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Pest Control Pitfalls: Blended and In-House Programs

No plant or operations manager wants to find pests in the warehouse portion of their operation. It may seem like a less sensitive area with product safely packaged. The notion that there’s reduced pest pressure may lead some people to take a DIY pest control approach, like applying widely available commercial products to spray their pest problems away. But it’s likely that the Raid that might work in your kitchen won’t completely fix your business’s pest problems. Because of the strict regulations and requirements for pest control in the warehousing and logistics industry, creating and managing a proactive pest control plan for your business should be left to the professionals.

Logistics and warehousing facilities across the U.S. turn to International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) for continuing education, guidance with new regulations and best practices to become more efficient with their pest control programs. During last month’s 2018 IWLA Convention & Expo, Kim Kelly-Tunis, Orkin’s Director of Quality Assurance and Termite Claims, participated in a panel alongside other food safety experts who discussed risks of in-house or blended pest control programs, the importance of outsourcing and how to improve your current pest control program.

Here are a few key insights from the panel to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of your existing program:

Risks of In-House and Blended Pest Control Programs

  • In-house pest control typically focuses on checking traps and devices, but that’s not enough to thwart stubborn pests. A blended approach to pest management can also be risky because of the lack of role clarity and responsibility for the overall program.

Partner with A Pest Management Professional

  • Partnering with an expertwhose sole concern is protecting your facility, storage and goods from pests is beneficial in the long run. Look for a partner willing to regularly perform detailed inspections, focus on key areas to help prevent issues and has the expertise to identify and treat pest activity early.

Be Proactive

  • Facilities should implement a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that proactively addresses potential pest problems and incorporates regular sanitation and maintenance techniques. As part of your IPM program, working with a pest control provider can also help you create a plan for inspecting and monitoring areas prone to pest activity.

Set Thresholds

  • The best way to mitigate pest risks is through establishing processes and setting thresholds. Predetermined thresholds that prioritize certain situations will allow you and your pest management provider to have a plan for every level— from signs of pest activity to a more serious situation.

Stay Audit-Ready

  • Many logistics companies require third-party audits, and this requires proper documentation to demonstrate an effective pest management program. This outside validation will keep your facilities up-to-date with the various laws governing transportation and changing industry standards.

Although an in-house or blended approach might seem ideal, working with a pest management professional will help to create an ongoing IPM plan that is customized for your facility. Want to know if outsourcing is right choice for you? Read our blog on outsourcing to determine if you’re getting the most value out of your current pest control program.

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