Managing pests

Bill Melville
November 15, 2012
Written by Bill Melville
Offering seasonal favourites, presenting healthier options and changing ingredient preferences are just some of the consumer demands that are perpetually moulding the baking industry. However, one priority remains a constant for customers, business owners and health inspectors alike: a pest-free dining experience. The safety of your products hinges, in part, on the quality of your pest-control program.

When it comes to pest control, it is important to implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program – an approach that focuses on proactive sanitation measures to minimize pest attractants such as food and water, as well as facility maintenance to block pests’ access to your building. However, the threat of pest infestations is an unfortunate reality for many bakeries and sweet shops. To combat this threat, the pest management industry is constantly improving older technologies and introducing newer technologies to more efficiently and effectively treat pests that are a primary concern for bakeries.

Electronic reporting, scanning
Imagine scanning a barcode on a trap to determine what pests were caught in a given period of time, or analyzing which pest management equipment (and which areas of your facility) sees the most pest activity. By telling you which traps have the most pest pressures, new technology can help identify activity hot spots.

New technology developments, including electronic reporting and scanning, can provide such customized reports. Available through a web-based program, this new reporting is easier to read and access, and more accurate than handwritten reports. You also can personalize these reports based on your specific needs and predetermined thresholds. Coupled with electronic scanning, electronic reporting, which uses barcodes on pest management equipment, allows you to measure trend data and pest issues over time and thus fine-tune your IPM program.

In addition, electronic reporting makes it easier to provide reports to others throughout your business. With the ability to digitally archive information, data is available instantly to you and your pest management provider, a useful feature during audits and inspections.

Ultrasonic devices
Ultrasonic devices have helped manage rodents for some time, but recent advancements have increased their effectiveness. Specifically, these tools are becoming increasingly successful in preventing rodent activity around the perimeter of baking facilities.

The devices emit a specific sound frequency and pressure that keeps even the most persistent rodents at bay. Used around the exterior of your facility, they can deter inquisitive rodents before they find a way inside. This technology is very effective, and can provide optimal results when used with traditional baiting programs.

Electronic trap monitors
The frequency with which pest traps are typically checked can vary. In some cases, traps could go a week or longer without being checked – meaning a pest could be caught in a trap without anyone knowing there is an issue, while other pests might have scooted past these traps.

The latest technology in trap monitoring sends a real-time signal to electronically notify you and your pest management professional when a pest is caught. Your pest management provider can then respond immediately to remove the pests, but more importantly, determine if there is additional pest activity and identify and secure entry points. This is particularly helpful in zero-tolerance zones such as your food preparation and processing areas.

These and other emerging technologies can help you manage pest issues quickly and effectively. However, it is important to note that no one technology alone will stop all pest activity. Work with your pest management provider to set up a plan to manage the specific pests in your environment.


 Bill_Melville  
   
Bill Melville is quality assurance director for Orkin Canada. He has 35 years of experience in the industry and is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. For more information, e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.orkincanada.com .

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