COLLABORATION KEY TO EFFECTIVE IPM IN MALL STORES
by James E. Sargent, Ph.D., Director of Technical Support and Regulatory Compliance
Copesan – Specialists in Pest Solutions
EXCERPT FROM: 2016 PRSM Best Practices, published by Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM)
Pest management in a mall store – one unit of a large building or shopping mall – is easily compromised by neighboring stores and surrounding areas such as common areas like food courts, back corridors or utility chases with less effective or inconsistent Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.
BEST PRACTICE IMPLEMENTED
A comprehensive, strategic approach will protect mall stores from the challenges malls present. Designing such a program allows the retailer to gain a better understanding of the current pest management efforts surrounding the location. The key to success with this approach is a formal, concerted collaboration with neighboring tenants and mall management:
- Meet in person with all parties to review the tenant contract and pest management responsibilities.
- Does mall management have a pest management policy or is it addressed in the tenant contract? Identify a mall contact person for pest issues.
- Who is responsible for pest management in the common areas?
- Who is responsible for the pest management for each of the tenants?
- After the meeting, develop a list of all pest management providers for the entire mall property with all tenants so IPM can be communicated and coordinated. If possible, consolidation of providers is desired to ensure coordination.
- Spearhead a mall pest management committee and pest reporting communication line. Meet regularly and communicate with all tenants. As tenants change, make sure to communicate pest management responsibilities.
- As a committee, determine the responsibility and expected time frame for correcting common pest-conducive conditions like repairing holes in the walls or around utility penetrations, treating voids before sealing and sealing gaps under doors or between stores. Document clear, well-defined roles and responsibilities in the tenant contract, if possible.
RESULTS OF THE BEST PRACTICE
Mall store clients are more aware of their surroundings and are in regular communication with neighboring stores and mall management. Further, the collaborative spirit developed by working together as a committee to solve mutual pest problems improves relationships and often leads to other opportunities to share. And, in general, the success of everyone’s pest management efforts improves as the standard is raised to meet everyone’s needs.
VERIFICATION OF EFFICIENCY AND/OR SAVINGS CAPTURED
Success for the program can be measured using historical reporting and pest trending for the mall store, as well as neighboring tenant stores and mall common areas. Most national pest management providers today capture service information electronically, creating a database of records that can be analyzed a number of different ways.
Trending may show a decrease in pest activity or pest-conducive conditions as compared to prior years. It may also show a trend of specific types of problems, for example, brokendoor sweeps or loose floor tiles, in specific areas that indicate a more permanent fix might be needed than past efforts.
Reviewing monies invested in pest management may also show cost savings over time.