wintertime tends to exacerbate the issue, with rodents eager to find warm shelter and a steady supply of snacks.
Don’t despair. While DIY measures are not advised, partnering with a pest control professional is all you need to manage rodent populations on site and maybe even send them packing… for good.
The Scope and Size of the Problem
Keeping a giant structure sealed off from mice and rats while dozens or even hundreds of people move in and out all day is a daunting task. This becomes especially true when the temperature dips, and mice seek warm structures to survive the winter. With warehouses so easy to access, no shortage of nesting materials to pillage, and employees dropping crumbs from their lunches every day, these structures are a prime target for hungry mice in search of warm shelter.
Mice are responsible for spreading over 35 different diseases to humans. Some are contracted directly through contact with either the rodent, its excrement or its urine. Other diseases originate from and are spread indirectly by parasites -- like ticks or fleas -- which infect the mice, thereby posing a potential threat to humans if they encounter mice.
In addition to making people ill, mice can damage structures and destroy any number of items inside the building that can be used for nesting material. In houses, they burrow into soft materials found in items like upholstered furniture, car seats and insulation. In a distribution center mice will often burrow into the next-best thing to an old armchair: packages.
Droppings usually accumulate in and around their nests, creating a biohazard for workers and customers alike. (Imagine opening a package and finding a rodent nest!). Best case scenario, warehouse managers will detect the hazardous package before it ships, dispose of it, and chalk up the loss. Even so, the trouble doesn’t necessarily stop there.
Another common location for rodent damage is in electrical equipment. Rodents like to create nests inside large electrical appliances, then chew on the insulation surrounding the wires. This creates a high risk of electrical fire.
If you have already detected the presence of rats or mice in your warehouse or distribution center, it’s not too late. By working closely with a licensed pest control professional, rodents can be managed, and even eradicated.
We’re All About IPM
The key to dealing with rodents is preventing an infestation altogether through Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. One way to define IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and various non-chemical approaches.
In fact, products are only used when monitoring indicates that they are needed, according to IPM guidelines. Careful planning and consideration is used in order to prevent harm to human health, other organisms and the environment. Non-chemical control practices are the first -- and often best -- line of defense against rodents.
It’s far more effective to embrace IPM exclusion practices, like sealing openings that a pencil could fit through and installing mesh over drain openings than it is to put product down inside the warehouse to kill the rodents after they’ve already invaded.
Following exclusion, IPM strategies include sanitation practices like removing cover for rodent pathways by trimming landscaping away from the ground, clearing mulch altogether, disposing of any other debris or clutter, and relocating stored materials away from the warehouse structure.
Of course, placing trash containers, and dumpsters away from the warehouse avoids attracting mice to the exterior of your warehouse, where they might then gain entry inside the building.
Luckily, JP Pest Services specializes in IPM, and will work closely with you to remove the threat. As a local pest control company with nearly 100 years under our belt, we are well-equipped to take on any rodent issue: big or small.
Contact us today to schedule a free on-site consultation.