During the school year, there are a lot of people coming and going on campus which means there are more opportunities for pests to enter the buildings. This may be unavoidable, but with the right prevention strategies and an ongoing maintenance plan, you can help reduce the risk of an infestation getting out of control.
Schools often prefer to schedule pest prevention treatments over long weekends and extended breaks from school such as over summer vacation or during spring break, because if an infestation is found, action can be taken immediately without worrying about interfering with school hours. Any repairs and maintenance can also be scheduled and finished before the students come back. Where preventive treatments can help reduce the risk of pests in a school, it's also important for school maintenance teams to know what types of pests to watch for and how to plan for pest management surprises throughout the school year.
Here's a few things schools should know:
Types of pests found in schools
Knowing what types of pests are common in schools is the first step to keeping up with prevention. While technically any pest is possible, the most common ones to watch out for are:
- Rodents: Mice and rats are always looking for shelter, food, and water—three things that a school can provide.
- Cockroaches: German cockroaches, the most prolific pests in the world, are scavengers attracted to food debris. Most commonly, food debris accumulated underneath and behind heavy equipment where they are less likely to be disturbed.
- Ants: Ants will gravitate towards carbohydrate-rich food debris both indoors and outdoors and can multiply quickly if left unchecked.
- Flies: Drains in restrooms and kitchens are the perfect breeding ground for house flies and fruit flies. Phorid flies are attracted to decaying material in latent drain lines, under loose tiles, and in areas where filth and moisture collect. Regular deep cleaning and sanitization can help prevent an infestation.
Interested in pest control service for your school? Learn more about the Government and Education Pest Control services we have to offer.
Where pests hide in schools
A school has a lot of area to cover for inspections. It may require several different types of pest control treatments depending on the issues found. Some of the main areas a pest control technician would inspect in a school include:
- Exterior: Mice can squeeze through an opening as small as ¼" and all insects like ants, cockroaches, and flies need is an unsealed door or window to get inside and start multiplying. A full exterior inspection of the building can pinpoint any repairs that need to be done.
- Lobby, offices, classrooms: The rooms where staff and students spend the most time are also the rooms with the most wear and tear, not to mention debris that could attract bugs and rodents. Carefully placed traps and exclusion strategies can help prevent pests in these areas.
- Cafeteria and lunchrooms: Food, shelter and water attract pests. Restricting a pest's access to these resources through consistent food storage, deep cleaning and sanitation procedures, is a key step in preventing pests.
- Restrooms: Different varieties of flies can gather in restrooms where moisture builds up in the drains. Drain treatment services and a consistent cleaning and sanitation schedule can help eliminate flies present, and prevent them from coming back.
Regulations around the type of pest control treatments that can be used in schools and how to manage them vary from state to state, so the best course of action is calling in a professional to guide your efforts.
Prevention is key
Terminix Commercial's® Integrated Pest Management program focuses on prevention on a long-term basis. For a school, that means thoroughly inspecting your property to find cracks and holes that need to be repaired, recommending best practices for garbage disposal, and educating school staff on recognizing signs of an infestation.
Make sure your staff is aware of the common signs of pest infestations so they can keep an eye out and tackle any problems immediately. Training on different types of pests and what attracts them can help ensure the proper cleaning, repair and garbage disposal routines are in place to help keep the school free of pests.
Since every school is a little bit different, enlisting professional pest control services to recommend an inspection schedule can ensure there are no pests showing up from the first day of school through to the last.
When to book pest control for schools
The school year is subject to a strict schedule that doesn't leave much wiggle room for shutting everything down in the event of a pest infestation. Luckily, that schedule is also predictable so there is plenty of opportunity to schedule preventative pest control for schools if you think ahead.
Depending on the region and the seasons, certain pests may be more of a problem than others. Pre-determined breaks in the school year such as the transition between semesters, spring break and summer holidays are great opportunities to book inspections.
Remember to book your appointments early because every other school in your area probably has the same idea!
For pest control services that make the grade, call us at (866) 588 - 2469 to book a service or request a free estimate.