Pests are present in all types of urban properties, especially in commercial establishments. This is why the removal of these harmful visitors is a primary concern for business owners in the food industry. Although pests are merely a typical nuisance for homeowners, it’s a different story for food processing businesses, where pests can compromise the quality of their products.
What pests should a food processing business watch out for?
Part of handling a food processing business is the management of your product’s quality and safety. Food is vulnerable to different types of threats, from storage conditions and temperature to the presence of pests.
Some pests are more problematic than others, which is why this article will discuss three pests that food processing businesses should pay greater attention to.
Unlike other pests such as wasps or spiders, rats are more dangerous in a sense that they’re active all year round. This is why you should pay close attention to signs of infestation around your property throughout the year.
Rats can exploit weaknesses in your building’s different entry points, from doors and pipes to drains, windows, and vents. Once inside your interiors, they can dig through specific places of harbourage to start their nests. Rats usually stay in dark and damp areas in your property, which is why you should double-check crevices in between your walls and your appliances. They can also be present in attics and basements.
Rats in your building can harm your food products and create structural damage to your property. Some common signs for rat infestations are droppings near your food supply, smudge marks with oily fur, and gnaw marks on your packaging or wiring.
Flies look for different food products that contain sugar, oils, carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetable matter. Unfortunately, their habit of being in contact with filth, such as garbage, rotting materials, and faecal matter, makes them harmful carriers of diseases and pathogens.
Their presence on food products can inflict diseases in humans, such as Salmonella, E. Coli, parasitic worms, and several types of fungi. Because of this, you should introduce extra protection to your property for different types of flies, from fruit flies to filth flies.
You can install barriers and insect light traps both on your property’s interiors and exteriors. Additionally, UV light traps and pheromone traps can prevent infestations from growing. Besides these safety precautions, you should also implement proper use of windows and doors, especially on food storage areas, in your staff’s work handbook.
3. Stored product insects (SPIs)
Weevils, beetles, moths, and mites are insects that fall under the SPI category. It’s a general term that encapsulates insects that live and breed in food storage areas. These are the most challenging to handle since their primary method of attack is infiltrating your food source directly.
Dried food products, such as cereals, seeds, dried fruit, and preserved meats, are susceptible to these SPIs. They can house inside these food items from their egg and adult stages. Your best way of combating SPIs is to enhance your quality-control issues from purchase to storage. Check for any damages such as small holes in vulnerable items’ packaging. Also, silken webbing on packages, window seals, and shelves are signs that they may be present in your inventory.
Pest infestations are harmful to your business, especially if your operations require you to maintain the quality of your food items. Setting preventative measures is the best solution when dealing with these threats. However, you should contact a professional pest control service immediately if you see signs of their presence in your property.
If you need a professional pest control service in Birmingham, we’re the right company for you. We can handle different types of infestations, whether rats, wasps, ISPs, or cockroaches. Get in touch with us to receive expert pest removal services today!