A wide range of pests are attracted to food processing facilities in search of shelter and sources of moisture and food. A pest infestation can lead to disruptions, a decline in productivity levels and a loss of profit caused from contaminated products and damage to equipment.
Stored product pests such as moths, weevils and other beetles often infest the products in the egg of larvae stages. This type of infestation can be difficult to detect until the pests have fully developed. Finding and treating the source of the stored product pest infestation can be quite a challenge to pest controllers.
Other pests including cockroaches are nocturnal and may not be discovered until the infestation has gone out of control.
By familiarizing yourself and staff with signs of infestation in a food processing facility, may help you take action before the rate of infestation rises and damage to equipment and structures happen.
Here are 10 signs to look out for when inspecting a food processing facility for pests
- Gnaw marks on furniture and equipment can be evidence of a rodent problem
- Holes and tears in food packaging
- Shed skin casings on floors, shelves, window sills and cracks can mean that stored product pests are present
- Other signs of pest infestations include eggs, larvae and pupa in and around food packaging and products
- Droppings (both rodent and insect) is a clear indicator of a pest problem
- Tracks and streaks can show rodent traffic patterns
- Greasy and dirty smudge marks along walls and skirting boards show an indication of a rodent problem
- Food in kitchens and staff rooms that have been infested
- Musty and oily odours can be caused by pests such as cockroaches and rats
- Trash bins that have been knocked over or have had its contents spilled all over can be a sign of rodents or a wildlife problem