Although entrance matting is less likely to harbor unwanted pests than standard carpeting, it is still a potential entryway for ticks, fleas and other creepy-crawlies that are carried into your building on service animals or people’s clothing. Custodial departments should treat entrance matting the same way they treat carpeting when controlling pest infestations. As with carpeting, the first line of defense in preventing or reducing pest infestations is daily vacuuming.
Using vacuums equipped with a beater brush is always the best option. Although backpack-mounted and canister-style vacuums can have effective suction, they lack the mechanical agitation that you need to truly rattle the dirt and dust out of deep-pile entrance matting designed to trap and hold it.
In addition to daily vacuuming, custodians should also use hot water extraction from time to time. For typical commercial buildings, anywhere from quarterly to monthly (for very heavy-traffic entrance) is usually sufficient. Hot water extraction also helps to kill and remove any pests or insect eggs that might be lurking in your entrance matting.
If you’re doing an integrated pest management program, one of the things you want to do is make sure you have adequate entrance matting so you’re not bringing things in from the outside that are contributing organic matter to the indoor environment. Clean, dry carpets are a hostile environment for bugs – and the benefits of routine carpet care and maintenance go above and beyond pest control.