A misconception about the pest control industry is that there is a “one-size fits all” approach to management. Many companies sell “pest control” as a packaged good, agreeing to inspect your building, spraying pesticides when needed, and never being heard from thereafter. This method fails to meet the very basis of integrated pest management (IPM) and can hardly be seen as a viable approach.
Successful pest control requires so much more than just routine inspection. It’s an ever-evolving process that develops based on measurable results, adapting to those findings. So, there are some essential components that every IPM program needs, especially in a food processing setting. Today, we identify and explain the three fundamental ideas your pest control company should be addressing.
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Pest Specific Procedures
An ideal pest control strategy doesn’t address the one bug or rodent seen in your facility, nor does it look at all pests in broad terms. An ideal pest control strategy looks at both and addresses the entire plant as a living ecosystem. This involves identifying existing pests, understanding which pests could potentially become a problem, setting up an action plan to address the root cause of each individual pest and addressing any vulnerability as a whole.
Each pest needs its own action plan and degree of importance assigned. After carefully going through your building with your contracted pest management professional, both parties should have a good idea of what pests disproportionately affect your facility and those that do not. A complete program will have next steps assigned to each threshold level, not just the amount needed to require professional intervention.
Record keeping is the cornerstone of pest management and nothing should be left undocumented: every pest sighting, every inspection, every chemical applied, etc. Over-reporting is, in most cases, much more preferred than inconsistent evidence gathering, so you will want a contracted professional that values this above all. Successful IPM programs project findings into the future to influence future work based on identifiable trends. This can only be done with thorough reporting, or you’ll never improve on the process and possibly keep bad habits alive and well in your facility.
Properly identifying the pest invading your structure is a large part of this. Each pest requires its own removal strategy, as there isn’t a magic potion for pest removal. If there was, we wouldn’t be in business. Thus, you need a pest management professional that has the capabilities in-house in pest identification.
It is important to have a team-oriented mindset when approaching pest control in your facility. IPM fails when a lack of participation or motivation for success exists. This isn’t a task that rests solely on the shoulders of the management personnel; it requires active involvement at each level. Everyone should feel that they serve an integral role in ensuring the facility is pest-free. This, however, does affect the facility administrators. The importance of IPM in your facility needs to be emphasized across employment divisions. It succeeds or fails on total involvement.
From the ground up, a proper line of communication should exist. Each employee should understand who to notify in the event of a pest spotting. Who informs who of each incident, who decides the appropriate action, who contacts the pest control company, etc. An effective program hinges on the openness of transmitting information.
Contact Holder’s Pest Solutions to learn more about how you can control pests in your facility.