Tips to Prevent Pests in Food Industries During Winter
Food processing facilities across the country are preparing to winterize their businesses for the upcoming winter months. One of the most pressing questions on commercial business owners’ minds is, “What is the best course of action when protecting my property from the pests attempting to gain access to overwinter?”
According to the experts at Pestcom Pest Management, some preventive measures can be implemented to stop pests from making their way into buildings this holiday season. The knowledgeable experts at Pestcom Pest Management recommend the following checklist to reduce the likelihood of problems gaining access through the exterior of your property.
Tips for the Commercial Food Industry
- Make sure that equipment is correctly stored. If you have equipment stacked outside your property such as pallets and crates, pests will use these items to shelter from the cold. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before your employees unwittingly bring these pests inside when they move these items into your facility to be used during the course of the day.
- Remove all traces of waste. Litter and other waste can provide shelter for pests to hide in along with providing a food source. With such abundant resources, opportunistic pests will take up residence along with trying to get into your building to set up a more permanent spot for winter.
- Trim & maintain the landscape. Cut grass regularly and ensure your shrubs are kept neat and trimmed to eliminate places for pests to hide. Keep at least a two-foot area outside your facility to create a buffer zone. Even ground cover such as bark or mulch can provide a source of shelter, not to mention food for many types of pests.
- Control moisture levels. Moisture will attract pests quickly. Even something as simple as overwatering plants can create pest problems. Check your exterior for clogged drains and taps that may be leaking. Ensure that your downspouts are directed away from the building and keep your gutters clean of debris. For landscaped areas, use stones or rocks to ensure that water can drain instead of puddling.
- Use protective coverings. Protect food products stored outdoors, for example, produce or grain, with protective covers to prevent contamination from droppings left by pests.
- Control outdoor picnic areas. If you allow your employees to eat outside, you must designate a specific area for breaks while also restricting food consumption to these areas alone. Make sure that any food packaging and dropped food is picked up immediately. You should also instruct your employees to refrain from feeding birds as this will attract secondary pests to the area.
- Keep all trash dumpsters closed and as far away from the buildings as possible. Employees should be trained to place trash directly into the receptacle and never leave it outside the container. Dumpsters should have pest-resistant covers that are kept closed at all times.