The cornerstone of an effective IPM program is a program of regular inspections. For food processors, weekly inspections are common, and some plants inspect them more frequently. These routine inspections should focus on areas where pests are most likely to appear: receiving docks, storage areas, employee break rooms, sites of recent ingredient spills, etc. Since regular inspections reveal vulnerabilities in your pest control program, take steps to address them before they cause a real problem.
One of the most effective preventive measures is exclusion, that is, by physically keeping pests away, the need for chemical countermeasures can be reduced. Similarly, sanitation and cleaning will eliminate potential sources of food and water, thus reducing pest pressure. By identifying problem species, pests can be eliminated more efficiently and with the lowest risk of harming other organisms. Professional pest management always starts with the correct identification of the pest in question.
Make sure your pest control provider is rigorously trained in pest identification and behavior. Senator Calls for Increased FDA Food Facility Inspections and Given that IPM is a complex pest control process, not just a series of practices, it is impossible to use a definition of IPM for all foods and all areas of the country. IPM programs work to monitor pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made along with action thresholds. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant varieties.
IPM leverages all appropriate pest management options, including, but not limited to, the prudent use of pesticides. By addressing the underlying causes of pest infestations (access to food, water and shelter), IPM can prevent infestation even before pesticides are considered. Rather than simply eliminating the pests you see right now, using IPM means that you will look at the environmental factors affecting the pest and its ability to thrive. Updated pest control documentation is one of the first signs to an auditor that your facility is serious about pest control.
Prevention As the first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the crop, lawn, or indoor space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. I'll be sure to mention this to the pest control company so they can help us get rid of them. Not only can IPM be more effective than routine pesticide treatments, but it can also reduce children's exposure to pesticides and even cost less in the long run. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates that they are necessary according to established guidelines, and treatments are performed with the goal of eliminating only the target organism.
For the farmer, that point is where the cost of pest damage is GREATER than the cost of control. Follow EPA guidelines for pest control in the school environment to describe the roles of each group. Because pest control is an ongoing process, constant monitoring of your facility for pest activity and changes to facilities and operations can protect against infestation and help eliminate existing ones. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM, but limits the use of pesticides to those produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.