BEST PRACTICES

Pest Management in Dry Food Processing Facilities

January 23, 2017

The dry food processing facility manager sets the foundation for a successful pest management program through the initial selection of the proper processing equipment and building design.

The chief Sprague Pest Expert, Technical Director Jeff Weier, coauthored a chapter in the PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management outlining what it takes to design, implement and maintain a pest-free environment in dry food processing plants
including pet food and confectionary production plants, and flour, rice and feed mills.

“After the plant is built and running, continued maintenance of the building, and an effective sanitation program are  required to sustain an effective pest management program,” says Weier. “The more food, water and shelter provided through poor production processes and maintenance, the more pests.”

Steps to Take
Weier wrote that clients and their staffs can contribute to the success of the pest management program by making sure the following steps are
done:
Making sure that all doors, windows, vents and other entry
points to the plant are maintained in a pest-proof condition
• Keeping unscreened doors and windows closed while not in use
• Develop and adhering to cleaning schedules for all areas
including the difficult to reach areas where products may accumulate
• Maintaining sanitation aisles around product storage areas to facilitate inspection and pest monitoring and control equipment placement
• Reducing clutter and unnecessary equipment
• Storing equipment placed in storage in a clean condition
• Sealing of structural components which may serve as
harborage sites for pests like cockroaches. Sealants should be monitored regularly for sealant integrity
• Following first in/ first out systems (FIFO) of stock rotation to avoid keeping products past their intended shelf-life
• Report all pest sightings
• Store personal items like lunches in designated storage areas
• Inspecting all incoming goods for signs of pests. Have a detailed procedure in place for the inspection of incoming and
outgoing shipments and what to do if a pest is found.
• Eating only in designated areas
• Replacing any pest management equipment in its correct place, if moved during cleaning or other activities
• Maintaining vegetation-free barriers around the immediate perimeter of the exterior to avoid providing harborage or attractions for pests to these areas

Weier also encouraged clients to take photos (if permitted by company policy) to illustrate exact locations of deficiencies and
the severity of the pest problem. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”