Bugging Out

Pest control not limited to just a few treatments.
As anyone who has experienced an infestation knows, getting the bugs out is one thing and keeping them out is another. To provide food and beverage processors with lasting solutions to pesky problems, companies that provide pest treatment are offering more comprehensive programs.
One case in point is Atlanta-based Orkin Inc., which offers an integrated pest-management program. “It’s pest control versus pest management,” explains Frank Meek, board certified entomologist and an Orkin technical director. “Our definition of integrated pest management is the use of all available methods to bring about pest control and pest prevention. It is a process that should be used by all producers, regardless of their size.”
The nature of food production — and the implications for product
safety and potential regulatory action — has led many companies to embrace such programs, which encompass a variety of treatments and preventative stopgaps for problems like fly infestations or rodent infestations which can occur in dairy processing environments.
According to Meek, Orkin’s pest-control experts evaluate the plant and grounds to identify problems and clean or seal up those areas. Some solutions could be as simple as relocating exterior lighting or replacing a screen door.
“You have to investigate the how and why of the problem. Once the pest is defined and accounted for, you design a management program,” he says. “If you focus solely on killing the bugs, it’s a good Band-Aid, but it is not the surgical procedure to fix the problem.”
And just because a facility is new or state of the art doesn’t mean there won’t be a need for pest control. Meek advises plant operators to keep potential pest problems in mind in initial facility planning and start-up.
“It’s a great thing to do,” he recommends. “Call up a pest-management professional and ask what you can do to prevent a problem.”  df