This is an excerpt from Reducing Customer Complaints by David Mueller:
Pest management is not about a “product.” It is about a path of continuous quality improvement. Stored products are threatened by pests from the time they leave the field to the time they are consumed.
The future generation will control pests by managing environmental conditions.
Insects are a symptom of a problem. The problem solvers and pest managers must interpret the clues that permit the conditions in which these pests thrive and control these conditions to discourage these unwanted guests.
If we begin with the insect or other pests first and study what they like and don’t like, we then can offer them an environment in which they are uncomfortable and will then leave or die.
Companies that put their brand on their products are selling more than just the product in the package, they are selling their reputation. Protecting this brand integrity is essential. The expectations of food purity laws and food safety standards are changing. Recently, highly published deaths and human suffering from food borne diseases will force manufacturers to review their food safety programs and make adjustments. It will force pest managers to be better than ever before.
Pest management is about long term solutions to pest problems. In the past hundred years it has been convenient to fumigate or spray away a pest problem only to have it come back in days or months. However, the conditions that caused the problem to occur in the first place remain. The survivors begin reproducing to restock the problem in a short period of time. These conditions still offer an optimum environment and will surely attract more pests from the surrounding area, including outdoors. Again, the long term solution is to identify and correct the problem and offer the conditions that the insects or other pests cannot survive in. They then will leave or die.
A trend has occurred in the last two decades to contract pesticide applications in post harvest stored product protection to a select few specialized fumigation and food safety companies. General pest control companies that perform pest management and pest control for residential accounts have gotten out of the fumigation business for the most part. The cost of the license, minimum insurance, continued education, and capitol cost of new fumigation equipment, including expensive monitoring equipment, has eliminated the small player from this expensive, educational intensive and potentially high risk business. Fumigations are performed mostly on major holidays and weekends when the food plants are closed. In the past, most pest control companies carried fumigation and food processing licenses, but today only a few very specialized companies exist in North America.
This is an excerpt from the new book Reducing Customer Complaints in Stored Products by David K. Mueller. It is intended to help you solve pest problems in stored products.