Keep pests out of your warehouse with these tips

Warehouses must always be kept clean and sanitary so inventory remains pristine, ready to be shipped to customers at a moment’s notice. One of the most harmful situations that a facility manager can experience in his or her warehouse is a pest problem.

It may be hard to notice tiny critters like mice or termites in expansive warehouse spaces, but the sooner they’re detected – or more importantly, prevented – the better off you and your company will be. Pest infiltration can create health hazards, slow down production, cause damage to your inventory or equipment, land you in legal trouble or result in inventory seizure, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Hold up sanitary standards

Many pests, like bugs or rats, are attracted to spoilage. If your warehouse holds perishable goods, it’s critical that all necessary temperature and storage controls are maintained.

Refrigerated sections should be properly insulated. High-speed or specialty doors help make sure the cool air doesn’t escape when people enter or exit the space. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system should be in top condition; facility managers may want to arrange for periodic inspections to make sure any problems are identified and addressed as soon as possible.

Even when sanitary standards are upheld, an unsold product can go bad in time, Martin Harvey of Harvey Environmental Services and vice president of the British Pest Control Association, told The Guardian.

” … Remember that if you have any items that have not been disturbed for a long period of time they may be harbouring pests – always clear unwanted items,” Harvey explained.

Identify your risks and weak spots

It’s not just food storage warehouses that are at risk of pest infiltration. Keep in mind that pests aren’t just on the scavenge for food; they also look for nooks and crannies to claim for their colonies.

To identify if you’re at risk of being invaded by common pests like the warehouse beetle, Quality Assurance Magazine recommends setting up a few pheromone traps outside your facility. Check daily to see how many beetles you capture. Mouse traps can help determine whether rodents threaten your facility.

Once you’ve determined what kind of pests you’re up against, review your entire warehouse to find weak spots. Check the building envelope, ceiling, walls, vents, doorways and windows for cracks or crevices where pests can enter. Also, assess the interior and identify spots where bugs or rodents might be able to hide. Most of them like small, dark or damp spaces.

Once you’ve identified your facility’s weak spots, it’s time to fix them. Seal any cracks in your building’s exterior. If your building envelope has aged significantly, it might be time for a replacement.

Doors or windows that don’t close correctly should be replaced. Bug screens on your loading dock doors can keep flying insects out while loading or unloading trucks.

To ask an expert for advice on how to improve your facility’s components, reach out to Miner.