Most pests commonly found in schools and daycare centers are not active during the day, making it difficult to spot them and stop an infestation. Instead, pests like mice, rats, cockroaches, termites, beetles and small wildlife prefer to forage for food, chew through building material and build nests at night in schools when no one is around to see them. Preventing pests from infesting schools is difficult enough during the school year but when summer vacation begins, it’s even harder for a facility manager to know whether school staff and kids will be greeted by empty halls or halls teeming with rodents and insects.
5 Ways to Keep Your School Free of Pests Over the Summer
- Keep shrubbery, grass and trees trimmed regularly all summer. Have lawn maintenance technicians keep entry points around pipes and utility equipment clear of weeds and debris.
- Make sure basements are leak-free and well-ventilated. Have them inspected for hidden openings that lead to the outside (cracks, screen tears, etc.)
- Never leave garbage of any kind in the school during the summer. All books and paper materials should be properly stored where pests cannot access them
- Replace deteriorated roof shingles and fascia if necessary–these make easy entry routes for rodents and raccoons
- Replace loose mortar and rotted weather stripping around windows and basement foundations
What School Facility Managers Should Look for During Summer Pest Inspections
Rodents leave droppings, urine stains (they turn fluorescent under ultraviolet light), tiny paw tracks in dust and signs of gnawing if they are infesting a school. At first glance, you won’t notice such small details but start looking closer and you will! Also look for shadowy “grease marks” along baseboards. Rodent grease marks are a kind of oily dirt that transfers from rodent fur onto walls while they are foraging at night.
School facility managers who find just one dead or living rodent during an inspection should treat that find as an infestation and contact a professional pest management company immediately.
Watch Out for “Casual” Summertime Guests
The National Pest Management Association deems the following as “occasional invaders and pests” that often infiltrate and infest schools vacated during the summer:
- Boxelder bugs (if boxelder trees surround the school)
- Centipedes and millipedes
- Earwigs and pill bugs (both are attracted to dampness)
- Periodic cicadas
- Pill bugs
What About Bed Bugs?
Although the rate of schools experiencing bed bug infestations are low, they can still occur because bed bugs will hitchhike like pros into schools via backpacks, shoes and clothing. Even if bed bugs find their way into a school at the end of the academic year, they can still infest an empty building because bed bugs live up to a year without feeding on human blood.
To guarantee your school isn’t overrun by pests over the summer months, call Assured Environments today, the New Jersey/New York area’s pest integration management specialists that all facility managers depend on for pest control and pest management.