You’ve hired a pest management provider, and have established a regular plan for pest control service at your store. But, there’s more to keeping your store pest-free than just signing that service contract. A key element to a successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is the partnership between you, your staff and your pest control provider.
The following tips are some best practices retail store managers and responsible employees can implement to reduce the risk of pest infestations and regulatory problems. Adhering to these can also reduce the risk of lost customers and sales.
Store Pest Prevention Tips:
- Talk to the service technician on every service visit. Tell the technician where pests, or evidence of pests, have been seen. Then, work with them to identify any issues or areas for improvement that may need your attention.
- Inspect incoming product and pallets as they are removed from delivery trucks to ensure that no pests or infested items are brought into the store. Examples of pest evidence can be: product damage, rat or mouse droppings, live or dead insects under shrink wrap, mouse nests, etc.
- Look for openings that pests can use to enter the store. Open doors, and exterior cracks and gaps are potential entry points for rodents, flies, birds and other pests. Have the problem corrected as quickly as you can, certainly before dark. Many pests come into a facility at night, especially on warm nights.
- Make sure the inside of the store is cleaned thoroughly every week. Pay close attention to those out-of-sight,out-of-mind places that are difficult to reach and clean. Many pest species, such as flies, mature in 7 to 10 days, so monthly deep cleaning is usually not good enough to prevent a pest infestation. On a weekly basis, clean drains with a stiff brush, and vacuum up spillage on and under shelves, and in corners of racks and equipment.
- Remove clutter. If an item is not needed, get rid of it. Cockroaches, rodents and other pests are difficult to control if they have clutter to hide in during the day or use for nesting.
- Train employees on the importance of reporting pest findings to management or the pest management professional. It is also important to educate employees on pest exclusion and store cleanliness and sanitation policies.
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