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Pests in Food

The term "Pests found in food", also known as Stored Product Insects, covers a large number of insects. They can infest a variety of stored products in particular foodstuffs such as grains, cereals, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and even tobacco.

Stored grain insects are a health hazard in both private homes and businesses like food processing plants, warehouses, bakeries, stores, restaurants, mills, farms and silos. They can also cause enormous economic losses through damage and contamination of food products.

Any contamination caused by pests will make your food unfit for human consumption.

Identifying and removing the source of the infestation is a critical part of effectively controlling these pests.

Businesses like food processor or grain storage can greatly benefit from an ongoing professional pest management program to contain and eradicate infestations along with high standards of hygiene and sanitation, including stock rotation practices in accordance with any applicable regulations.

Call Rentokil on 0861 117 851 to talk to an expert about stored product insect control.

Signs of pests in food

Discovering pests in your stored cupboard foodstuffs can be distressing. Owing to the risk of contamination they will most likely spoil and damage any food into which they come in contact. In your home, this may mean you throw out some stored flour or sugar but in your business, the financial loss from damaged goods will be much higher.

It is important to be able to identify the earliest signs of a problem to enable a quick solution and a guaranteed control measure that prevents a re-infestation.

How to identify pests in food

Common signs of stored product insects (SPIs) include:

  • damage to stored product live or dead insects (small beetles and moths), larvae, pupae or silken webbing on food storage bins on shelves
  • infestation, holes, larvae or webbing on the outside of packets or bags
  • larvae, pupae or silk webbing in food harbourages in cracks and crevices around shelves or on machinery
  • larvae, pupae or silk webbing in food spillages
  • larvae, pupae or silk webbing on beams and window sills
  • Indications of the pests in insects traps or rodent stations

Where to find insects

If you suspect a problem, it is also worth knowing where these pests may be hiding. Stored product insects can live in dried products, such as:

  • Stored grain
  • Dried fruits
  • Milled and processed cereal products
  • Sweets
  • Cheese
  • Meat and any other dried food
  • Dry ginger
  • Dried fish

Rentokil’s services for stored product insects

In spite of their tiny size, these insects present a large threat to businesses and machinery. Potential harm includes the following:

  • Contamination of foodstuffs and goods; resulting in serious loss of valuable stock.
  • Damage to processing machinery due to the buildup of food product (caking) in machinery caused by the stored product insects
  • Grain warming; insect activity in infested grain can produce heat and moisture, which can facilitate the growth of mould and can affect germination
  • Non–compliance with legislation leading to damaged reputation, and loss of income.

Find out more about our solutions to get rid of pests in food.

At Rentokil, we have an expert team devoted to our food clients. Our team is made up of High Dependency Technicians, Field Biologists, QA Managers and Technical Managers.

Our accumulated knowledge of maintaining the levels of protection required by our clients' means that our skills, expertise and solutions are unmatched across South Africa and the world.

We can resolve pest insect problems fast and with the minimum of fuss using pesticide-free heat treatments and tailored fumigation solutions.

Call us today on 0861 117 851 or contact us online to learn how our services could benefit your business.

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