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Rodents in New Zealand Supermarkets: Understanding the Issue

By: Get News

Rodents in supermarkets. Recently, the media has brought to public attention two examples of rodents inside supermarkets. Pest control in supermarkets, in both cases, they were in the deli, contaminating the food. As Supermarkets are clean and professional its seems impossible they should have a rat infestation.  Is the supermarket at fault here? Or is their pest control company incompetent? Or is there a Rodent infestation in country wide, and this should be expected?

Exploring the Challenges of Supermarket Pest Control

Supermarket hygiene. There are two main chains of supermarkets in New Zealand, and people are all impressed with their professional and super clean appearance in the shop front. What the members of the public do not see is the other side of the business: the entrance way(s) and warehouses are extremely busy and packed areas. Members of the public do not understand that, to maintain stock on the shelves with the checkout constantly selling items, they need almost constant deliveries too. Imagine a service dock out the rear, with trucks coming and going, dropping off hundreds of boxes of items to replace those sold by the checkouts. While staff are busy clearing away stock more in delivered. The loading bay is often crowded with stock, and sometimes it works 24 hours, or at least late into the night. This is important for pest control, as one of the critical areas for rodent control points  is access areas. Then there’s the main access point to the warehouse,  open when nocturnal rodents are active. Also, the volume of these supermarkets is high, so often there are many piles of boxes, allowing rodents to enter (and leave) without being seen. Then there is the warehouse where goods/stock is stored, again unseen from the public. Large storage areas of shelves piled high with food/stock. Not just the boring food, but the yummy food  like chocolates and nuts. Added to this, these shelves and stock are perfect hiding areas for rodents. They get around a warehouse behind the shelves without being seen for the most part. Also, these busy businesses have some food wastage. Even if they dispose of this correctly and the rodents can't gain access, they can smell it. That brings them onsite; once onsite the warehouse has open access all hours. 

Controlling rodents. There are three important key sites to find for rodent control. These being their nests, their trails, and the access points. Immediately there’s the main access point to the warehouse they cannot close off. And trails that are very difficult to get to on account of the stock and the way it's stored. 

Given an established rodent infestation, supermarket pest management is a difficult job.

Factors Contributing to Rodent Infestation in Supermarkets

Rodent control measures. For all the reasons listed above, this makes for a tough job. But there are professional companies that have plans for this? However, food businesses present challenges to any pest control company, as they render bait less effective. Bait is the main tool worldwide for the control of rodents. Why is bait less effective in supermarkets? Because rodents have a keen sense of smell, and quite quickly, they find food in the business. A particularly vulnerable area is the deli counter as it’s always accessible and emits luring scents of delicious food. 

They can see why bait stations become ineffective. 

Further complicating the issue, is the large volumes of stock in the loading bay. This can render the exterior stations  practically useless and the stock covers the stations or diverts the rodents somewhere else. 

Other factors Supermarkets can’t control are adjacent properties that can have rodent issues. These may be properties with  streams/parks/vacant houses/businesses that can bring rodents right to the doorstep of these businesses.

Is the Supermarket to blame?

In my experience, the answer is NO. The  operators of Supermarkets are very professional and have their own pest control programs. They often have not one two Professional Pest Management companies working with them.

Strategies for Effective Rodent Control in Supermarkets

The first thing needed is an inspection to work out where the rodents are rodent nesting sites, access point for rodents, and rodent trails. Once they have this information and understand the situation, they can use controls to decimate the population. Bear in mind it takes time. The reason it takes time is because rats are about as smart as the cat or dog and understand that they want to kill them. They need time for them to get used to the controls. As bait is probably off the menu, rats need up to seven days before they trust a control like a trap to come near it. This is why one the Supermarkets has extended the time the business is closed to solve the issue.


Rodents that are established in supermarkets are a tough job for the reasons listed above. The team is certain that the companies involved in clearing the current rodents in NZ supermarkets are working professionally to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Media Contact
Company Name: ACES pest control
Contact Person: Owen Stobart
Email: Send Email
Country: New Zealand

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