2. Proper operation

New raw materials or finished products that arrive in a building must be viewed upon with suspicion until it is certain that they are not infested with live pests. If practically possible, the products should be checked before it arrives – that means by the supplier. Recently arrived goods should be kept isolated from the other warehouse and production premises and preferably in a place where there is minimal risk that any pests spread to the rest of the building. The same applies to returned goods and used packaging – especially in cases where these things are sent back because there were pests in them. The ideal isolation room should be insect proof, ventilated, well lit and contain nothing more than the goods placed in the middle of the room. At regular intervals, the space should be emptied for goods and the empty spaces should be treated with insecticide.

Food should be stored for as short time as possible. A harmless occurrence which could hardly be noted may in time become an unmanageable problem. Therefore, obey the principle: first in – first out. Many pests occur when you forget the oldest products or – worse still – you mix them with new ones.

In the mid 1970s, many bakers acquired 3-8 tonnes flour silos, which was filled up regularly. This resulted in the silos quickly becoming full of moths, beetles and mites of the sort that could be found in negligible concentrations in all flour. In the flour silos they got their big break because the silos were never emptied and cleaned. Something similar happens with pests in grain, where 9 out of 10 cases originates from the small remnant old grain that nobody bothered to move before the newly harvested grain was stored.

Regular cleaning of the premises has many advantages. In clean, manageable premises pests are discovered earlier on and cleaning alone will remove a big part of the pests as well as what they live in. In clean, simple rooms chemical insecticides are ease to manage and they are most effective on clean surfaces. Goods should as far as possible be arranged to avoid creating habitats for pests. Do not place goods against a warm wall or pipes. Goods that stand up against a cold wall in a hot and humid room should be brought slightly away from the wall so humid zones of condensation are avoided in the product itself. When cleaning, one should have good light, so it is easy to spot spilled food. Preferably use a vacuum cleaner or broom. When it is necessary to use water for washing floors one should not overflow the floor with water. Too much water during cleaning is felt in the humidity of a room for a long time afterwards. Watering floors with a hose cannot be avoided in some companies, but then it is important that the ventilation is adequate. The cleaning staff should be especially aware of cables and pipes, wells and grits in the floor and under the elevators and machinery. These sites are often not part of normal cleaning practices, but in the food industry there is no denying that these places must be cleaned too, if you want to prevent creeping and crawling pests. It is very much possible to overlook habitats for pests during cleaning. This can to some extent be taken into account by letting rooms or buildings be disinfected regularly. This can be done by spraying, dusting or fumigation, as it seems appropriate. It is highly recommended that you get help for that by a professional extermination company in recognition of the fact that few companies today have the necessary expertise; experience and equipment for pest control themselves.

Waste removal, particularly during the summer months, is important as to avoid fermenting waste or offal attracting flies and become a breeding ground for them. During hot weather waste must be removed every other day. In cooler summer weather it is perhaps only necessary once a week. Waste containers which for some reason cannot be removed must be dusted well with insect powder.