Pro Tip: Thorough self-inspections can help manufacturing facilities prevent summer pest infestations.
Summer is the best time of year for outdoor activities. It is also the time when pests move into food manufacturing facilities. These five tips can help you keep them at bay:
1) Exterior Landscape Maintenance: Maintaining the exterior lawn/landscape areas, keeping vegetation away from the building and eliminating excess moisture next to the building will protect your facility from occasional invaders like ground beetles, crickets, earwigs, springtails, millipedes and centipedes.
2) Exterior Sanitation: Cleaning up spillages around your receiving area, under the dumpster and exterior break area, keeping exterior trash containers closed, and properly discarding food in the exterior break area will reduce the odor that can attract rodents, birds, wildlife and large flies.
3) Pest Prevention: Complete your self-inspection audit. Check around the dock door, windows, screens/vents around the building and broken or missing screens/vents on the roof to prevent the entry of birds and flying insects such as blow flies, house flies, Indian meal moths and warehouse beetles.
4) Incoming Shipments: Be more diligent and thorough when unloading or shipping in the summertime. A trailer or container with beverages, fruits and fermenting products, with any spilled or damaged products during the transit, is sufficient for pests like fruit flies to infest the container. Any opening or hole in food containers will also attract and harbor flies, occasional invader pests and rodents during transit.
5) Personal Practice: Pests such as German cockroaches and stored product pests can be brought in with personal belongings. If these pests find a residence in the facility, they will multiply quickly to an infestation level in the summertime.
Pari Pachamuthu, PhD, B.C.E., is a food safety professional at AIB International.