Best Practices: Pest Control in Pet Food Facilities

May 11, 2020 / Media Mention / Petfood Industry

Anna Berry, training manager and entomologist for McCloud, contributes to Petfood Industry’s article on “Pest control in pet food facilities: Best practices”

Pet food facilities, like all dry food processing facilities, are at risk to nearly every pest you can think of. Specific pest risks will be dependent on what said facilities are manufacturing, how they manufacture it, and their sanitation and structural risks.

The highest pest risks

“Of all the pest risks, I believe stored product pests pose the most universal risk to pet food facilities,” said Anna Berry, training manager and entomologist for McCloud Services, an integrated pest management solutions business. “Stored product pests are a group of pests that live in the grain-based food that they eat. They’re ubiquitous in a pet food facility because we typically find product throughout — settled in cracks and crevices, building up in equipment, and forgotten in tall racks. Most pet food facilities are challenged by one or more species of stored product pests. The specific pests will be dependent on the food produced.”

Some top pests to look out for, according to Berry, include Indianmeal moths (which tend to be a universal pest of pet food), warehouse beetles (commonly associated with dry cat and dog food) and rice weevils (a major pest when the ingredients include whole kernels or rice).

“After stored product pests, rodents are the most common pest,” said Berry. “A well-sealed building and thorough sanitation can reduce the risks of rodents significantly. Cockroaches follow rodents on the list, and a good sanitation plan will mitigate that, as well.”

Staying on top of things key to success

Discovering you have a pest problem can be a lot more expensive than taking regular steps to prevent it.

“Proactive sanitation and structural exclusion are always going to be effective at a pet food facility,” said Berry. “Having a pest management company that is familiar with the risks and sensitivities of pet food is essential — these spaces have far more risk than other facilities because the product is attractive to so many pests. A quick response is necessary because these problems can’t be left to fester or they will eventually become unmanageable.”

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