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Common pest issues facing retailers

Pests can be found absolutely anywhere which is why it’s important to recognise and deal with the situation quickly and responsibly – especially in the retail sector. This month with Pest Defence we will take a look at the common pest issues facing retail, so you can save your produce and your business before it’s too late.

retail-pest-control-1Retail: food-related and non-food related pests

Whether you sell food or not, it’s likely that some of you will experience the annoyance of pests. They like to be around places where food is readily available (stored or fresh – they’re not fussy) and places where they can find shelter (in and under your stock) which just about covers anywhere and everywhere. This is why it’s important for all businesses no matter how big or small they are, to maintain sanitation standards to prevent pest damages.

Failure to prevent pests causes:

  • A bad reputation
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Loss of sales
  • Costs for replacements
  • Claims for compensation from customers
  • Public health concerns
  • Fines from authorities
  • Closure of the business


The most common pests in retail include: ants, cockroaches, stored product insects, flies, mice and rats.

  • Ants are in fact more annoying than they are an issue with food safety. They have the ability to infest food areas, cupboards, shelves and make their way into packaging which can ruin your stock. They can nest in cracks within bricks in the walls of a building, under sheets of paper and so on. This makes them difficult things to get rid of, but a professional pest controller will find the source of the problem and use substances stronger than everyday insecticides to provide longer term success.
  • Cockroaches aren’t picky when it comes to food and they generally appear during the night which can be tricky for businesses to spot. They could be spreading diseases without anyone knowing. However, there are signs such as droppings, skin casts and egg cases that you should stay vigilant for when making regular inspections of equipment, incoming goods, storage, displays and the building itself. You should also manage waste appropriately and keep drains clean. If you do happen to find a large infestation, it’s always important to have it tended to by a professional so chemical-free methods can be used to ensure safety within a food environment.
  • Stored-product insects such as mites, moths, beetles, weevils and so on are known for making their way into stored produce. These insects can create holes so small that we’re unable to see them, and although they are small in size they are able to contaminate large quantities of stored produce. This can lead to infected food which can negatively impact your consumers’ health. Signs of their existence include webbing around food spillages, beams and window sills. Contact your pest control professional to remove these insects and fumigate your property.


  • Flies will feast on available fresh foods and breed in the heat. Although they have a short life, they can multiply quickly and this can result in swarms of flies outside and inside your building. Whether it’s food or retail, flies linger around bins and drains so ensure that they’re clean at all times. You might want to do some thorough weeding too as they also eat plants. Flies contaminate everything they touch which is why it’s important to control them and remove them as soon as possible, to avoid any health hazards.
  • Rats and mice can cause more than just health hazards, they can make their way into the building’s fixtures and damage the inside of the building, posing a threat to all. They are happy to feast on all things edible and reside within anything, so whether or not you’re a retailer working in food or not, it’s vital that you notify a pest controller asap when you notice any signs of a rodent. This can include: droppings, squeaks, gnawing sounds or tracks of oily fur.

Don’t struggle with pests – solve the problem today. Don’t let pests dirty your name or close down your company, call Pest Defence and we will exterminate them all at a moment’s notice.

Pest Defence Ltd have over 25 years of experience, providing both domestic and commercial properties with pest control services. You can count on our fully qualified and accredited team to respond quickly to your call-outs, even for same day emergencies. Get in touch today so we can provide you with a quick response and easy solution.  



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