I would like to bring you guys to one of the most critical areas in pest control management. Why proper and systematic pest control process is vitally important in the retail industry?.
After leaving the farm, food products are processed, tested and practically escorted through a food manufacturing process and into distribution. Finally on the shelves in retail premises such as Giants, Tesco, Mydin, etc..
In every stage, these food are prone to be attacked and contaminated by pests. An effective and sustainable pest management program is necessary to ensure food safety is not being compromised.
Nowadays, retail premises get larger and complicated. Hence, developing an effective IMP program can be challenging. However, let us focus on the core principle of IPM:
As a rule of thumb, follow these steps when developing a basic IPM program in retail premises:
- Holistic approach
- Identifying high risk area
- Identifying contributing conditions
- Report pest activity
- Maintain pest sighting log
Why do we need to conduct a thorough survey of the retail premises? It is to identify what are the existing pest problems and any conditions that might contribute to pest infestation in the future.
So, what information and input should we know in our survey?;
- Gathering feedback from the store employees on existing pest status as well the history of pest infestations
- Uncover the underlying root cause of the pest infestation.
- with the information and inputs that we collected, What is our plan in setting up the control measure against pest infestation?.
From ants to termites to the critters in the chimney, pest control should be a top priority for property managers and building owners. To effectively control pests, managers should focus not only on eradication but also on ways to proactively prevent pests from entering a building in the first place. Just as important, you want to take care of the pests without creating any new hazards to your tenants. For example, if we carry out pest management in the supermarket, having a floor plan of the facility could help the pest management professional in:
- Determining the development of the control devices according to the level of pest infestation
- Identifying the high risk areas for pest activity.
IDENTIFY HIGH RISK AREAS
High risk areas need to be inspected regularly. Make a list of high risk areas in and around the store associated with those pests.
After the risk analysis, we can count on deploying monitoring devices in low risk areas as sentinels to alert pest management professional on pest activity. so that, pest management professional can put their focus and efforts on high areas.
IDENTIFY CONTRIBUTING CONDITIONS
Bear in mind that bring the existing pest infestation under control is jut the 1st step. The ability to identify conditions that contributing to pest infestation can turn the entire pest management program become more proactive and effective.
REPORT PEST ACTIVITY
In average, store employees spend up to 60 hours a week in the store, the opportunity of pest sighting is greater than the service technician who might spend around 2 hours every session.
Nipping the infestation in the bud is essential in preventing pest outbreak which potentially put the reputation of the retail premises on the line. It is equally important from the pest management standpoint because putting the pest outbreak under control requires far more effort and time from the service technician.
MAINTAIN THE PEST SIGHTING LOG
Why we need to establish a comprehensive report on pest sighting log?. It allows the technician or entomologist to observe a TREND of the pest activity. For instance, the service technician has been catching young rats in the consecutive weeks inside the storeroom.
Now, it is time to put our radar on the type of services that can be offered to our beloved clients. Service type determines the intensity and focus areas by the service technician.
Below are the key milestones when performing the initial service in retail premises with one clear objective-Eliminate any current pest infestations.
Cockroaches, rodents, and flies are the most common pests found in retail premises. Let’s assume they have infested the retail store below. What we do, we will formulate the action points in each key milestones during the initial service that we just discovered.
Folks, what do we get from the above diagram?. After a comprehensive inspection, we should be able to identify the high risk areas for each pest and the contributing conditions as below
Subsequently, develop the action points on treatment targeting those pests as below:
Backpack HEPA Vacuum?. Those who are not familiar with this method should educate your team to get familiar with this equipment. The most popular Vacuum that can be used is:
Powerful vacuum, but very expensive for me.
and we develop another action point on treatment for rats:
Do not use Backpack vacuum for rats please… Motion action camera will be a very good investment that can be offered to our clients.
And for flies:
Finally, after the treatment, remember to schedule a review meeting with the store management. The first impression does count!. You will be seen as the true professional that highly proactive. Once you get their support, gaining their full cooperation in the IPM program is way easier.
Remember to cover 3 topics during your meeting with them:
- What are the pest problems in the store prior to the initial service?
- What activities have been done to address the pest problems during the initial services?
- What support you need from them to rectify the contributing factors that have been identified during the initial service?
For the routine service, PCO should be able to develop an action plan based on their findings in the initial service that we discussed before.
Note: Credit to Bayer Learning Lab. Please subscribe with them for further information and online training.