There are few industries where pest control is more crucial than those responsible for food production. Whether a supermarket, a food hall within a large shopping precinct, or food production facilities, there are many reasons why pests may take up residence, and there can be severe consequences should they do so.
Insects such as flies are attracted to any location which prepares and stores food items and can multiply rapidly. This means that relatively, it only takes a handful of insects to take up residence in a location to quickly grow into an out of control swarm.
Rodents such as rats and mice damage property as they gain access to buildings. They can destroy packing materials and products as they scavenge for food and nest building materials. They also carry a range of communicable diseases which can be spread to humans via bodily contact, contact with droppings and the contamination of food products.
Pest birds can also provide a range of issues for a commercial food and beverage site with fungal, bacterial and viral diseases similarly communicated to humans via contact, contamination or droppings. When bird droppings dry out, the atomised dust can be inhaled and cause a range of issues, including respiratory illnesses. Pest bird droppings are acidic and can damage building materials, cloths, and paintwork, as well as providing a slipping hazard.
It is therefore crucial that the site managers of food and beverage companies understand the reasons their location may attract pests.
Any business which sells food items will naturally generate a significant amount of waste. While much of this waste will take the form of cardboard and plastic packaging – which of itself is attractive to animals as it makes for great nest building material – there will also be a large quantity of food waste.
Food – especially of the quality demanded by modern consumers – can only be displayed for a certain length of time before it is no longer fresh enough for sale and needs to be disposed of. Open skips and compactors full of decomposing food will draw in scavenging animals from miles around and, once your business has a reputation as a steady source of food, animals may take up permanent residence.
This can be combated by ensuring food waste areas are kept as clean as possible and refuse collections are arranged at regular intervals.
Insects and rodents in particular are often attracted to locations that are not kept spotlessly clean. Unclean areas can provide a good source of food for pests.
Another factor which makes these areas attractive to infesting animals is the fact that they are clearly neglected. A lack of regular human activity in these areas means pests can set up their homes and remain relatively undisturbed.
Pools of standing water attract flying insects such as mosquitoes, which carry a range of diseases – including blood-borne infections. Other insects attracted by standing water include cockroaches and ants. Aside from the pest control concerns, standing water also turns stagnant, which not only smells unpleasant, but also provides a breeding ground for yet more communicable diseases.
Regular and professional cleaning routines can help combat these issues. Standing water can be dealt with by ensuring that any containers which collect water are emptied regularly, gutters and drains are regularly inspected and cleaned and any external foliage is not over watered and kept trimmed to avoid collecting moisture as much as is possible.
#3 You Don’t Have a Pest Control Contract in place
The most crucial factor which can make your commercial food and beverage site attractive to unwanted visitors is that you don’t have a solid and professionally guided pest control contract in place.
With such a policy, you can ensure that your pest control procedures are informed by and designed with the specific challenges and needs of your business in mind.
As part of your policy, your staff should be trained and informed on the signs of pest infestation they need to look for, and if found, who they need to report to. This reduces the barriers between discovery and resolution.
Your business is unique and there is no such thing as a one size fits all pest control solution. Having the experience of a professional pest control company can be invaluable. Their knowledge of the strict rules and regulations relating to food production such as BRC and ISO can save your business both time and money.
A Professional Pest Control Solution
Safeguard Pest Control has over 30 years’ experience in providing bespoke, professional pest control solutions to the food and beverage industry We will visit with you and provide a free consultation, with no obligation, to decide on the best pest control plan for your business.
Please get in touch today for more information.