The Corner Store

My favorite convenience store has the things I like. That’s the reason I go there. I know I can always get pork rinds, iced tea, and, if I’m in trouble, they are a designated Safe Place. The employees make me feel welcome, and encourage me to come back next time. I have cooked a full meal from items found in those aisles.

That corner store has all the items needed to sustain me during a service route. The same stuff that rodents, and other pests need for life, too. It’s all about the convenience. Make it easy, we’ll come back. Pests will, too. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? That often talked about Pest Triangle.


Think about your account. I’m going to use a grain processing facility as an example. I am most familiar with these. There are loading docks, break rooms, storage areas, pallets with product, and machinery. Rail access is typically close by.

When servicing an account, how many times have you moved stuff off the tops of traps? Is there trash swept up, but not put in a receptacle? Equipment placed at the wall, but not off the floor? Product management not correctly done? (FIFO). Standing water from – somewhere? And in this corner we have….. brooms, shovels, bags, barrels, dirt, spilled product. Sometimes, people are their own worst enemy.

Trap is behind the pile of cords

Rodents and other pests will stop at the most convenient spot to get life sustaining nutrients. That corner full of things could be a hot spot. Any time a rodent gets to a corner, there is a slow down process to be able to change directions. When things are blocking that corner, rodents will do a “double take”. This looks like a nice place for a picnic.


Look at that! A food source from old product in bags. Water from a leak or seepage. Shelter under the equipment. I’ve actually seen chewed broom bristles used as nesting material.

Get back to the basics with sanitation, storage, GMPs. Remove the rodent convenience store mentality. Educate your customers and their staff.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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