Top 3 Pests Affecting Food Retail Businesses

The food retail industry is usually a central topic pest control problems in businesses in the Philippines. Businesses in the food retail sector such as supermarkets and grocery stores face threats from pests from multiple sources.

Food-handling activities range from preparing raw meat and fish, fresh dairy products, freshly-cooked foods, freshly-baked products, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as dealing with packaged goods too. It is important for businesses in the food retail sector of all sizes to maintain sanitation standards and actively prevent pest infestation in order to maintain a high standard of food safety, and to protect staff, customers and reputation, as well.

The major pests, which plague the food retail industry, range from rodents to crawling and flying insects, each bringing their own unique way to mess up food safety and other sanitation standards.

Cockroaches are primarily nocturnal, sheltering in the daytime and coming out at night to find food and other sites for shelter. They can shelter in shelving in food stores, dark places that provide the right temperature and humidity. These places are also hard to reach using normal cleaning and sanitation methods.

How to know if you’ve got an infestation
Although they can be difficult to spot due to being mostly nocturnal and their stealthy nesting habits, there are a handful of signs which could indicate an infestation in your supermarket:

  1. A lingering unpleasant odour
  2. Droppings which are brown/black in colour, cylindrical-shaped approx. 2mm long
  3. Brown and irregularly shaped smear marks along horizontal surfaces
  4. Old cockroach skins and shells lying around

Pest management for cockroaches
Good sanitation practices will help prevent infestations and pick up the presence of cockroaches. These consist of cleaning up food and drink spillage, storing food in cockroach-proof containers, maintaining drains and removing food waste.

A number of pest control treatments in the Philippines are available specifically for cockroaches. These have been developed specially for public halls like supermarkets. These treatments include sprays, aerosols, dusts and bait.

In food handling and storage premises, the insecticides used must be permitted for use by the relevant authority and will require competent, trained personnel to apply them.

Stored Product Insects (SPIs)
Stored product insects (SPIs) is an umbrella term for beetles, weevils, moths, mites and other insects which infest food in storage. These insects are usually hot topics in pest management plans in the Philippines, for they have a huge impact on the company’s finances. An entire batch of goods or stock can get ruined just because of these pesky critters.

They can strike anywhere in the food chain, from the farmer’s shed and even to your home kitchen.

Stored product pests are most likely to be in a food ingredient on delivery to the retail store or in a processed food product when stored for a long time.

Signs of SPI infestation

  1. damage to stored products, such as small holes in nuts or grain
  2. live or dead insects (small beetles and moths), larvae, pupae or silken webbing on food storage bins
  3. infestation holes, larvae or webbing on the outside of packets or bags
  4. larvae, pupae or silken webbing in food harborages, in cracks and crevices around shelves or on machinery

Pest management for SPIs
The most effective solution to control stored product insects in the food retail industry is through an effective Integrated Pest management program (IPM) in the Philippines. An effective and efficient IPM usually combines these principles:

  1. Exclusion: eliminate the pests’ opportunities for entry
  2. Restriction: train staff in pest awareness to spot the early signs of infestations
  3. Termination: utilize safe and effective solutions to remove pests from the premises
  4. Monitoring: check and monitor devices to detect early warning signs of pest infestations

Rats and mice will do their best to live near a good food source, this is why they are common pest control problems in food retail businesses in the Philippines.

They are even capable of swelling their ranks given an abundant food supply, shelter from predators and benign surroundings inside a building.

Warning Signs of a Rodent Infestation
Rats and mice leave these clues, when they are present nearby:

  1. droppings
  2. sightings of live or dead animals
  3. squeaks, gnawing sounds, scurrying sounds
  4. smudge marks along their path
  5. gnawing of building materials, wiring, food and packaging
  6. urine stains among building pillars

Pest Control for Rodents in Food Retail Businesses
The control of rodents involves the elimination of harborage in and around buildings and preventing access to food, water and shelter. There may be many points of entry to a building, such as cracks, vents, pipes, cabling, drains, doorways, windows, and screens, where measures can be taken to prevent access.

At Entech Integrated Pest Management, we believe that understanding the client’s needs and expectations and forging strong partnerships is the way to effective and efficient pest control. We will utilize our long years of industry know-how to create a plan that will protect your investment: a business, a home, or a brand’s reputation

Need professional pest control help and advice? A quotation for pest management services?

Learn more about Entech’s pest control services here. You can also reach us via our Contact Us page.