As winter closes in and temperatures drop, you’ll no doubt be working to winter-proof your business. As you stock up on ice melt, find your shovels, and put out door mats, don’t forget to add rodent-proofing to your list. Rodents will be looking for ways to get inside where it is warm and dry, especially if they can also locate a food source. Even if your business doesn’t produce products that might be damaged by rodents, they carry diseases and parasites which could impact your employees. They also reproduce quickly, which could turn a small problem into a monstrous one practically overnight. If you don’t want any furry friends making your business into a home, there are some simple steps you should take to rodent-proof your business.
The main attractant for mice and rats is, of course, food. Mice are particularly fond of grains, while rats are less picky. Their keen sense of smell means that food needs to be tightly closed and stored in solid, air-tight containers. That bag of chips left on the break-room counter could be enough to attract rodents to your business, so be extra cautious to properly store all food.
Remember that, to rodents, what we think of as trash can also be food. Ideally, food waste should be disposed of in lidded trash containers and emptied daily. Any food waste left in your building, especially after business hours or for long periods of time, may attract rodents. Once rodents have found the food, they are likely to continue coming to search for food, even after you dispose of the items that initially attracted them.
Mice and rats have incredibly flexible bodies, allowing them to squeeze through small openings. Rats need only a dime-sized hole, while mice can push through a ¼” crack. What’s more, mice are excellent jumpers and both mice and rats are capable of climbing, so you’ll need to give attention to potential openings above the floor level as well. Ensure that caulking around doors and windows is complete and repair any loose moldings. Foundation cracks should also be sealed. Don’t forget to consider attached garage and storage areas as well, since they offer easier entry for rodents and may then allow them to gain entry to your main buildings.
How do you know if you already have a rodent problem? Aside from obvious rodent droppings and chewed furniture and food packaging, there are other ways to tell if you already have a rodent problem. Rats may leave greasy streaks along the walls at floor level or near openings large enough for rats to enter, along with a lingering smell of urine. In the case of mice, you may also detect a musky scent.
If you’ve already spotted signs of rodents in your business, it may be time to consult an expert. Although rodent bait and traps are available for purchase, they are not all created equal. In fact, mice tend to test food first to make sure that it’s safe and may learn to avoid bait after observing its effects. Our experts at Fresh Foam can also help clean up your dirtiest areas like trash chutes, compactor areas, dumpsters and more to help eliminate any existing areas that might attract rodents. Contact us today for more information.