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10 Ways to Avoid Pest Control Headaches Before and During the Holiday Rush

10 Ways to Avoid Pest Control Headaches Before and During the Holiday Rush Header

While you’re preparing for the onslaught of the holiday season, don’t overlook the ways you can help reduce your chances of unwanted pests. More product moving in and out during this time increases the likelihood of pests finding your facility, and chillier weather approaching means pests are already looking for cozier homes indoors. And while thinking about pest control may not be the holiday activity you’re looking for, the good news is that there are steps you can take right now—and when the rush cranks up—to help prevent a time-consuming holiday season pest infestation.

Based on our experience servicing thousands of warehouse facilities during the holidays, our pest specialists offer up these ten proven ways to avoid pest headaches during your busiest season.


Our first five tips can be done right now to reduce your risk of infestations later—and save you a lot of hassle when you’re short on time. Start now before the rush begins.

1. Double Down on Sanitation: Take this time to do a thorough cleaning of your facility.

  • Clear any clutter that can serve as pest hideouts.

  • Adjust your sanitation schedule for the season. For example, with heavier traffic, longer hours or additional workers on board, you might need to add cleanings or more frequent trash removal.

  • Be sure to keep the dumpster area clean and clear.

  • Flush all drains monthly to get rid of any organic matter that can attract pests (especially flies and cockroaches).

  • Be sure all spills are wiped and scrubbed promptly.

2. Shore Up the Outside: One way to start the process of checking the perimeter of your warehouse is to schedule a walk-around with your pest control provider. They can help you identify areas of concern and take action before you have a bigger problem.

  • Check for areas where pests like ants, cockroaches and rodents might be able to access your property.

  • Seal cracks, replace broken ventilation covers, and replace weatherstripping that is no longer effective.

  • Prune tree branches and bushes that are touching or hanging over your facility to eliminate easy pest access points.

  • Don’t overlook the roof: roof rats are a thing, and nesting birds can cause other problems.

3. Schedule Staff Training: When it comes to pests, early detection—which often comes from your staff—is the best way to avoid a bigger, time-consuming and costly infestation problem. Help everyone understand what the signs of pest trouble are, and where they might look to find them. Download our Staff Training Checklist today to get started.

  • Be sure to include your sanitation team in this training as they are often the first to spot an issue.

  • Make sure that all temporary and seasonal employees receive this training as well.

  • Your pest control provider may provide complimentary training for your staff, so they can learn what to watch for based on your specific facility and pest history.

4. Keep the Air Moving: Pay attention to air flow, especially if your warehouse has been quieter this year due to supply chain backup. Make sure that air is flowing through the facility with fans or good ventilation—still air attracts pests that are looking to bed down.

5. Keep the Lights On: During the slower weeks leading up to the holidays, be sure to keep the lights shining. Pests like rodents and cockroaches thrive in the dark, so keeping the lights on, even minimally, can help thwart their plans to turn your facility into their new home.


Early detection is the number one way to save time and money on pest control any time of year, but especially during the busy season. And this past year of supply chain issues may mean the shipment you are receiving has spent several months in someone else’s storage facility. With that in mind, here are five simple steps you can take once the holiday rush is upon us:

6. Unload With Extra Care: Have someone observe trucks while they’re open and unloading to watch for stowaway pests (like rodents). If there’s pest activity in a truck, make the decision to either not accept the shipment or quarantine the shipment immediately. Your pest control provider should be able to talk to you about what that quarantining zone should look like, and where it should be located.

7. Don’t Ignore Holes in Shipment Boxes: Be on the lookout for damaged product, which may be a sign of pest trouble. Check for openings in boxes that were not made by a knife or a forklift blade. Those holes could be a sign of gnawing rodents, cockroaches or some other pest.

8. Watch for Signs of Rodents: Look for the presence of pest droppings, both in shipments and in your facility. In your facility, look for these droppings on the floor along the walls. Also, rodents love to gnaw, so if there are chew marks on boxes, pallets or furniture, contact your pest control provider to make a plan.

9. Check Packing Tape: Inspect the packing tape on shipment boxes. If bugs—mainly weevils, beetles or moths—have been trying to get in or out of the product, chances are there will be some pests stuck to the tape. Evidence of bugs on the packing tape may indicate a larger issue.

10. Search for Webs: Check for webbing in racks or shipment boxes, which may indicate a moth or other pest issue. Since spiders feed on other pests, the presence of spider webs in your facility may indicate a larger problem. If the spider webs are in the rafters, you may have some flying insects, and if the webs are on the floor, be on the lookout for crawling insect issues. Meet with your pest control provider to discuss the presence and location of spider webs and determine the best treatment for the real source of your issue.

Remember that it’s always best if you can spot a pest issue at your door, rather than after the infested product has come into your warehouse or storage area. Early detection is key, and staying vigilant with these simple check-ins can help you and your staff find an issue early. Work with your pest control provider to help make this holiday season a time for you to focus on your busy operations—not on busy pests.


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