Facility Dude

Get the low-down on these common outdoor pests

By Kate Donnelly
Aug 12, 2015

Facilities Management

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Get the low-down on these common outdoor pests With summer in full swing, the season's various unique flora and fauna have all had ample opportunity to flourish in your community. While this is many people's favorite part of the season, for facility managers, it can be a major headache, especially considering the wide variety of pests that may be planning an assault on your facility.

An effective pest-management strategy is critical for ensuring smooth operation and minimizing unnecessary expenses, but it's important to approach the situation with as much knowledge and foresight as possible. If you suspect your facility has a pest problem or even if you're interested in preventing such a development, take these tips to heart.

Know your area

If you've ever tried your hand at gardening, you already know that different parts of the country are ideal for different species of plant, and the same is true when it comes to pests. For example, more rural or wooded areas tend to attract certain types of creepy crawlies such as deer ticks or Japanese beetles, while urban facilities located in busy city centers commonly face invasions of rats, fleas and mosquitos, as well as a wide variety of pest birds such as pigeons and seagulls.

Pest synergy?

It turns out that synergy isn't just a startup buzzword. If you're a facility manager trying to lock down your building's pest-management strategy, it pays to learn up on how your area's unique variety of unwanted wildlife can play off of each other. One major culprit in this regard is mice. Along with rats, moles and other rodents, mice frequently carry fleas, ticks, mites and other small but unwanted insects. All it takes is one infested mouse or rat getting inside your facility to start a full-fledged pest problem, so be extra vigilant if you have a rodent problem.

Nuisance or threat?

Bugs, spiders and vermin are generally unpleasant for most people, but some can also be downright harmful to your building or even dangerous to your tenants. For example, thrips and several species of beetle like to make short work of plants and vegetation, which is annoying but not necessarily dangerous. In contrast, termites and carpenter bees both enjoy burrowing into wood structures to create their nests - this can lead to structural damage if left unchecked. Even worse, biting pests such as mosquitos and ticks can carry diseases and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Focus on prevention

Getting rid of a pest problem is far more difficult than preventing one in the first place, especially if you know what to watch out for. Mosquitos like to breed in stagnant water, so any areas where moisture accumulates, such as bird baths, buckets, drains or even puddles should be removed wherever you find them. Many other types of insects prefer the shelter of trees and bushes, so trimming foliage back from your building can help keep them at bay. And everyone knows that rats and mice love garbage as a food source. Properly maintaining your waste management practices and keeping dumpsters stored away from your building can keep these furry friends out.

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