The Value of Pest Monitoring

April 05, 2018
In a Risk Assessment

Keeping your eyes on the prize – pests in this case – is an important element in a risk assessment of any food processing or sensitive environment facility. 

Knowing where pests are active within the walls or property line helps your pest provider and staff pinpoint the source of the attraction and arrive at a treatment solution faster and with fewer headaches.

“Pest monitoring tells us what is working and what is not in a pest control program,” says Ashley Roden, technical trainer at Sprague. “It is a critical step in the risk assessment process and yields important data on pest pressure levels and locations.”

We service a vast array of commercial facilities - seafood processing plants to breweries to commercial bakeries and coffee roasting facilities. These need a variety of pest monitoring devices - both inside and outside - to keep an eye on pests.

The tools include everything from old-school sticky, snap and light traps to cutting edge technology using cameras and sensor technology.

“Pest monitoring is achieved by a variety of means but what is most important is analyzing the data collected to take action, and prevent or eliminate a pest threat,” says Roden.

Monitors offer a 24/7 set of “eyes and ears” inside a facility and can be placed in locations that pests prefer to inhabit, which are usually hard to access areas (i.e. drop ceilings, wall voids and gaps, hidden beams, etc.) or those that are not frequently used or visited by staff (i.e. product storage rooms, etc.).

Roden says when the monitors indicate increased pest pressure in a certain area of a facility, it redirects Sprague technicians and facility staff to that area for identifying the root cause of the problem and take corrective action. 

“It could be something as simple as a door being left open or contaminated products being introduced into the facility. In either case, monitoring helps us understand the nature of the problem, how to correct it and how to prevent it from happening again,” says Roden.

Consistent monitoring and data analysis also helps build a history of pest activity (or non-activity) for the facility which can be used to update the pest management programs going forward.

How can a seemingly simple monitoring tool – a pheromone trap in the production area of a baby food processing facility – make a significant impact? 

If you consider that the hairs on warehouse beetle larvae – a common stored product pest that eats (and spoils) oatmeal, cereal, corn and flour – have been linked to serious digestive issues in children, you can see the value of being able to quickly take action to prevent pest incursions.

“Pest monitoring allows us and our clients to take a more proactive approach and spot risks including cultural, structural or sanitation issues,” says Roden. “FSMA mandates stress a preventive approach and pest monitoring is an important part of meeting those mandates, staying compliant and protecting food products and consumers.”

Sprague can assist food processing and sensitive environment clients design and implement a pest monitoring and data analysis program that protects your facility now and in the future from unwanted and audit derailing pests.

 

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