Pests are the enemies of food processing facilities for many reasons. Besides contributing to unsanitary conditions, pests can disrupt operations, decrease profits and adversely affect employee morale.


Knowing some of the common pests that are found in food processing facilities is important for the owners and managers. While pest threats vary, depending on the region of the country and the type of food being processed, here are some of the biggest culprits:


Rodents can:

  • Enter buildings through doorways and very small cracks and holes
  • Spread disease
  • Gnaw, feed and breed in food processing locations
  • Damage equipment
  • Ruin merchandise and contaminate food as well as packaging materials
  • Cause electrical fires
  • Pose threats to the health and safety of any facility

You can help prevent rodents by:

  • Securing trash receptacles and dumpster lids
  • Removing tall weeds and grass
  • Hiring a professional commercial pest control company that specializes in commercial facilities and rodent and wildlife services to employ traps, baits and physical barriers specifically designed to help prevent rodent entry.


Flies can:

  • Enter through doors, windows and other openings
  • Spread diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery and food poisoning
  • Be irritating and annoying
  • Be difficult to control
  • Increase in population during summer months
  • Bite, depending on the type
  • Live in drains
  • Thrive on trash receptacles
  • Contaminate food or packaging materials
  • Damage business reputations

You can help prevent flies with professional commercial pest control solutions such as Terminix® Commercial Fly Control, a customized, proactive approach to noticeably reduce fly problems:

  • In addition to controlling current offenders, optimized trapping tools at key entry points help keep future invasions under control
  • Helps establish practices to minimize fly invasions, including sanitation methods to help deter flies
  • Examines facilities to determine if flies can be further controlled by caulking or weather-stripping
  • Includes solutions such as drain fly removal and ultraviolet Insect Light Traps (ILTs) to attract and capture flies


Cockroaches can:

  • Spread bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella
  • Creep through cracks
  • Live in the dark
  • Trigger allergens and allergy symptoms
  • Be present in populations of hundreds and even thousands
  • Live in wood and cardboard boxes
  • Cause alarm and upset guests, customers, and employees

Help control cockroaches with the proven Terminix Commercial Five-Step System for Cockroach Control, based on a special Integrated Pest Management program that neutralizes the problem at its source and results in an immediate and noticeable reduction in cockroach activity.

  1. Immediate physical removal of as many cockroaches as possible.
  2. Void treatment.
  3. Application of bait insecticides.
  4. Treatment of cracks and crevices.
  5. Introduction of Insect Growth Regulators.

Stored Product Pests

Stored product pests (moths, weevils, and beetles such as sawtoothed, merchant grain and red or confused flour beetles), also known as pantry pests, can:

  • Breed and build huge populations quickly
  • Have widespread infestations with more than one source
  • Leave behind eggs and larvae
  • Result in contaminated food shipments to customers
  • Attack many different types of food items, including whole grains, wheat, corn, barley, rice, beans, nuts and more


Spiders can:

  • Come in a wide range of sizes
  • Be dangerous or non dangerous
  • Live outdoors or indoors
  • Spin webs

Spiders can be identified and their hiding spots revealed by a thorough, professional commercial pest control inspection.


Birds can:

  • Carry pathogens that spread diseases
  • Have nesting that may be infested with bird mites
  • Damage property and contaminate products in production or shipping areas
  • Tarnish a facility’s image
  • Leave unsanitary droppings that may create slip-and-fall hazards
  • Cause ongoing costs for cleaning, repair and maintenance

Bird control can be addressed by professional pest control services from Terminix Commercial with:

  • Strategies to solve current bird problems and help keep them from coming back, including control gel, wire barrier, spikes and shock treatments along with many other tactics
  • Technicians who have knowledge of local bird species and undergo intensive protocol training

When pest activity is spotted in food processing facilities, it’s imperative to take immediate action before populations increase or product and structural damage occurs. Additionally, health code violations caused by pest problems can harm a company’s reputation, result in regulatory fines and, in extreme cases, may prompt shut downs.

Seeking help from a reputable, professional pest control company is the best way for food processing facilities to determine what attracts pests, how to help prevent them, how to identify structural and sanitation conditions that may contribute to their presence and how to remove the risk of infestations.

Terminix Commercial technicians are knowledgeable in food processing environments, as well as in maintaining compliance with federal food manufacturing regulations, including those imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and with local health codes and food safety guidelines.


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