When you think about controlling pests, you probably think first about the inside of your office, because that’s where pests definitely don’t belong.
While taking preventive steps inside of your office is important, did you know that the conditions outside of your building can help pests gain access to the interior? Properly maintaining your office’s exterior can actually help you keep the inside clean, safe and productive by deterring pests.
Related: Pest Exclusion Strategies to Protect Your Business
Here are some tips to help control pests from the outside in:
Trim tree and overgrown landscape branches. When branches hang over the roof or are too close to structures, they can provide virtual highways for rodents, nuisance wildlife and other pests, helping them gain access onto and possibly into your building. Make sure that dead tree limbs are cut away, too, and have dead tree stumps removed to limit pest harborage areas.
Select the right plants. It’s wise to avoid landscape plants that can attract aphids and similar plant-feeding insects, which can attract ants. Get advice from a landscape professional about which plants might cause or promote pest problems in your area and climate.
Don’t place mulch too close to the building. One of the benefits of mulch is that it helps the ground retain moisture, which can be an attractive environment for termites and other pests. A good rule of thumb is to keep landscape mulch under two inches thick and 12 inches away from structure foundations.
Keep grass mowed. Pests can hide in tall, overgrown grass and weeds, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into your building. Keep leaves raked and debris picked up from lawn areas, too.
Watch the water. Because pests seek moisture sources, avoid standing water around your building. Inspect sprinkler systems regularly to ensure that water isn’t being sprayed directly onto your building’s foundation where moisture can collect. Direct water from rain gutters away from the structure and foundation. Make sure that all plumbing, drainage and roof leaks are fixed and sealed as soon as possible, and check building voids and crawl spaces for excess moisture. If your business has fountains or water features, keep them properly maintained.
Close openings. Rodents and insects can squeeze through tiny holes and gaps. For example, a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. That’s why it’s important to seal any cracks, crevices or spaces that open onto the exterior of your building. Be sure to also seal any cracks in the foundation, paying special attention to openings where wiring and utility pipes connect.
Shut them out. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. Avoid leaving doors propped open for deliveries or temperature control. Check the weather stripping on doors for signs of cracks or wear, and install door sweeps if possible. Repair any torn or ill-fitting window screens. Check deliveries for signs of pests or pest damage. If you spot signs that your delivery has been tampered with by pests, then send it back.
Some of the tips above are simple enough to try yourself. Others require the help of a professional. When in doubt, call a professional.
Don’t Let Pests Keep Your Office Hours
When pests make their way into your office from the outside, they can spoil the cleanliness of your workspace and disrupt productivity. Some pests can also carry pathogens that may cause disease and can contaminate or cause damage to equipment and structures. If clients and visitors notice pests, or signs of pests, your office’s reputation can be harmed.
If you’re an office manager or a business owner, you probably already have enough on your plate without worrying about pest control. Besides, it’s best to leave proper pest identification and control in the hands of professionally trained commercial pest control technicians who know the proper steps and strategies to employ for your particular location. The right pest control provider can also make suggestions for preventive steps you can take to address issues inside and outside of your office that are conducive to pest activity.
A pest control partner like Terminix® Commercial can customize effective solutions for your office. Check off pest control from your to-do list today.