Common Pests Found In Shipping Containers

Team Shipmate

Common Shipping Container Pests

If you're in the importing business, then you know that pests can be a major problem when it comes to shipping containers. Here are some of the most common pests that you'll want to watch out for.

cargo container lot
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Shipping containers are highly sought-after homes for many rodents, such as mice and rats. These rodents have rugged bodies that make it easy for them to squeeze through spaces or to gnaw through the walls of a container. Shipping container rodents pose a danger not only to the goods inside the container, but also to humans in the vicinity. Rodents can bring about health risks due to their ability to spread disease and illnesses such as leptospirosis, lymphocytic chorio-meningitis, and more. It's important for people who work in shipping containers (or who frequently visit them) to take proper safety precautions so as not to be affected by these unwanted guests.

brown and white mice
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Cockroaches are commonly found in homes and businesses due to their small size and adaptability. Cockroaches can also be spotted in public places, usually around food. Even transport methods such as a shipping container cannot keep them away, as they can survive on scraps and water for long periods of time. Cockroaches can be unsightly, but they also possess more significant qualities such as the ability to produce an offensive odor that helps them protect themselves from predators. Cockroaches are opportunistic pests, able to survive in a variety of climates with limited resources, making them difficult to prevent and control.

cockroach in macro photography
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Termites, Beetles, And Other Mites

Did you know that shipping containers are excellent breeding grounds for mites like termites and beetles? These pesky critters will often enter wood structures through small gaps or scratches, especially shipping crates since they are made of wood. Once they have set up their nest inside the shipping crate, these pests can cause serious damage by eating away at both the container and the products inside, costing thousands of dollars in repairs. To prevent this destruction, it is important to inspect shipping containers for mites upon arrival and to regularly check for signs of infestations. With regular maintenance and correct measures taken when dealing with potential infestations, shipping companies can protect their valuable investments from being destroyed by these uninvited guests.

dangerous colony of termites crawling on dry terrain in daylight
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Ants And Flying Insects

Ants are some of the most versatile and successful creatures on earth, with an incredible ability to adapt and thrive in nearly any environment. However, ants may be getting unexpected assistance from their much larger insect brethren; moths. In recent years there's been evidence that ants will hitch rides from moths, who transport them inside their cargo. This phenomenon has been seen across continents, when ants are found traveling together in a shipping container, after being carried by a moth or other flying insect. Although ants' methods of transportation vary, it appears that riding with a moth is a popular way for these tiny creatures to get around!

close up photography of ant
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Mold And Fungus

Shipping containers are susceptible to a variety of problems, which is important to take into consideration when eyeing products that may have seen such transportation during their journey. Among them are mold and fungus, which can develop in the right conditions if exposure is sufficient. These fungi can be dangerous for consumer goods, as well as for the environment, due to their potential health risks and ability to spread quickly. It's crucial to prevent contamination from mold or fungus by ensuring shipping containers remain dry and at appropriate temperatures with good ventilation throughout.

a brown with cracks and molds
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What To Do If You Suspect Pests In Your Shipment

If you suspect that there are pests in your shipment, it is important to act quickly. Quarantining the shipment immediately is the best way to stop any potential harm or spread of the pests, and subsequently it's wise to call a pest professional for an inspection and recommended course of action. By calling a professional in a timely manner, you can help ensure any infestation is addressed properly without putting the health of people or property at greater risk.

brown wooden mouse trap with cheese bait on top
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Shipping containers are prone to pest infestations because they provide the perfect environment for pests to thrive. Mice and rats are attracted to the food that is often stored in shipping containers, while cockroaches and insects are attracted to the darkness and moisture. Mold can also grow in shipping containers if they aren't properly ventilated. If you're dealing with a pest problem in your shipping container, act quickly quarantine the shipment and call an expert. Have you ever had to deal with pests when shipping?

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