Prevention inside the storage facility
Design or modify the storeroom to facilitate cleaning and prevent moisture.
Maintain a clean environment to prevent conditions that favor pests. For example, store garbage in covered garbage bins. Regularly clean floors and shelves.
Do not store or leave food in the storage facility.
Keep the interior of the building as dry as possible.
Paint or varnish wood, as needed.
Use pallets and shelving.
Prevent pests from entering the facility.
Inspect the storage facility regularly for evidence of pests.
Packaging and shipping cartons can be treated to prevent pest infestation. For example, cartons can be shrink-wrapped or non-toxic desiccating (dehydrating) agents can be added.
Prevention outside the storage facility
Regularly inspect and clean the outside premises of the storage facility, especially areas where garbage is stored. Check for any rodent burrows, and be sure that garbage and other waste is stored in covered containers.
Check for still or stagnant pools of water in and around the premises, and be sure that there are no buckets, old tires, or other items holding water.
Treat wood frame facilities with water sealant, as needed.
Use mercury vapor lighting where possible, and locate lighting away from the building to minimize the attraction of pests.
Strategies for specific pests
Rodents: Rodent problems are best solved by prohibiting rodent entry and maintaining a dry, clean facility. Other alternatives include keeping cats; traditional, spring-loaded snap traps baited with food; glue boards, which are disposable plastic or wood trays partially filled with nontoxic, adhesive glue; bait boxes, which are shoe-sized boxes with lids and holes on each end containing toxic rodenticide packets; electronic ultrasonic devices, which emit high-frequency sounds, causing rodents to avoid the area; or rat poison.
Birds or bats: If the facility has space between the ceiling and the roof, cover all the openings with fine wire mesh to prevent birds or bats from entering the storeroom.
Flying pests: The best prevention is to keep all doors and windows of the storage facility closed or screened off from the outside. Make sure there are no holes in the walls, floor, or ceiling. Insect electrocuting light traps (“bug zappers,” hanging electric grids that attract flying insects via a bright fluorescent or ultraviolet light) may be appropriate in some situations. However, they should be placed away from supplies, since ultraviolet light damages a number of products (especially latex products, such as male condoms).
Reptiles: Most snake species are innocuous and can be managed with noisemakers and by keeping the outside of the facility clear of bushes. If snakes are an especially difficult problem in your area, you can construct a snake-proof fence around the perimeter of the facility. The fence should be made with heavy, galvanized screen with 6 mm wire mesh. The fence should be 90 cm tall with the lower end buried at least 10-16 cm in the ground. The above ground portion of the fence should be slanted at a 30° angle outward from the base and away from the building, using supporting stakes inside the fence.
Termites/structural pests: There are two primary treatments for subterranean termites, but both are expensive and require a specialist. The first treatment involves injecting a termiticide into the soil in the ground beneath the facility. If the problem is severe, or if the first treatment is not feasible, the building must be fumigated. All stored goods must be removed from the site during fumigation. Replace wood severely damaged by structural pests.
There are alternative methods of controlling structural pests-
Use nontoxic heat or liquid nitrogen treatments.
Build metal barriers into the foundation of a new building. Sheets of metal protrude from between the foundation and walls of the building. The sheets are bent downward at an angle, but not touching the ground. When termites or ants attempt to climb up the foundation, they encounter the metal barrier that they cannot climb around.
Construct sand barriers around the building as a preventative measure. However, the grains of sand must be a specific size, so this method can be expensive.