Nobody wants pests in a retail establishment. Owners and managers don’t want to deal with them, employees don’t want to work alongside them, and customers surely don’t want their shopping experience to be ruined. So, how can you help keep pests like cockroaches, rodents, flies and others from getting into your store in the first place? The first step is learning how to help prevent them.

Here are eight things that could make your store more vulnerable to pest invasions:

1. Frequently Opened Doors

You can’t do anything about doors opening and closing to let people in and out, but you can avoid propping doors open or keeping them open longer than needed. You can also install door sweeps and check weather stripping around doors to make sure the material isn’t cracked or worn. And an air curtain can help reduce flying insects in some cases. Lastly, having a vestibule door entrance can help keep pests out.

2. Leaks and Moisture

Most pests need and seek water to survive, so even droplets and small puddles can be attractive to them. Inspect all pipes, drains, appliances and drink dispensers for leaks and have any problems fixed by a professional as soon as possible. Add screens to drains wherever possible and make sure the drains stay clear of food debris, which can also attract pests. Wipe up all spills right away. It’s important to pay attention to potential moisture sources outside of your store, too.  Make sure your property has adequate drainage and keep outdoor drains clear to help prevent water from backing up in close proximity to your store, especially during periods of heavy rainfall.

3. Garbage and Trash

 For hungry pests, garbage and trash can provide a tempting buffet.  Have a regular schedule set up to empty trash cans multiple times each day. When possible, position outside trash receptacles and dumpsters well-away from your store’s entrances, and make sure the containers have well-fitting, tight lids that are kept closed. Keep the dumpster area clean and maintained, not allowing items to be stored in the dumpster area. It’s also a good idea to have someone routinely inspect the grounds around the structure for trash that accumulates around landscaping. This trash can cause certain rodent and pest issues.

4. Improperly Stored or Disposed Food

Even if your store doesn’t sell food products, customers can bring them inside or employees may consume and keep food items in break rooms. Make sure all uneaten food and scraps are thrown out immediately, and always store food products off the floor on shelves or in cupboards. Never leave unsealed food out, as it can attract flies and other pests.

5. Structural Insufficiencies

Any gaps, holes, cracks or crevices in walls, floors, ceilings or the foundation should be sealed immediately. Rodents and insects can squeeze through tiny spaces, so any openings that lead to the exterior can serve as an access point for pests. Also inspect openings where wiring or utility pipes connect for any gaps that need to be closed off. Insects and other arthropods can squeeze through a hole even smaller than one that a rodent needs.

6. Improper Cleaning

While even spotless stores can still have pest problems, good cleaning practices can help you avoid infestations. Regularly vacuum or sweep all crumbs and food particles from break rooms , dining areas and kitchens, and pay special attention to areas behind furniture and appliances, as well as to cracks and crevices in floors, along baseboards and countertop corners. Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture regularly and mop hard surface floors.

7. Overgrown Landscaping and Grass Outside Your Store

Some pests, like rodents, can hide outside y our store, waiting for access inside. Removing branches, tall weeds and keeping grass mowed near your store’s entrances can help prevent pests from living around the perimeter of your building, and it also helps them to be seen a little easier.

8. Deliveries and Shipments


Pests can get into your store via packages, boxes and containers. If possible, receive deliveries in a space away from the main part of your store, where all deliveries can be inspected for signs of pests. Look for compromised packaging material, rips, tears and holes, as well as for droppings, actual pests and larvae. If you notice signs of pests, remove the delivery from your store as soon as possible and/or refuse delivery. For the deliveries that you keep, break down cardboard and wood boxes as soon as they’re unloaded and discard them away from the building to help prevent pest harborage areas.


If you’d like more information about how to help prevent pest problems in your store, contact Terminix® Commercial today. Trained pest control professionals can help you spot conditions that may be conducive to pest activity to help you avoid infestations before they start, as well as treat and control existing pest problems.


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