January 29, 2020 / Media Mention / Food Processing Magazine
Patricia Hottel, technical director for McCloud, contributes to Food Processing’s article “How to Keep Pests Out of Your Manufacturing Facility”
Nobody wants bugs, rodents and other pests in their plants. But somehow they get in. Finding out the how in that “somehow” is a good first step toward keeping them out.
A big building like a food or beverage plant will inevitably have gaps, breaches, channels and other pathways of ingress – some intentional and necessary, some not – that can admit pests. And they don’t need much room. Even rats and mice can get through any space their skulls fit through – and that’s only 12mm and 6mm, respectively. In fact, they prefer tight spaces that provide good cover from predators.
Patricia Hottel, technical director at McCloud Services, says floor drains are her No. 1 overlooked source of entry, especially for cockroaches and drain flies. She says proper drain design can prevent pest problems. “Maintaining drain integrity can help reduce the potential for activity,” Hottel says. “Proper drain design is also important where drains are accessible for cleaning and maintenance. Grates should be removable and baskets should be used to help capture solids and facilitate cleaning.”
Hottel also discusses the need for traps in pest management, especially as it relates to rodents. “Traps, an integral part of most pest control programs, can furnish clues as to where pests are getting in. Some of the rodenticide baits are specially colored and will fluoresce in the droppings of the rodents that have fed on it,” she says. “If we are using one of these colored baits on the exterior and see colored droppings on the interior, it is a good indication that the rodents moved in from the exterior. We can also use traps or monitors to help determine patterns of activity and link the captures to probable entry points.”