Food Engineering
TECH FLASH

Can’t take the heat? Neither can the pests

August 11, 2012

MosquitoFor much of the US, this summer has been characterized by extreme heat and bone-dry conditions. While increases in insect populations are usually associated with warmer temperatures, even insects can find it difficult to survive in the extreme outdoor conditions we’ve seen, and they’re seeking refuge indoors.

“The food industry needs to take precautions against pests migrating indoors due to drought and intense heat,” warns Patricia Hottel, technical director, McCloud Services, a Copesan pest solutions partner. Moisture-loving pests include springtails, millipedes, sow bugs, ground beetles, foreign grain beetles and hairy fungus beetles—all of which are awaiting your invitation to a cooler, gentler place. Hottel offers some tips for keeping uninvited guests outside where they belong:

  • Make sure seals around exterior doors create a proper pest barrier.
  • Check areas like pipe/wall junctures to ensure there are no openings allow pests to enter.
  • Educate employees on the importance of keeping doors closed while not in use.
  • Check vents and other openings to make sure they are properly screened and sealed.
  • Use perimeter insecticidal treatments which can be applied in conjunction with exclusion practices.

Additional precautions for buildings that are not climate controlled:

  • Clean spills or product accumulations both inside and outside the facility, and discard or fumigate infested products.
  • Even on hot days, keep doors closed.

Also control light sources to exclude pests all year long:

  • Use sodium vapor lighting versus mercury vapor lighting on the exterior of the building.
  • Instead of mounting lights directly on the building, mount them away from the building and direct the lights onto it.
  • Install motion sensors to decrease the amount of light outside the building.

For more information: Pat Hottel, McCloud Services, 847-944-9528, email.