Last Updated: December 5, 2019

Signs of Pest Infestations in Food Processing Facilities

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St. George, Utah

Pests in food processing facilities

Food processing facilities products that end up in homes and mouths worldwide. If you own your own facilities that handles food, do you worry about pest infestations? You may have a good reason to be concerned. A wide variety of pests can be attracted to the food, shelter, and water sources that a food manufacturing environment provides. Pests can cause disruption, productivity decline, and even a loss of profit due to contaminated products and possible structural and equipment damage. Its is good to be aware of potential pest issues so you can nip infestations in the bud. Many types of pests, especially pests like Weevils, can infest the products before you even receive them. Most often found in the egg or larvae stages, these infestations are very difficult to detect until they have developed. Common stored product pests include moths, weevils, and many other types of beetles. They can attack a variety of different types of food items such as whole grains, wheat, corn, barley, rice, beans, and nuts. Stored product pests often have widespread infestations with more than one source, so pinpointing and treating them can be challenging.

Many other pests like German cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer to avoid human contact, so you may not know they are there until infestations are out of control. Knowing some of the signs that pests may be present in your facility can help you take quick action before populations increase or product damage occurs.

Warning Signs of a Pest Infestation

Rather than wasting time worrying about pests, it is important to learn what to watch for and educate yourself and employees, so together you can watch for pests. Here are some signs that stored food products may have insect, rodent, flies, cockroaches, and/or other pests living in them:

1. Holes, tears or other damage to food packaging and containers

2. Gnawing damage to furniture, structures, and equipment

3. Skin, hair, or exoskeletons on floors, shelving, window sills, cabinets, or in cracks

4. Eggs, larvae or pupae in or around food products and packaging are more signs of pest 

5. Webbing on products and boxes, under shelves, in corners close to food and products can be a sign of moth activity

6. Spider webs near windows, light fixtures, and doors 

7. Insect and rodent droppings

8. Discarded wings can be a sign of termites or ants

9. Piles of wood shavings can be a sign of carpenter ants

10. Mud tubes, usually about the size of a drinking straw found along cracks, under flooring, and around baseboards are a sign of termite activity

11. Roof or other exterior damage can be caused by birds

12.  Hollow wood can indicate termite or wood-nesting ant activity

13. small plies of debris can indicate rodent or other wildlife

14. Infested food in break rooms or kitchens

15. Musty or sharp odors can indicate various pests

16. Disturbed garbage of trash bins

Effective pest control in food processing plants requires specialized knowledge, training, and experience. Bybee Pest Control can help you maintain a clean, pest-free environment for your operations. We service restaurants and businesses around Utah, including Saint George, Cedar City, Washington, Dammeron Valley, Diamond Valley, Parowan, Hurricane, La Verkin, Toquerville, Enoch, Santa Clara, Ivins, and Salt Lake City.

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