How Pests Can Impact Warehouses and Hurt Efficiency
Most pests are relatively small creatures, especially when compared to today’s large warehouse spaces. Many distribution warehouses are in excess of 100,000 square feet. So how can something so little as a pest be detrimental to such a big area?
And if you’re in the warehouse industry, you’ve likely noticed that the need for efficiency is growing. In fact, it may sometimes feel as though things are moving faster and faster with each passing day and with no end in sight. Technological advancements and growing e-commerce customer expectations for faster shipping times have ramped up warehouse performance requirements and tightened fulfillment window times.
The extensive square footage of a warehouse can be part of the challenge when it comes to controlling pests. In such expansive areas, pests have many options for hiding places and a variety of spots in which they can feed and breed. It’s easy for pests to find corners, cracks, crevices and drains where they can set up shop, and it’s difficult for workers to patrol every inch of warehouse space for pest activity. Fortunately, there are commercial pest control companies with trained specialists who are experienced in industrial pest control who can help find, identify and treat pests that threaten warehouse environments.
How can pests impact your warehouse? Here are some of the ways:
Pest infestations can disrupt warehouse operations and divert employees’ attention away from their job duties. In addition to being a distraction, pests can require warehouse workers and managers to drop what they are doing to deal with the problem. You can help avoid pest-related interruptions in warehouse schedules and efficiency with proper pest management techniques.
Many pests can cause damage to your warehouse’s stored products, structures and equipment. Termites, for example, will readily attack cardboard packaging materials and can damage enclosed products or render the contents unusable. They can also damage wood in the structure. Rodents can feed on warehoused products or build nest in packaging, ultimately showing up at the customer’s facility. They can also damage the structure, including wiring in the building and/or equipment. Birds and wildlife can contaminate and adulterate stored products and packaging, making it unacceptable to the customer as well as cause damage to the interior and exterior of the building. Pest damage can cause product loss, customer relations issues as well as time consuming and costly repairs.
Compromised Products and Packaging
Cockroaches, rodents, flies and stored product pests can damage packaging and products. The damage can come from gnawing, the spread of bacteria and unsanitary droppings that some pests leave behind.
Lower Employee Morale
Pests in any workplace can create an undesirable working environment, and warehouses are no exception. Encountering cockroaches, rodents, flies or mosquitoes or having birds swooping down while you try to work can be unpleasant for your employees and in some cases could even be a safety hazard, as employees are startled and react to unexpected pest sightings.
In addition to being unsightly and unpleasant, some pests can actually compromise safety in warehouses. For example, birds can leave behind droppings that may create slip-and-fall dangers and stinging pests can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Cockroaches can spread bacteria as well as trigger allergens and allergy symptoms. Stored product pests can leave behind eggs and larvae. The presence of pests can cost your warehouse employee downtime.
When pest problems take workers away from routine tasks or when pest damage requires repairs to be made to structures or equipment, warehouse operations can slow down. If your warehouse is subject to regulatory or audit requirements, pests may violate compliance standards. Even if you can avoid fines or shutdowns, you may have to spend valuable time bringing your warehouse back into compliance, which may slow operations, and in some cases cost you a major customer. In today’s high performance warehouse market, any reduction in productivity can have negative repercussions.
Harm to Reputation
When a warehouse has pest problems, word can spread to customers and to prospective employees. Even worse, pests can also spread to customers. Third party inspections by organizations, such as the American Institute of Baking, are part of life for many warehouse managers. The main purpose of these inspections is to assure the warehouse’s customer that the goods they are receiving are not infested with pests or contaminated/adulterated in any other way.
Terminix® Commercial is experienced in treating for pests in expansive industrial spaces like warehouses. The company offers proactive prevention and monitoring strategies to help keep pests from coming back and provides tips for warehouse staff to help avoid pest-conducive conditions.
Terminix appreciates efficiency too. Terminix Commercial provides fast, effective service to warehouse facilities, designed to help minimize operational disruption. To keep things moving, we even provide real-time reporting through ScanMaster® Tracking, enabling quick and easy account monitoring to save you time and to help with protocol compliance. Terminix My Account also makes it easy to schedule treatments and to access service, billing and treatment records online.
Impact pests before they can impact your warehouse. Get a free estimate and find out more about how Terminix Commercial can help you treat current infestations and help prevent new ones.