Common Points of Entry for Pests in Your Facility
Pests enter your business to try and meet basic survival needs. They are in search of either food, shelter or moisture. The best way to address this problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Pests are less likely to infiltrate your property when there’s nothing there to satisfy them.
To start your prevention efforts, you’ll first want to pinpoint the different ways pests can access your facility. While some of the entry points are obvious, others may be easily overlooked.
This article covers the top pest entry points and provides a few ways to eliminate them. Learn more about how to protect your business from harmful insects and rodents.
10 Common Pest Entry Points
Here are the most common ways pests enter your business:
1. Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are the most common ways pests enter your facility. While they can fly or crawl through when your doors and windows are left open, pests can also gain access when the seals around doors and windows break, tear or compress.
Ensure your doors seal tightly against their thresholds, and install new door sweeps if needed. Inspect the perimeter of your doors for any light shining through — insects will take advantage of spaces. You’ll also want to check the weather stripping around your windows for worn areas and repair any holes in screens.
Mice, rats and insects can enter your property through your roof, whether they find holes, a gap where rooflines meet or compromised roof vents.
Inspect your roof periodically for loose shingles, holes and cracks. Ensure your roof vents are covered. If you have a chimney, pipes or other ventilation access going through your roof, consider covering it with a chimney cap or otherwise blocking it to prevent pest access. You should also inspect these entry points often to ensure they function properly and are sealed correctly.
Another factor to consider is the type of roofing material on your property. For example, cedar shake roofs have gaps between the shingles and where the roof meets other building materials. Check around your soffits and roofline for any potential problem areas.
3. Exterior Walls and Foundation
Cracks in your exterior walls and the foundation of your building invite pests. Repair any you find, and check that there are a few inches of foundation above the soil line. If there isn’t, use a shovel to remove enough soil to create space between the ground and the walls of your property.
If you have plants or planting beds close to your facility, separate the mulch from the foundation and keep plants trimmed so branches don’t contact the building.
4. Floor Drains
Floor drains are typically found in bathrooms, laundry rooms, swimming areas and basements. Commercial floor drains are used in the food industry in kitchens and refrigeration areas. Floor drains connect either to a sewer system or a collection pit.
Wherever your drains are, insects are drawn to the moisture in them. You can help eliminate floor drains as an entry point by cleaning them regularly, plugging them when they’re not in use and reducing the moisture in your facility with adequate ventilation.
5. Dock Plates
In commercial properties such as manufacturing facilities, dock plates are used in loading areas to bridge the gap between docks and trucks of differing levels. Pests can hide in the crevices around dock plates built into the floor.
To keep pests out of these spaces, ensure that each dock plate fits tightly in place with no visible gaps.
6. Dryer Vents and Exhaust Fans
Most properties with laundry dryers have vents on the outside that allow heat to escape. If the vent is uncovered or damaged, pests can easily get inside.
Inspect your vents and exhaust fans, and check your vent dampers to ensure they’re working properly and not stuck open.
7. Electrical Meters
Electrical meters outside a building are a common entry point for mice. Seal any gaps around your electrical meter with a mixture of steel wool and caulking or with canned foam insulation.
8. Air Conditioning Compressor and Gas Lines
Rodents can enter your building through the space around air conditioning compressor lines. Ensure they connect to your facility with a tight seal to keep pests out.
Gas lines are another potential entry point. As with AC lines, ensure the space around them is sealed properly.
9. Crawl Spaces
Pests are fond of the dark, secluded crawl space beneath buildings. Spiders and crickets thrive in the cool, moist environment, and mice like to make nests out of packing materials and other clutter often kept in crawl spaces.
Signs of a pest infestation in your crawl space include gnaw marks, droppings, tracks, pathways, burrows, odor, damaged goods and spider webs.
To keep mice, spiders and crickets out of your crawl space, keep any items stored there in sealed plastic containers. Ensure the entry to the crawl space is sealed properly, and use silicone-based caulk to fill any holes and gaps.
10. Things You Bring Inside
Insects can travel into your building on clothing, plants and live holiday decorations that you bring indoors.
If you’ve spent time working outdoors, check your clothing for ticks and other insects before you go inside. Brush yourself off or shake your clothes out well to rid them of any pests.
How to Protect Your Facility From Pests
Here are some of the best ways to prevent pests from entering your facility:
- Trim landscaping: As noted above, it’s best to keep plants and mulch from touching your building. Overhanging branches create an easy path for rodents to get onto your roof, and damp mulch is the perfect place for insects to hide.
- Fill cracks and gaps: In addition to keeping mulch away from your foundation, you’ll want to seal any cracks or gaps you find. Check your exterior regularly, including the foundation, around doors and windows, the roof and wherever different building materials meet or vents allow access outside.
- Install lights away from doors: Bugs are drawn to lights and can easily enter your facility if they are swarming nearby when you open the door. If possible, install lights 5 or 10 feet away rather than next to doors.
- Hire a pro: Pest control often means dealing with chemicals and different types of rodents and insects. Professionals have the experience to handle chemicals safely and understand the best pest control methods based on your situation. Consider having them spray regularly to prevent common pests from getting into your building.
Trust Cape Cod Pest Pros for Your Pest Control Needs
When your best pest prevention efforts are not enough to keep your property pest-free, contact Cape Cod Pest Pros. We have over 20 years of experience providing fast, reliable, environmentally-friendly pest control to Cape Cod and the surrounding areas.
Once you make the call, our trained experts will come to your residence and conduct a thorough inspection to identify the pest and the best way to eliminate it. We know that unwanted pests are an urgent issue, and our goal is to keep you, your family and your property safe. No matter the nature of the pest problem, we offer integrated pest management to keep your business pest-free. Call us at (508) 888-0999 or schedule a free inspection today.