Any number of unwelcome flying and crawling critters may seek access to your garage or warehouse through the overhead door. You may open and close it many times a day, or maybe you have to leave it open for extended periods to move goods and allow traffic to come and go. Either way, it’s an open invitation to a variety of creatures to come in and make themselves at home. You don’t want to ignore the presence of insects, rodents and birds, because they can create not only an unsanitary situation, but also can damage your goods or equipment.

Here are a few to watch out for and how best to deal with them:

Rodents Sneak into Garage Doors for Warmth

Rodents usually seek entrance to the indoors when it turns cold outside. Not only are they looking for warmth, but they’ll also be exploring for any food you might have on hand. And they have a very broad definition of what food is. Rodents can do a tremendous amount of damage by gnawing rubber and wiring, and making nests in insulation. Further, they breed rapidly, and your facility can be overwhelmed with an infestation in no time. Seek professional help from an exterminator if you see rodent droppings or the presence of the animals themselves. You should also have your local commercial door installers come inspect your garage or warehouse for gaps and cracks, or damaged weather sealing, to ensure your overhead door is rat-proof.

Cockroaches Can Get Through Any Overhead Door

Widely perceived as evidence of unsanitary conditions, cockroaches also can quickly reach infestation levels, and are of concern because they can harbor bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Certainly, they can enter through garage or warehouse doors, but they also gain entrance in boxes and shipping containers, and through gaps and cracks in walls and entrances. Again, the services of a professional pest control company are called for should you notice droppings or the insects themselves. DIY remedies seldom work. Just the presence of a couple of cockroaches may indicate there’s a larger infestation present.

When Flies, Gnats and Other Flying Insects Enter Uninvited

While flying insects generally don’t live long enough to cause an infestation indoors, they can be irritating. Flies can contaminate food, and gnats, mosquitoes and flies may also bite or just irritate people as they try to work. It may be sufficient to spray them with a can of flying insect spray to get rid of them. You may be treated to the presence of the occasional wasp or bee, and you may have employees who are allergic; so you don’t want these bugs in the workplace. This is another time an exterior door installer can help. They may suggest replacing your current overhead door with one that includes a wicket door. A wicket door allows you to open only a person-sized door set within your larger overhead door. So when it’s just people or a few small boxes that need in or out of your warehouse, you give insects a much smaller opening (read: opportunity) to invade your space.

Birds and Bats Aren’t Great at Noticing Open Overhead Doors

Most of the birds that fly inadvertently through the garage door are a problem because of the mess they cause, both from defecation and from when they start panicking about how to get out. Further, they can’t live long without food and water, so you will have to clean up the bodies eventually. It’s usually difficult to catch birds, but you can call a wildlife specialist to help out. It’s illegal to kill protected species even if they are inside your building, so call a specialist who can identify the species before you act – just in case. Almost all species of North American bats are also protected, and they may be carriers of rabies, so do seek professional wildlife wranglers who can help capture and safely remove these creatures.

If your overhead door is glass and aluminum, or includes windows the occasional bird or bat knocks into, another solution, at least for when the door is closed, is to install a coating that makes the windows seem opaque from the outside, but is unnoticeable from the inside.

In Case of Raccoons or Other Larger Mammals…

In the rare event a skunk, raccoon or other larger wild animal dashes into your warehouse, you’ll likely need to call a wildlife specialist who knows how to handle it. Yeah, raccoons are adorable, but any raccoon who’s running through your overhead door in the middle of the day isn’t okay. It could have rabies or distemper, making it impossible to predict how it’ll behave. You should probably stay away. If possible, limit its access to space by securing it in a corner and surrounding it with something it can’t climb.

Securing Your Facility from Pests is Important for Your Business to Function Best

The presence of pests in a warehouse can violate compliance and regulatory standards, depending on the industry. Always practice monitoring and prevention by keeping the premises clean and free of waste that might attract pests. Rather than wasting time and money on DIY remedies, hire professionals who have the equipment and experience needed to deal with the infestation. Consult specialists when it comes to wildlife removal.

A fast-closing overhead door might be in order if you have a particularly serious problem with flying insects or other pests; air curtains may be another solution for deterring pests and vermin. Talk to your local exterior door installers to get their opinion; they’ve likely answered these questions more than a few times.