Food Processing

Commercial Pest Management Services for the Food Processing Industry

How Waltham Pest Services Can You Help You

Our experience ranges from locally owned bakeries to large food processing plants and breweries. Regardless of their size, food and beverage processing operations have zero-tolerance for insect and rodent activity.

Our AIB, ASI, USDA, and FDA compliant programs can be custom designed to meet the demands and specifications of your facility.

We are also available to consult and advise you on special pest problems such as grain insects, flying insects, and plant sanitation.

Request a free inspection or to locate your local Waltham Pest Services branch.

History of Pest Problems in the Food & Beverage Industry

Modern food and beverage manufacturing practices largely gained roots in the early 1900s with the publication of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair's infamous, fictional yet historical accounts of the meat-packing industry in metropolitan Chicago. The book created widespread concern for the health and public safety of processed foods and edible goods. Many passages in the book invoked images of rats getting into food storages and insects crawling all over exposed and under-refrigerated commodities.

In October 1999, Center for Disease Control researchers released findings estimating the incidents of life-threatening illnesses attributed to improper pest control in the early 1900s. Data showed per 10,000 people, roughly 100 became infected with typhoid. Another disease, trichinellosis, also infected large populations.

The advent of large, sealed refrigeration units enabled food and beverage production businesses to keep perishable foods cooler longer and out of reach of common pests known to transmit lethal diseases.

Throughout New England there are many major food and beverage processing, packaging, and manufacturing plants. Breweries like Magic Hat Brewing Company and Boston Beer Company, meat processing plants like Carando and Tyson Foods, and other large firms are present in the region and ship products reaching millions of consumers nationwide.

Regardless of market share, companies handling the preparation, packaging, and shipment of consumable goods need to uphold and maintain stringent regulations and policies concerning health and safety.

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Need for Pest Control in Food/Beverage Production Facilities

One of the main concerns New England food and beverage processing plants face includes insect and rodent infestations. The industry remains under heavy scrutiny from the general public and the media as well as federal and state governments to uphold local ordinances, state regulations, and laws set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture regarding the safe handling of foods and appropriate facility conditions.

However, despite years of legal procedure, including businesses meeting requirements and standards prior to beginning operations, pest control often proves difficult given the enormity of most processing warehouses. Large buildings require excessive attention in terms of heating, cleaning, maintenance, and renovations in order to limit insect and rodent populations from infesting.

How Pests Affect Business

As of 2014, almost 80,000 food handling facilities operated within the United States. The pest control industry as a whole represents a multibillion-dollar industry, which caters to industrial, commercial, and residential needs alike.

In 2006 and 2007 alone, the United States averaged $2 billion in spending on pesticides across all industries. Companies with large buildings dedicated solely to the manufacturing, processing, and packaging of consumable goods often pay millions of dollars each year just to keep warehouses, loading bays, and administrative offices free of rodents, vermin, and insects detrimental to proper food handling practices.

Each year, the U.S. suffers close to $900 million in damages caused solely by rats. The damages extend beyond warehouses used for food and beverage production and packaging and can also impact agricultural ventures. Losses also include structural damages created by burrowing or nesting insects and animals.

Controlling Larger Animal Pests

Another great challenge faced by the food and beverage production industry includes the expenses incurred in preventing infestations or contamination by not just traditional pests, like insects, rats, or mice, but the undesirable nesting, tunneling, and habitation of larger pest animals.

The common occurrence of cockroach infestations, centipedes or millipedes, silverfish, and other insects that require warmer, humid climates to thrive, results in a market saturated with products to prevent and terminate many of the invasive species. However, larger pests, like squirrels, raccoons, birds, skunks, and groundhogs, require specialized traps and baits to lure and capture the animals.

Several laws also exist for the proper handling and care of animals trapped by professional pest control specialists. Most local ordinances, state laws, and federal statutes explicitly prohibit the harming of animals during capture and impose strict insistence on replacement methods, which release the animals back into the wild. However, both pesticides and replacement methods of assessing, guarding, and eliminating infestations of any kind in the food and beverage packaging industries amount to millions in expenditures.

Pest Problems in Food Storage Facilities

Most modern food and beverage production facilities organize and maintain individual codes of procedure for controlling pests in relation to handling and packaging products on assembly room floors as well as total facility care. Companies traditionally model protocol after EPA regulations and state and federal laws. Special care related to methods of preparation also usually factor into health and safety proceedings concerning pests, especially insects.

Infestation by insects or other pests remains significantly more likely in factories or warehouses where companies store prepared or boxed foods for extended periods of time. Insects, rats, and mice often use stored food or beverages as nesting sites and a readily available means of sustenance.

Some companies use infrared equipment to regularly check on products stored for more than a few days to prevent or spot insects and other animals taking up residence in packaged goods. While effective, the methods generally carry expensive price tags.

Why Waltham?

With over 120 years of varied experience, Waltham Pest Services is committed to providing superior commercial pest management services for the food and beverage industry.

  • Experience includes wide-ranging success with facilities of all kind-- from locally owned bakeries to large food processing plants and breweries
  • Custom AIB, ASI, USDA, and FDA compliant programs constructed to meet the specific needs and goals of your facility
  • Expertise and guidance available regarding specialty pest problems such as grain insects, flying insects, and plant sanitation

Need Help with Pests?
Contact Waltham Services Now!