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Retail stores make great rest stops for hungry pests

The retail industry offers the general public a massive range of products – and that goes for pests too.

From food to clothing, there’s plenty for pests to munch on – not to mention damage – in your store. So to keep supplying a quality, safe product, it’s crucial retailers prevent pests.

Not only that, but pest infestations at any point in the supply chain can compromise the retail value of the product, may contribute to the spread of disease, and result in serious financial loss.

To help you get a grip on common pests in the retail industry, here are our top tips.


Infamous in the retail industry, mice and rats spread disease, consume products meant for sale, and are generally unclean.

As omnivores, rats and mice will consume just about anything you stock or house in your facility. They are opportunistic feeders and, if given the chance, they will infest warehouses, processing plants, and stores. Since favoured foraging and nesting sites include dumpsters and sewers, the presence of rodents around food products can even contribute to the transmission of diseases.

To combat rodents in your commercial operation:

  • Conduct regular maintenance to ensure there are no openings for the rodents to get in.
  • Ask your staff to stay alert, the sooner they report a sighting the sooner the problem can be dealt with.
  • If you are worried about rodents call in the pest control experts. It’s much easier to prevent them from setting up shop in your business than deal with the fallout if they do.



Certain species of moths, like the webbing clothes and casemaking clothes moths, eat animal-based materials in their larval stages. Fabrics made from wool, fur, silk, feathers, and leather are frequently targeted. As such, products like sweaters, coats, blankets, down pillows, and comforters are most likely to house infestations of clothes moths.

Moth larvae can damage clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, and even museum artifacts, and make pantry products unfit for consumption.

To guard against an infestation of moths:

  • Dry clean clothes.
  • Steam clean furniture.
  • Use pheromone traps.
  • Look out for the silk webbing left behind by the larvae.



From carpet beetles that damage textile products, to wood boring beetles that impact furniture and finally, larder beetles that infest animal by-products – beetles can be a big problem for businesses.

Both the larvae and adult beetles can damage these retail products, as well as leave behind unsightly clues of their infestation.

To stop beetles invading your retail store:

  • Regularly inspect items for signs of infestation.
  • Vacuum regularly and maintain a stringent cleaning schedule.
  • Make sure all products are kept in sealed airtight containers where possible.



Cockroaches seek out businesses where they can find warm, damp shelter close to food and water. Once there, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything, including glue, leather, fabric, soap, toothpaste, common pantry items, and any other products you may have at your store.

Cockroaches create an unsanitary situation and can pose various health threats to humans. Eating food contaminated by cockroaches may cause food poisoning, these pests can also spread harmful bacteria by crawling through garbage and sewers to food preparation surfaces.

To stop cockroaches invading:

  • Follow a strict daily sanitation routine.
  • Seal entry points around your facility.
  • Inspect incoming supplies, especially any corrugated boxes.
  • Regularly inspect your premises for signs of activity.
  • Periodically inspect and clean employee lockers.
  • Use organic cleaners to help eliminate the grease and grime pests feed on and breed in.
  • Implement a deep-cleaning schedule and assign staff specific roles to ensure cleanliness is a constant priority.
  • Take out trash and rotate trash cans regularly.



Birds, like starlings and pigeons, are major nuisances in the retail industry. The birds nest on roofs, retail signs, overhanging canopies and in warehouses, where they can contaminate stores of products. Both starling and pigeon droppings also  promote the growth of pathogenic fungus.

Additionally, pigeons are known carriers of toxoplasmosis, salmonella and other germs which can cause food poisoning. Like rodents, they are also hosts for fleas, lice, mites, and other secondary pests.

To prevent birds taking over your business:

  • Repair and seal any exterior cavities where birds can nest.
  • Cover vents and other unsealable openings with wire mesh.
  • You can also try placing fake statuettes of predatory birds near ledges, and using loud noises and/or water sprays to scare them away.
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