Is Your Food Facility Safe from These Pests?
Think pest infestation in food facilities and some of the words which instantly come to your mind are contamination events, illnesses, facility damage, bad reputation and expensive food recalls. Inappropriate or lazy pest management can cost a food facility lot of time, money and even tarnish its reputation. This article puts together some of the most common pests found in the food industry and some of the best practices which can help make your pest control efforts more effective. Take a look:
Common Pests in the Food Industry
The types of pests found in food handling, processing or manufacturing facilities differ on the basis of food, environment and geography. Hence, pest control in food industry demands proper identification of the species so that the relevant treatment methods can be employed for effective results. Some of the most common pests found across the food industry worldwide are:
- Cockroaches – These are one of the most loathed pests and for good reason. They are known to be the carriers of 6 kinds of parasitic worms, 7 kinds of human pathogens and at least 33 kinds of bacteria. They also have a knack for hiding in small crevices, varied diet and rapid reproduction capacity. They may also pick up debris and germs on their legs while crawling through sewage and other unclean places which can then be easily transferred to food, work stations, food processing equipment, thus increasing the chances of contamination.
- Rodents – Rodent control is a major problem which the food industry faces even today. Rodents include rats and mice. You can identify a possible rodent infestation through signs such as visual sightings, gnawing sounds, droppings, gnawing of wires and insulation and urine stains which are visible under UV light. They nest close to food sources and are known for their rapid breeding capacity. Risks associated with rodent infestation are damage to property, electrical equipment, machinery, food containers, packaging, contamination of food with droppings, fur, urine, transmission of hazardous parasites thus increasing the risk of serious diseases.
- Flies – Different types of flies are known to be the carriers of over 100 harmful pathogens. They usually breed in decaying garbage and moist unclean environments and then move to fresh food, manufacturing and processing equipment and other work stations, thus contaminating them by spreading disease-causing bacteria. They pick up contaminated material in their mouth parts and on their bodies, as they feed. Some species regurgitate digestive juices and even defecate while feeding and resting. This further increases contamination.
- Birds – They can cause a great amount of physical damage by blocking guttering systems with their nests and feathers as well as dislodging roof tiles, especially the larger birds. Bird droppings, nesting materials and feathers can contaminate food products, surfaces, preparation areas and equipment. Apart from emitting bad odor and being unsightly, bird droppings are poisonous. They can transmit harmful pathogens including bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Some of the common disease-causing microorganisms include Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli. Besides, their roosting and nesting sites also encourage infestations of arthropods such as fleas, bird mites and even some species of beetle.
What Are Some Common Best Practices for Pest Control in Food Industry?
Facility managers are the first line of defense as they are closely involved in the monitoring of potential entry points and signs of infestation.
- Eliminate incorrect garbage disposal. Follow a specific system to ensure that the premises of your food facility within and outside remain clean and free from any type of unnecessary clutter and debris.
- Seal all potential pest entry points such as cracks and crevices in areas around the pipes, loading docks, foundations etc.
- Perform regular inspections of areas prone to pest infestation.
- Having a rock or gravel perimeter around the facility will discourage the growth of vegetation which could harbor pests.
Apart from stringent adoption of these best practices, Integrated Pest Management is a must for any food facility.
Whether it is rodent control, cockroach infestation or any nature of commercial pest control requirement, we at Take Care Termite are well-experienced to handle pest infestations of any nature and intensity. We offer tailored Integrated Pest Management or IPM services for comprehensive commercial pest management solutions. For exceptional commercial pest control services in Tracy, CA, call us today!