keep pests out of your receiving area

10 best practices to keep pests out of your receiving areas

Krissie Callahan

Your receiving area or loading dock handles some of your most valuable items: products, ingredients, supplies, and more. It’s also one of the largest access points to your overall facility. Unfortunately, it is also an area that is often extremely vulnerable to pest incursion.

Receiving areas and loading docks are one of the most highly-trafficked areas of a business. Consequently, they provide plenty of opportunities for pests to hitch a ride into your structure. These areas also provide multiple access points for pests, such as incoming supplies, open doors, proximity to trash areas, and structures that are ideal for nesting birds, such as sparrows.

So what can you do to protect these areas without hindering business and traffic flow? Our Best Practices Card outlines 10 tips to help you keep your receiving areas free of pests, but here are a few to get you started:

keep pests out of your receiving area

Have a clearly defined protocol for inspecting incoming shipments

Pests can make their way into shipments at the source, during the shipping process, and more. Your receiving agents should not only know how to inspect a shipment for signs of pest activity, but also what to do if pest activity is suspected.

You should also have clear inspection agreements in place with your supplier. Determine what is acceptable and how shipments received outside of acceptable limits will be handled. A supplier inspection program will ensure your suppliers are following pest management procedures, keeping with your business needs.


Keep doors and access points closed whenever possible

Open loading dock doors are a fact of life for busy receiving areas. However, whenever possible, doors should remain closed to keep flies, moths, mice and rats, and birds from flying or crawling in.

If you have doors that must remain open for long periods of time, consider using air curtains or strip doors to limit pest access. Your Rentokil Steritech representative or pest management provider can recommend the best options for your facility.

Highly-trafficked areas should also have bulked up pest management defenses to help keep pests from entering the facility. Your Rentokil Steritech representative or pest management company may recommend extra precautions. Additional bait stations, bird proofing or netting, or insect light traps can help reduce the likelihood of pest intrusion.

keep pests out of your receiving area

Clean up spills and keep trash areas clean

The sheer quantity of supplies that come in through receiving areas can make them prone to product spills. Spills of any type of food product may attract pests. Be sure you have a clean-up protocol in place and ensure that employees follow it rigorously. Spills may occur in the receiving area itself or in areas adjacent to the dock (such as underneath and around where trucks unload into the facility).

Many loading docks are located in the rear of facilities, often sharing space with trash or dumpster areas. Trash and dumpster areas are highly attractive to a wide variety of pests, including rodents, flies, birds, and even wildlife. The presence of food, nesting items, and odors from refuse can draw these pests to dumpsters. Flies can be attracted to odors from up to four miles away! The closer these pests come to your facility, the higher the chances that they can gain access to your facility. Ensure that your trash area is clean and that all dumpsters have lids that close tightly. You should also arrange for regular dumpsters and dumpster pad cleanings.


Rentokil Steritech is here to help

These are just a few of the best practices that can help you keep your receiving area free of pests – however, there are many more that you and your team can put in place immediately to start protecting your facility from pests. Get all 10 tips in our Best Practices Card. Want more Best Practices cards like this one? Sign up for our monthly series and get a new Best Practices card delivered to your inbox each month.

If you would like Rentokil Steritech to conduct a free inspection of your facility and your receiving areas to help determine where your high-risk points may be, give us a call at 800.488.9495 or visit and use our Live Chat function to speak with a Customer Service Representative today.

Krissie Callahan
Krissie Callahan

As the Communications Manager for Rentokil North America, Krissie specializes in writing, editing, and shaping both internal and marketing messages for the company. When she's not at work, you can usually find her taking in a live music performance in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.

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