Adhering to good storage practices can help prevent a variety of pests including rodents and stored product insects. The length of time a product remains in storage can impact the development of pests in your facility. Food for pests can be due to spills and poor inventory management. Utilize these good storage practices to help in the fight against pests.
Tips for Good Storage Practices
Use the first in/ first out system of stock rotation (FIFO). The longer a product remains in storage, the more likely it is to become infested. Make sure that older inventory is used first to avoid encouraging pests like Indianmeal moths and flour beetles. Check for expired product and expedite its removal.
Inspect incoming shipments. Products can arrive with rodents and insects on them. Before placing new shipments into inventory, check for pest activity. Do not accept product if pest activity is observed.
Maintain a sanitation aisle along exterior perimeter walls. Storage space is at a premium and it may be difficult to maintain a space along exterior walls. However, it is important to inspect and trap these areas. Use of wheeled carts can help facilitate inspection where a permanent sanitation aisle is not feasible.
Keep areas free of spillage. Clean areas regularly to remove spillage. Facility staff should be instructed to clean spilled product immediately when broken bags and containers are observed. This includes product that may have sifted underneath shelves and behind pallets. The average development time for most of the stored product pests is 30 days. These insects will lay eggs in the 100’s. Products left for 30 or more days can result in large numbers of stored product pests and can be a common source of insects when left underneath shelving and racks.
Properly maintain damaged goods area. Products which are returned or damaged may leave food exposed and easily accessed by pests. These containers may also be more prone to spillage. Keep these areas cleaned and well organized. Work to remove these products from the facility as soon as possible. Do not allow them to collect in storage for extended periods of time.