rodent diseases

Keep Office Space Off-Limits to Rodents

In 2014, Orkin and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) found that out of all pests, office tenants hate rodents the most. This is according to a commercial pest control survey of office, building and facility managers across the United States, which also uncovered that 50 percent of tenants will look for new office space after experiencing recurring pest control issues. And, for good reason!

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Rodents threaten offices in several ways, from posing health hazards to destroying property – not to mention the overall “ick factor” they give tenants. They can spread diseases such as Hantavirus and bacteria like Salmonella, and will gnaw on things they can sink their teeth into, even when they aren’t hungry. Targets may include electrical equipment, which means your building can be at risk for electrical fires.

And what complicates things further is that mice can enter your building through a hole no bigger than a dime, and rats only need a hole the size of a quarter to enter – they can be relentless in finding their way inside, especially when temperatures are dropping.

Possible signs of rodent activity include:

  • Droppings: Mouse droppings are about the size of a grain of rice, and rat droppings are the size of a raisin.
  • Gnaw marks: Areas you may see that have been chewed or gnawed by rodents include edges of small openings, metal finishes, wood and more.
  • Rub markings: Rodents have greasy bodies and hair, and they feel protected when they run along a wall. This means they may leave greasy rub markings that show the paths they’re traveling along.
  • Chewed bait: If you already monitor for rodents using a bait station, chewed bait is another indicator of rodent activity.

To help protect your bottom line and the health and safety of your tenants, consider these rodent prevention and management tactics:

  • Trim vegetation that can serve as cover for rodents, and consider installing a 30-inch gravel strip around the building’s exterior, as rodents avoid being out in the open where they feel vulnerable.
  • Eliminate moisture and standing water sources that may come from leaky HVAC units, overflowing ice machines in the break room and more.
  • Seal all unnecessary holes and cracks in your building’s exterior with a weather-resistant sealant, paying extra attention to utility penetrations and other entry points. For extra protection against rodents’ gnawing habits, use metal mesh.
  • Use tamper-resistant bait stations with non-toxic bait around the exterior of your building to monitor for rodent activity. If you find activity, work with your pest management provider to determine the best course of action.

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