Unwanted pests are a common problem for facilities, where insects, rodents and other small animals seek easy access to food, water and shelter. With warmer weather returning, pests may become a problem at the Post.
These pests can be a problem for your Post in more ways than one. Some pests carry diseases which can cause illness to members, guests and volunteers. Others can cause significant property damage to your building. To reduce the risk to your Post, make sure you are up to speed on common pest infestations and prevention.
Common Pest Infestations and Prevention
- Stinging insects can sting you, your members, guests and volunteers. Some people are allergic to these stings, resulting in medical emergencies, so it’s best to keep these pests away from your facilities.
- Stinging insects like bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets build homes in outdoor nooks and crannies near dense vegetation, so seal these entries off and keep your landscaping trimmed and mowed.
- Many stinging insects like wasps and yellow jackets are scavengers, meaning trash control is good deterrence. Keep food trash in sealed containers, clean up any sticky spills and empty trash cans regularly.
- Wasps and yellow jackets can also be attracted to hummingbird feeders. If you have one outside, move it away from porches, decks and other places where your members and guests will gather.
- Be careful addressing infestation problems. Don’t spray nests with water or sprays and don’t light them on fire. Call a professional for removal for any large colony infestation.
- Mosquitoes multiply fast in hot, humid weather. It’s primarily a nuisance, but mosquitoes can also transmit serious disease. Keeping them at bay will keep your members and guest healthy.
- Mosquitoes lay eggs near standing water. Cut down on nearby populations by emptying any stagnant water weekly. Pay attention to buckets, lids, tarps, rain barrels, planters, pet bowls and bird baths.
- Clogged gutters and drainage can also harbor mosquitoes in as little as one inch of water. Clean any debris and blockages so everything can drain and dry out in the sun.
- Low areas where water stands after rain or watering can also lead to more mosquitoes. Consider filling divots to level out the ground surface and aid drainage.
- Typical exterior lights can attract insects to entrances where they can get inside. Consider switching to sodium vapor or other bug lighting that is not attached to the building itself.
- Nesting raccoons may pull off shingles, boards or vents to get into attic spaces, tear up insulation, leave droppings, get into chimneys and bring disease or parasites.
- Many raccoon problems can be avoided with prevention. Clear Post grounds of wood piles, thickets and branches hanging over the roof. Seal off chimneys, vents and other entry points.
- Deter raccoons by removing easy access to food. Secure trash can lids, make bird feeders inaccessible and clean up any fruits and nuts that have fallen from nearby trees.
- Squirrels are another pest that can get into sheds, attics, crawlspaces, chimneys, and even walls, causing all sorts of problems. If trapped and scared they can cause property damage.
- Sealing entries while the squirrel is out is one of the best tactics for DIY pest control. But animals trapped in chimneys or walls may need to be freed by a professional.
- Like raccoons, controlling squirrels comes down to clearing grounds of brush and trimming back overhanging trees and removing access to food sources such as bird feeders.
- Bats can enter buildings through chimneys, eave openings, torn screens and cracks in siding. Damage can be caused by their droppings and disease and parasites can also become a problem.
- Removing trapped bats will likely require costly intervention by a professional, so prevention is key. Seal up cracks and access points and plug holes, complete roof repairs as needed, and minimize favorite food sources such as mosquito colonies.
Mice and Rats
- Mice and rats are well known spreaders of disease such as Salmonella and Trichinosis. Rodents can also chew through structural components, electrical wires and insulation and eat food stocks.
- Inspect food and supply deliveries closely before bringing them inside. Store food and supplies off the ground in sealed containers away from windows and doors.
- Clean up spills that might provide a food source. Install traps and monitoring devices strategically and check and empty them frequently.
Ants and Roaches
- The most common indoor pests at facilities are often ants and roaches. Both appear in large colonies, seeking shelter and easy sources of food.
- Ants can cause long-term structural damage to your building, while roaches often spread bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli in areas where food is prepared.
- Bait traps can help deal with small infestations, but it’s best to call a professional exterminator if you suspect an established infestation of either of these pests.
- Practicing good sanitation helps prevent ant and roach problems. For added protection, check for gaps around doors and windows and watch out for pests hiding in food deliveries, crevices, corners and even indoor planters.
Dealing with pest infestations is a normal part of managing a facility. Most infestations can be caught early and dealt with either by your team or a professional exterminator.
However, pest problems that go undetected can lead to more serious problems. Disease-causing pests could sicken many at events with food. Other pests could cost property damage that may cost thousands to repair.
To protect yourself, make sure you have adequate liability and property coverage for your organization. With coverage from Lockton Affinity, you can rest easy knowing your coverage is specifically designed for the risks you face. Contact Lockton Affinity today to learn more.