Those shipments and deliveries that come into your business may have more inside than you ordered. That’s because many different types of pests can hitchhike on or inside the boxes, cartons, containers, crates, pallets and parcels that your business receives every day.

6 Signs That Your Delivery Has Been Tampered With By Pests

Even if pests aren’t in a shipment or delivery, they still could have tampered with it along the way, contaminating and possibly ruining the contents. And even if they haven’t messed anything up, pests that have made their way into your building through these shipments are still in your building, which can pose problems in itself.

How do you know if pests have compromised your cargo? Here are some six ways to tell:

  1. Rips, tears or holes in deliveries could mean pests are in your boxes because those offer easy entry points for insects.
  2. Look for droppings, egg cases, discarded wings, insect body parts, larvae or actual pests flying from or crawling on or inside parcels.
  3. Gnawing marks, particularly on the corners and seams of boxes, may indicate rodent damage or entry.
  4. If a box or carton is coming apart by the time it gets to you, it’s a good idea to be suspicious of potential pest damage or harborage.
  5. Pay particular attention to shipments containing food or perishable items, which can be especially attractive to pests. Restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and food processing and manufacturing facilities that receive foodstuff deliveries can be particularly vulnerable for unwanted pests arriving via boxes and containers.
  6. Clothing shipments can be susceptible to fabric eating/infesting pests, such as moths and beetles.

What You Can Do

While you can’t completely control what arrives inside your packages, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent the likelihood of pest tampering, or to minimize the problem:

  1. Educate employees who open packages and shipments about the possibility of pest damage, and instruct them in how to inspect containers and what signs to anticipate.
  2. Ask vendors that regularly ship to you if they have pest precaution best practices or standards in place to help minimize pest transport.
  3. Inspect, inspect, inspect! Don’t move shipments, deliveries, packages or boxes from the receiving area until you’ve examined them closely for actual pests and for signs of pest damage.
  4. Isolate any package or container that you suspect could have adult pests or larvae inside. If possible, get it out of the building and isolate it quickly for further inspection to help prevent spreading infestations.
  5. Whether shipments and deliveries are received at a front desk or at a loading dock, keep the area clean and uncluttered. Clean the counters and floors regularly, and avoid any items that could attract or harbor pests. Prohibit food and drink in the area to help avoid spills that could supply food and moisture sources for pests.

Many types of pests can establish large infestations in a short amount of time, so even a few pests arriving at your business inside a package could possibly lead to big problems quickly. Having a commercial pest control plan in place can help you address infestations before they get out of hand and potentially harm your business’s reputation and productivity. A reliable pest control partner like Terminix® Commercial can help your business spot and address conditions that may encourage pest infestations.

Avoid special deliveries that include pests. Take practical precautions that include a professional pest control plan, and dispatch pest problems today.


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