One of the best ways to prevent pest activity is to incorporate exclusion methods into your pest control program. Pest exclusion not only helps prevent pests from entering a building, it can also help prevent interior pest movement. In addition to restricting movement, exclusion can reduce the areas where pests can harbor and food sources can accumulate. It can provide a long term solution and reduce the need for pesticides.
Many of the materials used for pest exclusion can be found at the common hardware supply store such as screens, sealants and door brushes. There a few items that are specially designed for the pest management industry with pest prevention in mind. Included in this list are stainless steel mesh products and door sweeps that include the stainless steel mesh product in the sweep. For food facilities, if filling a hole with a steel mesh, covering that hole and mesh with food-grade patching materials is necessary.
Exclusion for Doors
Sometimes it is not a material but a timing mechanism that must be adjusted. Doors need to be in good repair and that good repair extends to the timing mechanisms of the doors. Automatic openers should be adjusted such that they remain open long enough for the pedestrian to move safely indoors but not longer than necessary to allow pest entry. Six seconds is a commonly used time frame for doors to remain open past the time the person entering or exiting passes the electronic door sensor. If there are automatic doors at the facility, periodically check the doors for proper open and closure.
- Overhead Dock Door Screens: Some pests such as birds have learned how to trigger automatic doors to permit entry by the pest. Adjustments to the sensitivity of the sensors may be needed to avoid this issue. If a door needs to remain open for ventilation purposes, screens should be used to prevent pest entry. Overhead dock door screens are available from a variety of manufacturers. Screens that fit on the door track are preferred.
- Door Seals: Doors should be sufficiently tight enough to seal out most insects and rodent pests. You can use a pencil as a tool to determine if a mouse sized rodent can enter through a door opening. If openings are present to permit entry, additional door seals are required. Do not overlook dock door plates and seals around these areas in addition to the door itself. Doors prags can be used to help seal the area where the door meets the dock plate.
- Layers of Defense: Just like in any security program, having layers of defense can be helpful in preventing pest problems. Vestibules with an inner and outer door can be helpful as a second line of defense in keeping pests out. Quick or rapid roll up doors can also be beneficial in separating sensitive areas like food packaging and processing from less sensitive areas with may have greater pest exposure like receiving docks. Consider those layers of defense in construction and remodeling of facilities. The multi-layered approach can be especially helpful in situations where pest population pressures are heavy, there are negative pressure issues in the building or product sensitivity is extremely high.
Don't wait for pests to get in. Call us at 833.874.0672 to schedule a free, no-obligation assessment to exclude pests from your business.