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National Pest Control Association Tips for Reopening Post-COVID-19
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has put together the following list of crucial steps businesses should follow as they prepare to reopen to help mitigate any infestations that may have taken hold while the building was vacant or understaffed to ensure a pest-free reopening:
- Survey the grounds: Clear any vegetation that’s grown close to the building, as this can attract pests. Eliminate any areas of standing water on your property as these provide ample breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Also, exterior lighting fixtures are a beacon for pests like spiders, ants and flies, as they are extremely attracted to mercury-vapor bulbs. Make sure lights with these bulbs are at least 150 feet away from the facility or opt for a less-attractive option like low sodium bulbs whenever possible.
- Examine the exterior: Be sure to repair any cracks or holes, especially where utility pipes enter the building, as mice can fit through openings as small as a dime. Make sure all gutters are clear of debris and direct water away from the building through properly functioning downspouts and splash blocks as excess water buildup can attract pests.
- Look for telltale signs: Look for signs of a rodent infestation such as live or dead rodents, nests, gnaw and rub marks. Also, pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms for signs of a cockroach infestation, like droppings or eggs, as these areas are particularly attractive to cockroaches.
- Scrutinize upholstery: Check for any signs of a bed bug infestation like small red to reddish brown fecal spots, molt bed bug skins, their white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells, paying close attention to the seams of furniture and upholstery.
- Sanitize common areas: Vacuum and clean all areas - including offices, hallways, lobbies, kitchens, and public bathrooms on a daily basis. Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Also, be sure to store any food products in sealed containers to prevent pests from contaminating.
- Implement an IPM plan: NPMA recommends that businesses work with a licensed pest control professional to implement an integrated pest management plan (IPM), a holistic approach to pest control based on the businesses individual needs that focuses on eliminating pests’ needs like food, water and shelter.