How Hollywood productions stay pest free


May 9, 2023

Photo: Jarin13/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Jarin13/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered how movies and television sets are kept clean and pest-free? It’s not just movie magic. Pest control on Hollywood sets is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

Hollywood has several strategies to keep rodents, insects and other pests off movie sets to prevent diseases and bacteria that can put the cast and crew’s health a risk.

From pre-production planning to post-production cleaning, the industry has a whole arsenal of tactics to keep their sets pest-free, Eric Dalius, executive chairman of MuzicSwipe, told Vents Magazine.

When it comes to pest control on Hollywood sets, preparation is key. That’s why a lot of planning and coordination goes into pest prevention during the pre-production phase.

Pre-production pest prevention

In many cases, Hollywood studios bring in pest management professionals (PMPs) to evaluate the set’s location and identify any potential pest problems. This evaluation helps the production team determine the best course of action for pest prevention, such as sealing entry points, choosing non-toxic pesticides, and developing an effective cleaning and sanitation plan.

Daniel Close, CEO and founder at We Buy Houses in Kentucky said, “Set design also plays a significant role in pest prevention. For example, by designing sets with hard-to-reach areas, producers can limit potential nesting sites for pests. Furthermore, incorporating natural elements like rocks and plants can help deter pests that might otherwise find the set attractive.”

Another crucial aspect of pre-production planning is ensuring proper waste management. By developing a comprehensive waste disposal plan, the crew can eliminate food and other organic waste that can attract pests like rodents and insects. This may include placing waste containers away from the set, making sure they are securely covered, and regularly emptying them.

Additionally, PMPs, like Integrum Services use techniques, such as insect repellent sprays and traps to limit pest populations on the set. These methods can help prevent pests from getting out of control during filming and make it easier to control any outbreaks that do occur.

Lights, camera, action!

By having pest control measures in place during filming, it ensures a safe and hygienic work environment. Here are some secrets and tactics used to keep film sets pest-free:

  • Green options: Essential oils, sticky traps and pheromone lures are becoming more commonplace over more traditional methods.
  • Sanitation: In the article, David Owens, digital marketing and growth director at First Aid at Work Course, added, “Proper food storage and disposal are also critical components of pest control on film sets. Food left out in the open or improperly stored can attract pests like ants, rodents and cockroaches. Crew members are encouraged to clean up after themselves and dispose of waste in sealed containers to prevent pest infestations.”
  • Routine inspections: It’s not just the set that requires pest control measures, the article notes: Equipment and props also need to be inspected for pests. With so many people and materials moving in and out of a film set, it’s easy for pests to hitch a ride and take up residence in props or equipment. Regular inspections and cleaning of equipment and props ensure that any potential pest problems are caught early and dealt with appropriately.

Staying pest free post-production

Jessica Shee, digital marketing expert at iBoysoft said, “Post-production is just as crucial for pest control on film sets as pre-production and filming. After all, pests can still find their way onto the set even after filming has wrapped up. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan in place to ensure that any potential pest problems are addressed before the set is dismantled and props are put into storage.”

During post-production, the set undergoes a thorough cleaning to eliminate any leftover debris or food particles that may have been missed during filming. This cleaning process includes deep cleaning and sanitizing of every part of the set, including hard-to-reach areas where pests might hide.

All props and equipment are also cleaned and disinfected before being stored away. Pests can easily take up residence in props and equipment during filming, so it’s essential to ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned and inspected before storage. This step helps to prevent any potential pest infestations in storage areas.

Pest management professionals may use long-term pest prevention techniques, such as bait stations and sticky traps, to monitor the set and catch any pests that may have managed to sneak in during filming or post-production. These techniques help to identify any potential pest problems before they become severe and prevent them from spreading to other areas.

Finally, it’s essential to conduct routine inspections of storage areas to ensure that pests aren’t taking up residence in props or equipment.

“Regular inspections and cleaning of storage areas help to prevent any pest problems from developing, ensuring that the next time the set is used, it’s pest-free and ready for action,” said Sumeer Kaur, founder of

Have you done pest control on a movie or TV set? If so, do the insights above align with your experience? Let us know in the comments or at


About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at

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