Pest Management Practices For Self Storage Facilities
By: Steven Graff H.BSc., Quality Assurance Manager, Abell Pest Control.
Posted on: 2/14/2012 12:00:00 AM

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Standard Service Components

  • Monthly Service frequency
  • Inspection and Monitoring Service
    • A visual inspection is performed to find evidence of pest activity and to identify conditions that could allow pests entry to the facility (structural deficiencies) or that would provide food sources for pests (poor sanitation)
    • Inspection of individual storage units would be performed upon request and is not part of a regular inspection due to security and privacy issues
    • Insect monitors / glue boards are placed in lunchrooms, office areas, mechanical rooms, etc. where present to monitor for cockroaches, ants and other insect pests
  • Reporting
    • A service report is generated with each visit summarizing the service provided including inspection findings and treatment actions when a pesticide is applied, and corrective actions required on the part of the Facility Manager to address or prevent pest activity
  • Interior Rodent Control Service to capture any mice that may gain entry into the facility
    • Includes a network of mechanical mouse traps (preferable) or tamper resistant rodent bait stations
  • Exterior Rodent Control Service to minimize mouse and rat activity around the outside of the building
    • Includes a network of tamper resistant rodent bait stations that are locked and anchored and placed along the exterior perimeter wall. Rodenticide or snap traps are utilized inside the stations to provide control
  • Insecticide Application where necessary
    • Insecticide applications are performed on an as needed basis when other methods such as cleaning, exclusion and mechanical controls will not be adequate
    • Storage units can be treated upon request and with the necessary inspection and preparation performed

Pests of Importance for Self-Storage Facilities

  • Rats and more typically mice represent a constant pressure on self-storage units while attempting to enter from the exterior of the facility. Mice occasionally may be brought directly into the facility within items destined for the storage units where they may spread to infest other areas.
  • Cockroaches may be brought into the facility within infested items such as microwaves, refrigerators and stove that are destined for storage units. They may also enter the facility within packaging material or via employees of the facility should an infestation exist within their home.
  • Bedbugs are also a concern where they may be brought into the facility on objects such as beds, night tables, chairs and couches. Bedbugs are excellent hitchhikers and can easily spread or move to other areas in search of warmth and food (human blood); therefore once bedbugs are brought into the interior of a self-storage facility there is potential for them to move into the office area.
  • Stored product insect pests such as Indian meal moths, Flour beetles and Grain beetles can be an issue where dried food items are being stored for prolonged periods of time, typically past the expiration date of the item. These insects numerous dry food items including birdseed, dried pet foods, dried fruits, dried flowers, processed and whole grains such as flour and rolled oats, nuts and chocolate. Heated storage units would be more susceptible to infestation as the heat provided assists in life cycle progression and survival.
  • Fabric pests such as Clothes moths and Carpet beetles will infest wools and objects made from or containing animal hair. Clothing in storage should be placed in sealed plastic containers to prevent infestation, especially in heated units.

Pest Infestation Prevention Techniques

  • Ensure that the facility is maintained such that food is not available to attract pests. Clean up all spills and keep outdoor and indoor garbage receptacles maintained.
  • Ensure that the structural integrity of the facility is maintained to exclude pests from the building. Ensure all door sweeps are intact, that doors are kept closed when not in use, windows are screened when open, that there are no gaps around plumbing, electrical, and gas lines where they enter the structure, etc.
  • Prohibit or closely monitor the storage of food items within storage units where possible to ensure that infestations will not develop.
  • Where beds and associated objects are to be stored within storage units perform an inspection to verify the objects are free of bedbug infestation
  • Ensure a quality pest management company is contracted to provide a control program that will meet the needs of the facility

Steven Graff is the Quality Assurance Manager at Abell Pest Control. Holding a Biological Science Honours degree from the University of Guelph, he has written and developed many nationally recognized papers, articles and training programs in the field of Pest Control, Integrated Pest Management and related fields. In his 15th year with Abell, he directs a team of Auditors and Field Trainers, who support hundreds of Technical staff for Abell and their Customers.


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