Pests in Food

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How to Get Rid of Pests in Food

Stored product pests often live within food meant for human consumption. In order to control insects within food, the food must be removed or destroyed in such a manner that it will not disperse the infestation, or treated in a way that presents no hazard to the end use product.

Professional pest control services from Rentokil can help your business with effective management, ensuring minimum disruption to your operation and full compliance with health and safety and any food legislation obligations.

Rentokil’s Stored Product Pest Management

Our management process focus on 3 principal aspects to ensure the most effective solution to your pest problem. These cover the areas of Prevention, Inspection and Control.

Stored Product Insect Prevention methods

Denying access to your premises by stored product pests should be the first line of defence.

High standards of hygiene and sanitation need to be maintained at all times throughout the year, but particularly in the warmer months when the temperature can expedite the development of stored insect pests.

  • Temperature control: If possible maintain storage facilities at or below 16 C and R/H at 30% or less.
  • Ensure high standards of hygiene, sanitation and housekeeping practices are maintained. Clean up all excess food material such as spillages, and dust accumulation in premises, machinery, equipment, storage and transport vehicles
  • All stock / food material should be stored off the floor and away from walls to facilitate cleaning and inspections.
  • Keep raw materials in robust packaging - sufficiently robust and or airtight packaging can prevent infestation in all food facilities , such as food processing plants, warehouses, bakeries, storage areas and domestic premises.
  • Install tight fitting insect screens or screen doors, and ensure that they are maintained in good condition.
  • Waste management. Ensure that a policy of sealed bagging of all waste is in place; that waste skips are cleaned before delivery; and the skips are kept closed except when waste is being added. Cleaning of external drains, sumps and pits. Waste or spillage is a food source and these areas may be a harborage for insects.

Vigilant Inspections and Monitoring

Stored insect pest infestations in premises can be confined to a small area such as a bag or pallet of raw material, however if left undetected infestations can disperse rapidly throughout the premises, therefore it is important that vigilant regular inspections and monitoring is an integral part of the management of stored insect pests.

  • Inspect incoming raw materials - Incoming stock should be inspected for any evidence of live pest activity in an area away from the main storage area. If found it should be immediately rejected and returned to the supplier.

  • Fit monitoring devices - Traps and lures must be widely used for monitoring and locating localised infestations inside premises. They also aid in providing information on the severity and type of species of an infestation as well as the effectiveness of treatments.

  • Use Stored Pest Insect Pheromone Pots - These pots and other glue trap lures must be installed in the premises. These also act as infestation monitors and when captured species reach specified count levels these will trigger specific treatment schedule procedures

  • Install light traps - In all internal areas of the premises to control and monitor flying insects. Commercial traps are available which utilise ultraviolet light to attract some but not all stored product pests. Data recorded can also help monitor stored product pests. Pheromone lures can be added to the trap.

  • In addition to our inspections we recommend that your staff also perform routine monitoring to ensure early detection of any pest problem.

Effective Control Using Approved Pesticides

If pest activity is found then control methods will involve either small isolated treatments, or if the infestation is extensive and throughout the premises it may be necessary to treat the entire premises using space treatments.

Preventing product contamination is our number one priority. Some of the services we offer include:

  • Dusting - Certain dusts can be used with pesticide properties. Some of these are mechanical in nature, which erode the cuticle of the insect causing desiccation.

  • Precision Spraying - Targeted spot crack and crevice treatments can be useful to arrest localised stored product pest occurrence in a structural environment. The success is dependent on adequate access and cleaning of loose or impacted residues. Only approved materials can be used with deference to preventing product contamination.

  • Auto-aerosol spraying devices - These devices dispense a measured dose of aerosol insecticide at timed intervals into the air. Only pyrethrum formulations should be used as these have low mammalian toxicity but are moderately effective against stored product pests. Experience shows location,  distribution and maintenance are critical to achieve a useful effect.

  • Space sprayers - Space treatment of a processing or storage environment with ultra-low volume finely atomised droplets containing approved pesticides can be useful for containing and preventing cross infestation. Thermal or cold foggers (2-30 micron droplets) or in some cases misters (20-80 micron droplets) can be used to dispense aerosols of approved pesticide.

  • Exterior infestations - Where exterior infestations have been identified, it may be necessary to apply an approved insecticide treatment to insect activity sites outside buildings and storage facilities. Treatment of observed infestations with residual insecticide can reduce stored product pests.

  • Fumigation - This the use of gaseous substances (fumigants) that are toxic to, and kill all life stages, of stored product pests in raw material or product. Fumigation must be done in gas proof enclosures to contain the gas for long enough to achieve mortality.

  • Grain protectants - Prevention and control of stored product insects must be considered from harvest through to storage and processing. Grain protectants involves the application of insecticidal dusts and sprays directly to grain while in storage or transportation such shipping vessels or in silo’s on farms and mills. Because most grains are used for human consumption there are strict guidelines that control the use of grain protectants. This can provide long-term protection; the application is based on the natural decline of the grain protectant (pesticide) residues to low levels during the transportation or storage of the grain, so that later it can be processed into edible foods

  • Call Rentokil on 0861 117 851 or contact us online to see how our effective solutions can keep stored product insects out of your business.