Proactive pest control is a must-have for maintaining facility cleanliness, safety, and reputation. Yet some common solutions, including traps or fumigation, use chemicals or leave behind dead or dying animals in your facility. This article offers humane pest control solutions for your food warehouse, plant, or facility.
Rodents, Insects, and Birds, Oh My!
For most, the term “pest control,” conjures up an image of insects and rodents. These creatures are responsible for carrying diseases and pathogens capable of having a serious impact on safe, sanitary food production and warehousing. However, pest birds, like pigeons, blackbirds, sparrows, and crows, can also create major problems for facility management.
Birds must be kept out of food facilities. They carry unwelcome guests, like mites, fleas, and ticks and can transmit dozens of diseases, including Listeria, Meningitis, and Salmonella. In 2007 a Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 people and killed nine was traced to unsanitary food plant conditions that included accumulated bird droppings.
Our feathered friends also take a toll on valuable equipment investments as well; droppings have a corrosive effect, causing irreversible damage on surface areas. Birds nest in facades, on roofs, and even in ventilation systems, which triggers destruction that eats into budgets. In some infestations, pest bird droppings create a slip-and-fall accident risk that could impact the well-being of employees and guests, as well as increase company liability.
Not only do bird droppings pose a serious risk, but flocks can also be incredibly unsightly. Large flocks that congregate around food warehouses or production plants create noisy, unpleasant environments for employees and nearby residents. Flock elimination can improve a facility’s food-focused environment and offer a better experience for customers.
Issues with Poisons, Fogs, and Traps
Decision-makers have plenty of options when formulating a pest management plan that meets audit requirements. Solutions like fumigation and fogging use harsh chemicals, and often require the shutdown of the treatment area, which translates to loss of money and productivity. In addition, such solutions are less effective as a long-term solution for keeping critters out of food facilities.
Rodenticides can also pose an issue for facilities. Government directives limit their use in many areas around food processing facilities. Rodenticides and other poisons can certainly kill pests, but they also kill non-target animals, like owls and cats, that naturally prey on pest animals. In most cases, poison-based pest solutions are considered cruel since they work slowly, causing an animal to suffer for several days.
Traps and glue boards are no more humane. These control methods are indiscriminate, catching anything that comes in contact with them—even animal urine and feces—creating unsanitary conditions. Something else to consider is that traps and boards also require maintenance, which means staff members must handle and dispose of live or deceased animals.
Traditional pest control methods, like those mentioned above, aren’t the best options for the animals or the environment. However, modern trends toward more humane pest control technology can remove pests permanently with fewer complications.
Cost-Effective and Eco-Friendly
It’s important to maintain an impeccably clean food facility, but traditional pest control methods aren’t always the best options. Humane deterrents are a cost-effective and efficient way to keep warehouses and other food facilities free from all varieties of pests.
The concept behind green pest solutions is simple: scare pest animals away and condition them not to return. These methods do not harm or physically traumatize animals.
Humane solutions are safer for people, too. They’re non-toxic to employees and guests, as well as any domestic or non-target animals that might come in contact with them. The result is facility staff members can place them virtually anywhere pest birds and animals frequent.