Integrated Pest Management System
An ecosystem based strategy focusing on long term prevention of pests & their damage. This helps in maintaining the pest with causing minimum risk to people and environment. Rather than using one harsh or deadly approach on pest, IPM involves series or combination of techniques such as biological control, habitual manipulation, modification of cultural practices and pesticides to be used only after careful monitoring indicates the need and treatment are made in reference to set guidelines. IPM, rather than being general, it is more of a specific type, targeting the specific organism.
In production area pest contaminate food and spoil food by eating parts of it, cause damage to equipment, carry disease and pathogens in the production site. They also hamper normal plant functioning by causing damage to raw materials, finished products and packaging materials in the warehouse and storage area.
IPM is a set of different methods that are employed to curb down the pest for which there are basic approaches that are to be followed:
- Setting Action Thresholds: First step is to set an action threshold. It determines and indicates the time of action to be taken. When the pest become critical threat then required treatment or action can be taken.
- Monitoring and Identification of pest: Monitoring program should include establishment of targets and action levels, and schedules for placing and checking traps or other techniques. Accurate identification of pests is necessary to select the most appropriate control methods. Also not all are to be get ridden off, some can be beneficial hence proper monitoring and identification of pest, that are threat, is required.
- Prevention: Prevention work starts from the point of managing places from where there are chances of pest entry, like managing lawns, outside vicinity of plant and also the internal parts of the production or manufacturing plant.
- Control: If the prevention methods are not successful, controlling methods need to be introduced which would be depending up on the level of threat. Controlling method include use of highly targeted chemicals, mechanical control or change in the habitual nature and all this factor will be used after the risk assessment has been carried out.
Certain places that need to be targeted for restricting the pest entry are entrances, receiving and storage area and machinery area. Special need should be taken in both outside and inside the plant. At entrance area use of door swipes to minimize gaps, installing auto closing doors, at receiving area tightly sealing the receiving doors when not used, proper inspection of all shipments for signs of pests or damaged packaging and dispose empty CFB’s rather than stacking them in the storage area that can provide harborage area for pests.
Outside plant care is also needed like adding two-foot gravel strip between bushes and wall of plant. There should be no plants/ shrubs in vicinity to touch building. Copper mesh should be used around the pipes to prevent entry of pests through them. In internal parts of plant, all cracks and cervices should be repaired immediately, scheduled empting of trash cans and prompt cleaning of the spills followed by sanitization of the area. Machinery should not be squeezed into tight areas with allowing minimize liquid accumulation within the equipment as well as on the plant floor.
IPM: Pest Controlling Techniques
- Methyl Bromide: It is used for plant fumigations which can be used independently or can be combined with other techniques. It is very much specific to the problems and can be used for spot treatment or can be used for full site treatment, if required.
- Baiting & Trapping: Insect baits can be used for cockroaches and ants and even pheromone traps are being used. Rodent baits are to be used outside the plant or production area where they cannot be tampered.
- Natural/synthetic organophosphate: It is applicate by ultra-low volume method, where it is applied in air suspension form as ULV is effective in rapid knock down of flying insects such as Indian meal moths, tobacco moths, and flies.
- Crack & Crevice treatment: By using liquid or aerosol formulation of insecticides they are applied in small amount in the place where the harborage is suspected.
- Exterior Treatments: It is basically usage of residual insecticides and is useful in controlling some outdoor insects. The used insecticide could be synthetic pyrethroids, chlorpyrifos in liquid or granular form, or diazinon in liquid or granular form.
- Heat Treatment: Temperature range used for this treatment is 51 Deg. C to 57 Deg. C for a period of 24 hours. In plant heating source can also be employed which can make process feasible. For uniform hot air distribution fans could be used.
- Low Temperatures: This method reduces the development rate of pest by removing the favorable required conditions for survival. Temperature range used for this method varies in reference to the targeted pest like -20°C for 1 minute, -10°C for 1-7 days, or 0°C for 1 week to 1 month, depending on the type of pest.
- Phosphine Gas: Phosphine gas is generated by the reaction of metallic phosphide with atmospheric moisture. It is used at relatively high concentrations and is given long exposure times, for example, initial dosages of 900 to 1200 ppm and final concentrations of 200 to 400 ppm for 36 to 48 hours
Without an effective pest management program in place, insects & rodents can infiltrate the food facility, leading to food contamination, product recalls, ruining brand name and several health threats.