Protect your business: complete rodent exclusion

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Many experts agree that of all the pests threatening the cannabis industry, rodents are the most dangerous. Not only do they chew the cannabis plants and ruin the crops at an incredible rate, they also contaminate the product with their urine and droppings. Rodents pose a serious threat to cannabis facilities at all levels of the supply chain.

The incisors of rodents keep growing; left intact, a rat’s incisors would grow 4 inches in a year *. Because of this, they have to constantly gnaw at things around them to wear them down. Unfortunately for cannabis growers, the woody stems of cannabis plants are a perfect target. The destructive power of rodents cannot be overstated – the creatures that can eat away at plastic, wood, aluminum, brick, cement and even lead will only do a very short job on cannabis crops.

The idea that growing cannabis indoors will protect it from rodents is a misconception. Their destructive gnawing power makes rodents very apt to penetrate inside buildings. Rodents can enter a building through an opening as small as 1/4 inch, and they will use any means necessary to reach the food and shelter that a heated building provides. In addition to squeezing through tiny openings, rats and mice can climb wires and rough surfaces, jump considerable distances, and walk on water for several days.

Rodents, easily squeezing through small openings in a facility, will find the food and shelter that a heated building provides

And once inside, it’s already too late. Pest control experts around the world agree that exclusion – the technical term for the use of physical barriers to prevent rodents from entering a building rather than trying to eliminate them once they get there. indoors – is the safest and most effective approach to rodent control. Indeed, once rodents enter, they will infect – and multiply – at an alarming rate.

In a year, two mice could potentially multiply into more than 5,000 mice and two rats could become 1250. In the same year, a single rat can lose more than half a million hairs, and a mouse can produce up to 18,000 faeces. Rodents eat or contaminate at least twenty percent of the world’s food supply each year (according to the Indiana Department of Health) and carry diseases such as rat bite fever, hantavirus, leptospirosis. , salmonellosis, murine typhus and even bubonic plague. According to experts from Total food service, “Mice are known to frequently carry Salmonella bacteria through their digestive tract, so Salmonella can easily be spread through contact with rodent waste. It’s true with marijuana [sic]edible as is the case with other food products.

Keeping rodents out of cannabis facilities is fundamental to protecting crops and products. The most common entrances for rodents include exterior doors, open garage and loading dock doors, windows, air vents, fire pits, and entry points for electricity, water pipes. , gas, sewer and HVAC in the building. Rats and mice can also enter through tiny cracks in the foundation, gnawing at standard rubber and vinyl gaskets on most garage and loading dock doors, and under tiles.

Consider the following exclusionary good practices highlighted in The Mallis Pest Control Manual:

  • Protect your doors. Wooden doors are continually vulnerable to rat gnawing. Sheet metal flashing should be installed around the door, and any clearance under the door should be less than 3/8 ”. All doors should be kept closed when not in use and fitted with specialized, rodent-proof door brushes.
  • Ventilation grilles and windows should be protected with suitable and proven exclusion materials, ensuring that any voids or cracks are filled.
  • Defective drainage pipes provide a transport pipeline for rodents. A perforated metal cover should be cemented to the drain pipe, and any small openings surrounding the drain where it enters the building should be repaired or filled with a proven exclusion material.
  • Large sidewalk cracks should be sealed as these crevices allow rodents to access a building’s foundation, making it easier for them to search for entry points. Foundation walls can be protected by metal, concrete or brick barriers around and below the foundation.
  • Circular rat guards should be placed around all vertical wires and pipes.
  • Make sure cracked or broken tiles are identified and replaced in a timely manner, and use proven exclusion materials to fill voids.

It is also essential that only proven and rodent proof exclusion materials are used to seal entry points. Caulk, mortar and spray foam provide almost no protection against the gnawing power of rodents. Steel wool is often used to fill cracks and crevices, but will eventually rust and decompose, making it useless against rodents. All exclusion materials must be stainless steel or other permanent elements.

Rodents are not easy to deter, but a well-planned exclusion program can save you from costly infestations

Standard rubber door brooms used for weather protection are not designed to resist rodent gnawing, making the small space under and around exterior doors a primary entry point for rodents. Specialized rodent proof door brooms are essential for effective rodent exclusion. Xcluder Anti-Rodent Door Brooms feature an Xcluder filler fabric core – a blend of stainless steel and poly-fiber with sharp, coarse fibers that rodents cannot gnaw on – reinforced gaskets for a durable seal. Superior sealing and an extended rubber flap to create a flush floor seal against insects and other exterior contaminants. Installing rodent-proof door brooms is arguably the most important step in protecting cannabis facilities from rodent infestations.

Sanitation is also important. Food products of any kind should be stored in sealed containers. Garbage should be collected frequently and stored as far away from the building as possible. Clutter should be avoided in storage areas as cluttered shelves and boxes create opportunities for rodent nesting. Roofs and gutters should be free of debris, as standing water also attracts rodents. All trees and landscaping should be cut back from the building to prevent not only rodents from digging burrows, but also access to the roof.

Rodents are not easily deterred, but a comprehensive and well-supported exclusion plan is the most powerful weapon in rodent control. Invest time and resources to properly protect buildings against rodents before a problem is identified is the best way to protect plants, products and personnel inside cannabis facilities.


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