As you reopen your business, there are several things you will want to consider when it comes to pest control—especially if you paused your pest management service during the pandemic. With lighter human foot traffic and, as a result, less access to food and water, certain pests may be more prevalent. Whether you’ve been fully shutdown, partially operating or continued business as usual without pest control services, our downloadable checklist can help as you reactivate your pest control service.
Pest Activity to Identify
No matter what kind of business you manage, pests may have found food, water and shelter to sustain themselves in or around your establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend keeping the following considerations in mind:
- Foodservice Establishments: With many restaurants closed or operating in a limited capacity, rodents, cockroaches and other nuisance pests have been searching for new food and water sources. Rodents in particular pose a public health risk and can threaten your bottom line, as they can spread diseases through their droppings and urine. Grease marks, gnaw marks and structural damage can be additional signs of rodent activity.
- Hospitality and Lodging Businesses: Managers should keep an eye out for an uptick in bed bug issues, especially once guests start booking reservations again. Bed bugs may not be multiplying, but they may still be present—they can survive up to a year without feeding. And once you begin receiving guests again, they’ll have plenty of food sources and time to reproduce. Cast skins and ink-colored stains on mattress tags and seams, seat cushions or headboards mean you have bed bug activity that needs to be addressed.
- Properties With Outdoor Facilities: Check for standing water that might have collected on your property or in malfunctioning water features, as this could lead to a mosquito problem. Other vector pests like ticks can also hide in overgrown vegetation or landscaping.
Property Areas to Check
- Exterior: Conduct a thorough inspection of your building’s exterior, making sure to look for signs of overgrown trees or shrubbery that may be touching your building and offering an easy path for pests to get inside. Check for standing water and remove or drain it immediately. Fill any large cracks and crevices with caulk to prevent pests from sneaking in.
- Waste Removal: Check all trash cans and dumpsters to determine whether they were emptied and sanitized prior to your business shutting down. If you discover any waste, bag and remove all trash immediately and arrange for trash pickup to avoid overflow issues.
- Plumbing and Drains: Spot-check your plumbing to make sure there are no leaks or signs of pest activity near drains. Don’t forget to check your roof and air conditioning units for signs of excess moisture.
- Kitchen and Break Areas: Use a flashlight to look for signs of cockroach and other pest activity. Inspect all equipment and check behind machinery for pest hiding spots.
- Office Spaces: Have your employees check their desks, lockers and other personal storage areas for leftover food and signs of pest activity or damage.
In addition to following these tips, make sure your business is properly disinfected on a regular basis. Our VitalClean™ service uses a powerful, EPA-registered disinfectant to kill 100% of pathogens and bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces. Be sure to work with your provider to treat any pest issues and adjust your plan as needed.
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