The Commercial Inspector | The Most Problematic Pests for Your Co

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CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



The Most Problematic Pests for Your Commercial Building

 June 9, 2021 |  Maintenance, Management |  safety, exterior maintenance, interior maintenance, cleaning, office space, restaurant, multi-family property, apartment

Pest infestations are one of the most common complaints from residents in commercial properties. It can be easy to neglect your animal control routine, especially if you haven’t noticed obvious signs of unwanted guests. But even if you don’t spot anything on the surface, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on below it. It’s best to have a plan and be proactive for both the longevity of your building and the health of your tenants.

Mice and rats can fit in spaces that are a quarter their size. Once they’ve gained access, they can gnaw through wood, electrical wiring, and plaster. They also create an unsanitary environment with their urine and droppings, and they’re notorious for multiplying quickly. Regularly check your building for any signs of droppings near food sources and inside storage closets. You’ll want to be especially vigilant in fall and winter when rodents tend to seek shelter from cold.

An ant colony can contain thousands upon thousands of insects, making damage control rather difficult—once you’ve spotted an ant or two, there are guaranteed to be many more. Ants love sweets and spills, so a messy office kitchen or an untidy restaurant food prep area are sure to attract their attention. Communicate the importance of cleanliness to your tenants, and be sure to look out for ants on walkthroughs.

Bed Bugs
You can have a bed bug invasion even if you don’t have a single bed in your building. Bed bugs nest in all sorts of furniture, from couches to office chairs. If people are bringing lots of items from home in and out of your building, the chance of bed bugs colonizing increases. For offices, inform tenants that they should try to limit the number of personal belongings in their space. In multi-family properties, remind occupants to keep their units tidy and thoroughly clean any used furniture they purchase.

Cockroaches are one of the biggest offenders for spreading bacteria, so not only are they unsightly, they pose a legitimate health concern for humans. Similar to ants, if you spot one, there are bound to be many, many more. To get ahead of the issue, you’ll want to vacuum floors and carpets regularly and hire professionals for regular carpet cleanings. All food areas should be kept clean, and garbage should be removed from the building once a day.

While it’s rare for birds to get inside of a building, they are still a potential nuisance. Geese and pigeons are notorious for gathering in large numbers around properties that have a nearby lake or pond. They leave behind droppings and molted feathers that are both unsightly and a serious health problem. Dealing with them is a bit tricky, as town or state governments may have restrictions on how you can remove them. Putting wire or spikes on ledges to prevent roosting is one option that’s proven reliable. You can also play sounds of natural predators to scare the birds off. However before you take any action, consult your local laws and consider reaching out to a bird removal specialist.

Don’t Wait
Above all, the best thing you can do is to get ahead of the problem. Don’t wait for something major to happen before you take action because it could result in an expensive repair. Look into hiring a professional pest removal company to perform routine maintenance on your property. It’s also helpful to remind your tenants what they can do to protect themselves and how to report an issue. Together, you can make your building a happy, pest-free community.


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NPI inspects thousands of commercial properties every year, identifying issues that can save you thousands. Whether you’re buying, selling or renting out your commercial building, schedule your NPI inspections today!

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