Stop stored-product pests before they start with a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system. Write the date of arrival on the product packaging and then rotate out the items in the order received. Store all products on wire-back shelves off the floor and away from the wall to help prevent products from deteriorating and serving as prime breeding spots for pests. In addition, discourage pests by making the facility an uncomfortable environment for them. Stored-product pests cannot withstand extreme temperatures, so cool buildings to temperatures below 65° F and reduce humidity by keeping the environment well ventilated.
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An effective sanitation program reduces the elements that attract stored-product pests to your facility in the first place. Clean up food spills immediately to prevent debris from accumulating in cracks and crevices, and keep the facility clean and dry. Implement simple steps, such as thorough vacuuming and careful garbage disposal, into your sanitation program to decrease chances of pest survival.
Inspect your facility regularly for signs of infestation (webbing, live larvae or adult pests), and remove the infested commodity immediately to prevent the problem from spreading. If appropriate, work with your pest-management professional to install pheromone traps in a grid formation to monitor and trap the pests. Remember, effective treatment relies on proper identification of the pests.
With preparation and an immediate response to an infestation, you can keep the problems caused by stored-product pests proportional to their minute size.
Dr. Zia Siddiqi is quality assurance director for Orkin, Inc. A board-certified entomologist, he is recognized expert in pest management with more than 30 years’ experience. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.