While it’s nice to see spring breath life back into nature after a long winter, this time of year also means the reemergence of pest problems for the food industry. In the food plants, ants are the most common cause of pest related complaints—and one of the first pests on the scene in spring—according to pest management company McCloud Services.

Food facilities can experience problems with ants being shipped in on product or inside wooden pallets.  They may also enter food facilities from the surrounding exterior as they search for food or new nest sites. 

“As spring approaches, ants are one of the first pests we see as the snow thaws,” says Patricia Hottel, technical director of McCloud Services. “Ants are a diverse group with a variety of preferred habits.  Food facilities may experience internal ant invasion as the weather begins to turn warmer.  Now is the time for employees and plant managers to make sure they are taking the proper precautions to minimize issues with ants as we head into spring.”

McCloud recommends these ant prevention tips for spring:

-Inspect all incoming shipments to make sure that ants are not brought into the facility inside shipping containers or wooden pallets.

-Keep food spills to a minimum both outside and inside the facility.

-Keep expansion joints well sealed.

-Keep doors and other entry points sealed.

-Avoid the use of wood mulch around the exterior of the structure.

-Choose your landscaping plants wisely, especially those plans which are close to the building.