Explore this issueDecember/January 2014
Also by this Author
Editor’s Note: This is final installment in a five-part series of articles that provide a practical approach to pest control topics.
Since pest activity constantly fluctuates based on facility conditions and seasonality, stagnant is the last word by which you want to describe the pest management program at your facility. It should instead be dynamic and change as necessary over time according to pest activity and trends. But how do you know when your pest management program needs to be altered in a small or large way?
The key is to work with a pest management company whose pest professionals understand the science behind pests and the activity they exhibit throughout the year. Here are a few factors to look for to ensure you are signing a contract with a company that truly understands how to develop the best pest management program for your unique facility.
In the food manufacturing world, a company’s bottom line can hinge on the score it receives on its food safety audits. Documentation of the pest management program is vital to the pest control portion of a food safety audit, which can account for up to 20 percent of the final score. Consequently, your pest management company should follow strict protocols in regard to documentation to ensure your logs and reports are audit-ready at any time. All documents should be housed onsite at your facility and should include pest treatment service reports, pest monitoring logs, corrective action reports, trend analyses, and pesticide usage logs.
Along with serving an important role during the food safety audit, documentation helps the pest management professional monitor pest activity over time. When the pest management professional notices a change in pest activity trends, he or she can confirm that certain elements of your pest management program should be adjusted accordingly. Without this collection of data and documentation, he or she would not be able to show hard proof as to why the changes in the program should be made and, unfortunately, may not even be able to recognize a change should be made in the first place.
The last thing you need is for your facility to be left behind with outdated methods.
In addition to strict documentation protocols, look for a pest management company that offers periodic check-ins. Those check-ins should ideally be performed by one of your pest management professional’s supervisors.