Food Processing Pest Management: Cool Off Your Hot Spots

Your food processing facility relies on safe products, a clean reputation and high audit scores to be successful. But pests can threaten everything your facility has, including its bottom line. Hot spots – areas conducive to pest activity – are everywhere, and opportunistic ants, cockroaches, flies, rodents and stored product pests will do everything they can to make your business their home.

Production Line

Pest threats: Crawling and flying pests, rodents

On the production floor, large, hard-to-reach equipment can offer a quaint home for pests, while the production line provides plentiful food sources and places for bacteria to grow. To keep these areas clean, sanitize all equipment and machinery periodically, paying extreme attention to areas that are out of sight. Also, remove drain lids and clean the drains to prevent grease, gunk and debris that attract pests.


Pest threats: Crawling and flying pests

The entrances to your facility are the front lines of your battle against pests, but you use exclusion techniques to shut the fight down before it starts. New door sweeps and weather stripping can minimize gaps around doors and windows, and automatic doors can ensure your entrances stay closed as much as possible. You can also create an air curtain that flying pests can’t penetrate by vertically mounting fans on either side of a doorway.

Storage Rooms

Pest threats: Crawling pests, stored-product pests

Inspect incoming shipments for signs of pests, such as webbing, larvae and live adult insects and any damaged packaging. Set aside a small amount of product from each delivery and monitor it for these signs. Store ingredients off the floor and at least 18 inches away from walls to allow access for staff to inspect and clean the area.

Employee Break / Locker Rooms

Pest threats: Crawling and flying pests

Your employees are vital in helping you to keep common areas – such as locker rooms and break rooms – in the facility clean. Set processes for your employees so that dirty dishes, drink spills and overflowing trash bins are cleaned immediately, and that leftover lunches are not kept at the facility past expiration. These actions will help reduce growth of bacteria and conducive conditions for pests.

Loading Docks

Pest threats: Crawling pests, rodents

Loading docks are prime pest targets because they can provide the most access. Pests can find their way inside your facility through receiving doors and, at times, hitch a ride on shipments. To limit your risk, make sure that exterior receiving doors seal tightly when closed, as it doesn’t take much room for ants and other pests to sneak through – rats only need an opening the size of a quarter, mice a dime and cockroaches a fraction of an inch.

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