The best way to deal with pests is to ensure that that cannot get into your premises, which is possible in almost all cases. Even if you do not have a current pest problem, measures must be taken to ensure that pests cannot enter the premises.
All gaps should be sealed using a hard, gnaw resistant material. Cement, mortar, hard filler, brush strips and fine gauge wire mesh are the best examples of materials that should be used to seal gaps. Spray foam is often used to fill gaps because it is quick and easy to apply in an emergency, however foam should not be used as a long term solution as mice and rats can easily gnaw through it.
The most common ways that rodents can enter a business are:
- Gaps under external doors - the most common way that mice and rats enter is to squeeze under gaps under doors. Fitting a brush strip on the bottom of the door will seal the gap effectively.
- Gaps around pipes and cables - make sure there are no gaps around pipes or cables when they pass through external walls. Make sure work is checked after contractors finish any job involving pipes or wires going through external walls.
- Gaps hidden by suspended ceilings - always check any suspended ceilings as there are usually cables and pipes running through walls that cannot be seen.
- Doors and windows left open - not usually a problem during the day, as activity will scare the mice and rats away. Pest screens can be fitted to doors and windows that are left open regularly.
- Uncovered drains and dry toilets - keep all drains covered and keep a water seal on toilets. If a toilet is not used, consider having it removed and seal the pipe.
- Broken drains - the most common way that rats escape the sewer is through broken drains. If you are experiencing a rat problem then a broken drain is the most likely source of the rats, and you should inspect and repair as necessary. In extreme cases a survey may be required.