Many species of pest are attracted to the food and shelter present in food
production facilities and can enter the food supply and production facilities at
many points, contaminating surfaces, materials, equipment and food products.
The three main groups of pests that are encountered in food businesses are:
• Rodents – rats and mice.
• Insects – cockroaches, beetles, ants and flies.
• Birds – pigeons etc
They cause damage to premises, fittings and fixtures, furnishings and foodstuffs. These pests
can also transmit pathogens and illnesses such as: –
• Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease)
Stored Product Pest Control
Effective Rat, Mouse and Rodent control is essential to maintaining a safe and hygienic working
environment. Rodents not only carry diseases such as salmonella, E. coli and Weil’s disease, but
they also carry ticks, mites and fleas and can cause allergic reactions. Rodents can also inflict
costly damage to property, stock and foodstuffs.
Signs that you have a rodent problem:
• Rats and mice produce characteristic ‘stale’ odours, which can be easily recognised.
• Scratching or gnawing noises in the wall, floor or roof space.
• Droppings in or around your workplace.
• Damage to your property such as chewed furnishings, fittings, desks, cables or torn up
• Nests with shredded material such as insulation, paper or packaging.
• Stock damage.
There are some best practices you can follow to help minimise the risk of a stored product
infestation, such as storing foods in airtight sturdy containers or in a fridge or freezer where
appropriate; keep food storage areas including shelves and cupboards clean, and remove
spillages such as flour and crumbs; vacuum the area thoroughly and regularly.
What’s the risk to your business without professional rodent control?
• A loss of reputation and trade due to being seen as a dirty or unhygienic if rats are present.
• Legal ramifications due to not meeting required legislation for health & safety.
• Damage to property, stock and foodstuffs and the associated costs to repair or replace.
• Contamination of goods and foodstuffs putting customers at risk.
• The spread of diseases.
70 per cent of good pest control is good housekeeping, 25 per cent is good repair of buildings
and the remaining 5 per cent is the use of pesticides
You can help by: –
• reporting sightings or signs of pests to management immediately
• repair any holes or damage to the building before chemical treatment
• keep lids on bins
• ultra-violet fly traps will not work unless switched on and serviced regularly
• keep food at least 150 mm off the floor in storerooms
• throw out food damaged by pests
• regularly inspect all stock and storerooms
• keep doors and windows shut
• keep pets out of kitchens
• do not use fly sprays in food rooms