April 6, 2010
by Bill Melville, Quality Assurance Director, Orkin PCO Services
While summertime still means ‘business as usual’ inside your plant, the warmer weather also means your plant is ‘open for business’ to pests. The warmer weather–and increased pest presence–can bring a new set of challenges to the packaging industry, but revisiting your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is a good way to protect your facility from warm weather pest invaders.
Pests look for food and water sources, shelter, and optimal temperatures required for survival, and your manufacturing facility can be a welcoming retreat. Once inside, pests can become more than an annoyance–they are a health risk, as well. Pests such as flies and cockroaches transmit bacteria like E. coli that can lead to food poisoning and pneumonia.
If you don’t have an IPM program, you should work with your pest management professional to implement this environmentally friendly approach, eliminating the items pests need to survive, rather than focusing on chemical treatments.
The following are some common summer pests and tips you can easily follow to help keep them out of your packaging facility and protect both your employees and your product.
Did you know that it is more sanitary for a cockroach to walk across a surface than for a fly to land on it? Flies are coated in bacteria and have been known to spread disease-causing pathogens such as E. coli, Shigella and Staphylococcus. Implement the following fly control methods into your IPM program:
When ants appear in sterile production areas they can threaten the safety of products. These small pests can enter through cracks in the floor or the exterior of buildings. While there are about 700 ant species in Canada, it is necessary to know which species you are dealing with so you can treat the problem correctly. Use the following tips to keep ants outside the facility, rather than on the plant floor:
Roaches carry many different bacteria species that can lead to a number of illnesses. Research has shown that cockroach excrement and cast skins can aggravate allergies and asthma. Apply the tips below to your pest management program to help prevent a cockroach infestation:
Sanitation plays an important role in managing all pests inside your facility. Conduct regular cleanings and be sure to monitor your facility for signs of pests–droppings, cast skins and pests themselves. Enlist your employees in the fight against pests and ask them to keep an eye out for any activity. With the right knowledge, and a team behind you, you can enjoy the summer without having to share your facility with pests.
Bill Melville is the quality assurance director for Orkin PCO Services and has 35 years of experience and is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. For more information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.orkincanada.com.