Property owners and managers should maintain their commercial properties. This is to provide a safe environment for their tenants. A well-maintained property can prevent future additional costs like repairs, which will affect both the tenants and property owners.
A methodological way of inspection should be prioritized by all property managers among things listed the maintenance list to check for a possible pest infestation. Commercial properties hold all necessary components for different pests to survive.
Among these are food, water and ideal temperatures for them to live in. Pests like mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, flies, wasps, bees, mice and other rodents are always looking for the best place to consider their habitat. It would be difficult, costly and time consuming to eliminate them once they have already settled in your building.
Proactive Pest Control Management
A successful pest control management program is dependent of the support of everyone: the building management, occupants, and the pest control professional.
A proactive pest control program decreases the chances of pest infestation that may cause more damage and expenses.
Staff and tenants can do their part by keeping their assigned areas clean of food that might invite pests in the area, they must discard their trash properly, and they can report problems they see that might call in pests inside.
Pest infestation can be a serious health hazard and can also do damage to the commercial buildings. If standards are not kept, your building can be infested and damaged in a very serious way. With a known pest issues, business will be affected.
Tips to Keep Pests Out
- Check the building’s façade and utility pipes if there are any cracks
- If there are gaps, add weather stripping and door sweeps
- Make use of window screens and keep in mind to replace torn ones
- For small openings left in outer walls, install specially designed screens to keep water from going inside the building
- Verify and make sure the tenants are disposing their trash in the proper areas
- Dumpsters must be at least 15-20 feet away from the building
- Keep trees and shrubs 3 feet away from the building.
- Make sure common areas like community rooms, laundry rooms, poolside areas, parking lots, storage closets, kitchens, lobbies are always clean and free of food.
Top Pests and their Risk
– These pests invade over 20 million structural buildings each year
– They are carriers of different diseases such as Leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and plague.
– They may cause structural damages.
– They may cause fire as they chew wires.
– There are over 30,000 cases of tick invasion each year.
– They are carries of Lyme disease.
– They can be found in overgrown areas outdoors.
- Bed Bugs
– They can be carried in and out of the facility in clothing.
– They can live in both clean and dirty environments.
– They can be found in beds, furniture cracks or any upholstered furniture.
– They multiply fast.
– They contaminate food that may even cause severe food poisoning.
– They trigger allergies and asthma attacks.
– They carry different and hazardous bacteria.
– To keep them away, you can install specially designed screens. You can also make use of fly lights especially near waste disposal areas.
Tenants have a choice to pick a space that has a good reputation and a clean one. They may even ask what your LEED Certification Label is just to make sure they are making the right decision. It is the duty of a commercial facility managers to keep and maintain their property safe and healthy for their occupants.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program that is internationally recognized. It is currently utilized in more than thirty (30) countries. It is a certification based on points earned by a building through its design, environmental health and energy efficiency.
LEED Certification standards cover indoor air quality, and therefore pest management is also covered. Most consider investing in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This program observes the LEED guidelines.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The Integrated Pest Management program (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy. It focuses on elimination, inspection, surveillance and prevention. It focuses also on proactive prevention and education as it places a limit on pest control materials. The use of pesticides is minimized and is only used when needed. This would also decrease the risk to human or environmental issues.
There are six (6) major components common to all IPM programs. These are as follows:
- Pest Identification
- Assessing pest numbers and the damage done
- Guidelines for when management action is needed
- Preventing pest problems
- Implementing a combination of biological, physical, cultural, and chemical management tools
- Monitoring the effect of pest management
In order to earn IPM credit, the LEED team must:
- Develop, implement, and maintain an IPM plan
- Make sure to use the least toxic chemical pesticides
- Minimize the use of toxic pesticides
- Apply least toxic pesticides only in targeted locations and pest species
- Identify what constitutes an emergency application of pesticides
- Develop a communications strategy for both normal and emergency conditions
Ask your industry peers for recommendations when you are looking for a good and qualified pest management provider. You may also ask the following questions for you to have a guideline:
- How long have they been in the pest management business?
- Do they have license or certification/s from appropriate agencies?
- Do they specialize in commercial pest control?
- Can they provide a tailor-fit program for your facility needs?
- Are they a member of any state and national pest control associations/organizations? What are these?
- What type of documentation do they provide? Do they have a service guarantee to give you?
Effective and good relationship between the property management and the tenants are beneficial. It is important to keep an open communication between them to implement a proactive pest control program, which is a great way to keep the structure healthy and a long-life of the property.