Pole barns are a versatile and valuable asset for any farm or ranch. It’s essential to know how to keep your pole barn pest free to ensure its success on your farm.
They can be used to house livestock, store crops, as horse-barns, or serve as a workshop. However, if left unmaintained, pole barns can quickly become infested with creepy crawlies, rodents, and other pests. Wood-boring pests cause major damage to the wood of your post frame structure:
- Subterranean termites
- Powder post beetles
- Carpenter ants
Vermin spread disease, harming crops and livestock:
- Stored product insects (SPIs) such as moths and beetles infest stored commodities. They damage raw food materials and contaminate products making them unfit for consumption.
- Rats and mice carry disease and bacteria such as salmonella, plague, rickettsialpox, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They contaminate commodities and feed with urine and feces and have a faster birth to maturity time than many insects.
- Mosquitos and flies are also carriers of bacteria and diseases that are problematic for livestock and pets. Western equine encephalitis and the west Nile virus can be fatal.
- Both mice and rats use their sharp incisors to gnaw at wood, cables, and even concrete. Frayed electrical wires can result in expensive damage to equipment and machinery and is a fire hazard.
Preventative measures will always be the best methods of control. Because of this, pest control professionals suggest that pole barn owners follow these steps
Close Cracks and Gaps
With time, barns tend to settle, often causing cracks and crevices. So, first and foremost, make sure any voids in the structure are sealed to prevent pests from entering.
Inspect your pole barn (from foundation and doors to windows and roof) regularly for holes and gaps that could allow pests access, and seal them up as soon as you find them. Close up any crevices to eliminate rodent entrance paths. This can be done by using weatherproofing products or by simply caulking them.
Keep pests out and prevent water damage by covering vents and repairing gaps along your barn’s roofline.
Store Any Possible Food Sources Properly
A pole barn is the perfect environment for vermin seeking creature comforts of shelter and food – both of which are found in a barn. Bill Warner, senior specialty product development manager at Farnam describes it best, “A barn is a giant rodent smorgasbord. It’s full of grain products they love to eat and hay/bedding they like to nest in”.
Rodents love to contaminate their smorgasbords – stored grain, seed, feed sacks, and hay. So, storing potential food sources in airtight vessels is key to prevent rodents from raiding them. But note that plastic containers won’t cut it – rodents’ sharp incisors will gnaw through them in no time.
Keep your pole barn immaculately clean and free of debris:
- Do not leave any food out in the open where pests can access it.
- Check for open trash cans or ones with ill-fitting lids, pet food bowls, and bird feeders.
- Reduce clutter
- Sweep up plant remains, fallen hay and feed, bedding, and manure at the start and end of every day.
Invest in a Barn Cat or Two
You may not consider yourself to be a cat owner, but they are nature’s perfect pest control measure! Barn cats are known for their ability to hunt down rodents and other small animals inside the barn.
Maintain Your Pole Barn
Ensuring a firm seal between the sides of your pole barn and its concrete foundation is necessary to keep your pole barn pest-free. Establishing a flat concrete foundation helps to tightly close off the base of the walls.
Post-frame barns previously erected on raw soil should have wire mesh fitted along their perimeter to stop rodents and insects.
By following these tips, you can keep your pole barn free of pests and in perfect condition. Contact Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing for more information.