Feral populations of stored product pests (SPP) can occur in many places throughout the United States and abroad. If your food facility clients have susceptible products — and most do — your IPM program and risk assessments must include exterior monitoring. You need to know what’s lurking behind the bushes outside and what’s hiding out on these huge plots of land upon which many facilities sit.
The Top 3 feral SPP include Indianmeal moths (Plodia interpunctella), warehouse beetles (Trogoderma variabile) and cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne). Of course, we could
go on and on about many other species and how they occur readily in nature.
The main lesson here is, if your food facility accounts store items deemed susceptible to infestation, you need to be monitoring their exteriors. And yes, the roof counts as the exterior. Consider these three monitoring goals:
- Detection: What’s there?
- Abundance: How many?
- Verification: Can you fix it or prevent them from getting inside?
While you do not need to constantly monitor the exterior of the facility, you do need knowledge of which insects present a food safety risk. IPM for the modern food facility is all about reducing risk.