March 2020 / Media Mention / PET Food Processing
Anna Berry, training manager and entomologist for McCloud, contributes to PET Food Processing’s article “21st Century Pest Control”
The latest technological advancements helping pet food operators better manage pest control.
One of the biggest and most exciting trends in the pest management industry today is embracing progressive technologies. Changes in FSMA, accessible technologies, lower thresholds and sophisticated clients have all forced the pest management industry to really explore and develop various innovations.
Anna Berry, training manager and entomologist at McCloud, notes remote monitoring is quickly becoming accepted as a commercial necessity as clients and industry professionals recognize the many benefits of it, including increased safety, efficiency, accessibility, humane capital and more. She explains that many areas that processors would like to monitor are regularly inaccessible either due to facility restrictions or safety concerns, so reducing the number of visits needed to these areas to check traps is a huge safety win. “These devices also increase our efficiency. By spending less time checking traps without activity, we can spend more time inspecting for the source of the problem,” Berry says. “For example, we have a very modern food processing facility that has extensive GMPs in place before entry in each room. These rooms are incredibly well-sealed, they rarely have any type of pest issue. But monitoring is a necessity, and so multi-catch traps were placed where appropriate in the interior.”
Before remote monitoring, Berry mentioned that McCloud’s service specialists would spend a lot of time meeting those GMP requirements, and even more time gearing up and entering the rooms the traps were located in. Now, they service them monthly for maintenance and only needs to check when alerted. Berry also said that these result in quicker and more accurate decision-making. “Finally, we’ve seen huge improvements in imaging, from cameras we can install in a facility to those used to scope drains. These images give us so much information on what the pest is, why it is there, and where it is coming from, without being invasive or working off educated guesses,” Berry adds.
In addition to these technologies, Berry also shares the best way for pet food processors to start a pest control plan is to have a Pest Management Partner (PMP) they can trust – one that processors can count on to handle the nuances of the facility, follow the laws, identify concerns and utilize the most efficient, progressive, and appropriate corrective actions. “Embracing exclusion as a very effective form of prevention and control is another essential best practice,” Berry says. “Oftentimes, we can eliminate the risk just by excluding the pests from the facility, so having a PMP with exclusion capabilities results in a more effective plan.”