It may not feel like it now, but September 22nd is the first “official” day of fall. Sooner or later, these sunny 60 degree days will be the exception instead of the norm, leaves will fall from the trees, and the wind will start to feel cold.
This time of year is a big transition for everyone, and pests are no exception. Rodents and insects sense the changing seasons faster than we do, and they start preparing early. Right now, pests are eyeing up your building as a nice place to wait out the winter. Here’s how you can keep them out and keep your co-workers comfortable at the same time.
Reseal Windows and Doors
Whether they’re mice, rats, or roaches, the number one place where pests gain access to your building is through doors and windows. Door and window frames see more exposure than most other areas of a building. Over time, weatherstripping around frames wears down. Pests can chew through or crawl beneath worn weather stripping to gain access to the building beyond it. The wood or plaster of the frames themselves may wear down over time, too, especially if your building is old.
The first step to fall-proofing your building should be checking out each window and outside door. Make sure the frame looks strong and secure, without any damage or wear-and-tear. Open and close the window or door a few times and make sure it’s closing properly and tightly. Look for weatherstripping and make sure it’s snug to the frame. If you can pull away at stripping and it comes off, you should replace it.
Catch the Draft
There’s a general rule of pest control: if you have a draft, you have a way for pests to get in. It may not be the catchiest saying, but in our experience it holds true. Look for places in your building where you can feel a draft, or where it feels cooler or more humid. Drafts are common in crawlspaces, basements, attics, and other tucked away areas. They happen when gaps and cracks suck hot air out of a room and replace it with cold air from outside.
Most drafts in buildings are caused by cracks in the walls or floors, or by worn-out or improperly installed insulation. If you can access it, make sure the insulation in your building’s basement hasn’t been torn up or worn down. Seal up cracks in the walls, floors, and especially room corners with caulk. A lot of drafts come through windows, so sealing those up will help, too.
You probably know that accessible food attracts pests like crazy, but did you know that moisture will, too? Every living thing needs water, and pests are no exception. Not only do they drink condensation, but they also need warm, humid climates to preserve their energy and to feel comfortable. If your building can supply them with a warm, dark, humid resting place where they can stay cozy this winter, you’ll be hard pressed to keep them away.
Basements, crawlspaces, attics, storage areas, bathrooms, and some kitchens may become a lot more humid than the rest of the building. Try to determine which areas of your building are more humid than they should be. Humidity problems are usually caused by inadequate ventilation, drafts, sources of hot air or moisture, or plumbing leaks. Solve as many of these problems as you can, and consider investing in a dehumidifier for those areas if the problem persists.
Kick Off Kitchen Duty
Summertime in the workplace feels a bit more lax than the rest of the year. Maybe business slows down, maybe co-workers go on vacation; hopefully, you even have summer hours! Great as all that sounds (we miss it already), one unfortunate consequence is that you and your co-workers may have let workplace chores slip by the wayside a bit. Well, now summer is over, and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.
Re-visit your kitchen duty and workplace chore schedule. Make sure you’re disposing of food remains in the kitchen and on desks. Someone should empty all the garbage and recycling bags at the end of every day. Even wet dishes can attract pests, so don’t leave anything soaking overnight. Chores like these will feel like a pain at first (especially if you’re the one forcing your office to take the initiative), but they’ll really pay off.
We know: the end of summer is a major bummer. There’s less sun, it’s colder, and it’s dark and gloomy all the time. The last thing you want to add to this list is a pest infestation you have to deal with at work every day. Following steps like these will help make your building a respite from the gloom of a cold winter.
Even if you do end up with a pest infestation, however, don’t despair! Just call Assured Environments. We’ve got a ton of experience helping businesses wipe their pests out, and we know just how to help you with yours, too. Have a great fall!