Pest control in your warehouse is essential to ensuring all products leave your facility in the same condition they arrived in. Failing to identify a pest problem can lead to serious consequences, like risking the transmission of disease to your employees or the introduction of bacteria into products.
The best way to prevent or eradicate a pest problem is to know what to look for. Different pests seek out different types of habitats and leave behind unique hints of their presence.
Here are four facts about common warehouse pests that may help you make your facility a safer, more sanitary environment:
1. Bed bugs can travel on human clothing
Not all insects make their way into your warehouse on their own. Your employees could accidentally cause a bug infestation. Bed bugs and other insects can travel on workers’ clothes or even their skin.
Prevent infestations by your employees by educating your team on the signs of pest problems in their own homes. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bed bugs leave not only rashy bite marks on a person’s skin but also a “sweet musty odor” on the furniture or clothing they inhabit.
2. Insects seek out moisture, but they aren’t picky
All living things need water to survive. That includes the insects vying to infiltrate your warehouse. But bugs aren’t picky about their water quality, according to W. Douglas Webb, technical services manager with Terminix International and Facility Executive contributor. Condensation as a result of a malfunctioning HVAC or refrigeration unit, for example, is just as attractive as a freshly sprung plumbing leak. Even swollen wood due to high humidity can quench the thirst of a family of insects.
Address ill-performing equipment as soon as possible so as to not create an oasis for bugs. Additionally, utilizing high-velocity low-speed warehouse fans can help control moisture.
3. Warehouse beetles go through multiple molting stages
Insects go through several life stages, from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Warehouse beetles are one of the most common insects that eat and live in stored dry goods, like cereals, seeds, spices, meals, cookies and more. They cause the most damage during the larva stage, when they feast most frequently, Orkin Canada explained.
Warehouse beetles can prolong this life stage by molting several times before entering the pupae stage. If your team spots eggs, larvae or shed exoskeletons, which look like small, hairy casts, you may need to revise your warehouse pest control program.
4. Pest problems aren’t always inside a warehouse
Even if you don’t find any signs of infiltration in your warehouse, don’t assume your facility is in the clear. A flock of pigeons gathering on your roof can lead to a fungus problem in your HVAC system if droppings make their way into your ventilation system. This can cause health issues for your employees as well as a quality concern for product in your facility. Additionally, insects gathering near your warehouse could foreshadow problems to come.
By keeping your HVAC and refrigeration equipment in top condition, maintaining your building envelope and installing warehouse fans to reduce humidity and moisture are all ways you can reduce the risk of pest infiltration. To strengthen your facility against vermin of all sorts, reach out to Miner.