Archives - January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015
When you see one of the Sprague Pest Experts arrive at your facility over the next few months, you may notice something different about them. Yes, they will still provide the efficient, reliable service they always have but their service vehicles and uniforms will have a fresh, updated look.
Sprague Pest Solutions has updated its logo and colors as part of comprehensive corporate rebranding initiative that will roll out over the next few months. While we may have tweaked our look some, you can count on receiving the same exceptional, innovative pest management services that you have come to expect and that are delivered by some of the industry’s best trained personnel.
What food processing, transportation or distribution facility or QA manager doesn’t want to improve their operation’s efficiencies and reduce risk? With an increased emphasis on food safety and stricter and more comprehensive third-party audits taking place, food industry professionals need to take advantage of every tool available.
The Sprague Pest Experts have introduced their Online Logbook audit compliance tool that will assist food industry clients prepare for and pass critical third-party audits. A complete online option for audit compliance, the Sprague Online Logbook reduces a facility’s risk by eliminating redundant data, ensuring there are no missing SDS, labels, licenses and Certificate of Insurance.
When auditors arrive there will no hunting for files or guesswork involved – all your audited records from the last 12-months will be housed in a single, secure, restricted-access location that is easy to get to when you need it most.
The Sprague Online Logbook also offers clients the following benefits and advantages when preparing for an audit:
Intuitive Reports and Graphs – Simple to find and easy to run. Conditions with comments, pest trending by specific pest and group of pests. Service records with pest activity, device inspections and material applications all in one place.
Easy To Use – No Filters, Exporting or Auditor Digging – Using the system is easy. Log on one-time and select your pest, pick your date and select your device type and the information is available. There is no exporting data, looking for extra comments or old data (beyond 12 months) clouding the search – you and your auditor get exactly what is needed.
Confidence With Automatic Updates – Your facility’s service records, pest trending data, Safety Data Sheets and labels, licensing and training records are updated automatically when Sprague’s service technicians sync their service reports.
There is no charge to activate the system and training is available to help client’s learn how to take advantage of this useful, time-saving technology. Contact Sprague to get started.
Did you know mice can produce a new litter of up to a dozen offspring every three weeks? Did you know that mice can drop up to 25,000 bacteria laden fecal pellets each year – that is 70 times a day – and can urinate up to 3,000 times in a single day?
These facts put a spotlight on the threats rodents pose to commercial facilities as the Sprague Pest Experts and pest management professionals across the country recognize November 15-21 as National Rodent Awareness Week.
The threats presented by rodents to commercial facilities are significant. Rodent droppings and urine can trigger allergies and asthma; contaminate food, food preparation surfaces and equipment; and spread harmful bacteria including E. coli and salmonella. Rodents can also chew through wood, drywall and electrical wiring increasing the risk for fires.
The first step to a successful rodent management program is making your facility inaccessible to curious rodents seeking food, water and harborage. The Sprague Pest Experts have decades of experience excluding rodents from structures both big and small, new and old and offer the following six rodent exclusion tips:
- Make sure that to use quality exclusion materials installed by a trained expert is done or you will be wasting your time and money.
- All rodent entry pathways entering or connecting to structures at ground level, below ground and above ground are carefully inspected and sealed to prevent entry.
- Look up – most rodent exclusion programs forget to cover a structure’s roof – one of the most common entry points for rodents with its multiple vents and utility openings.
- Keep the door closed – be sure overhead doors have sturdy weather-stripping installed to deny rodents access.
- Keep the landscape around your facility to a minimum and well-maintained. Overgrown shrubs and grass provide the perfect cover for rodents looking for a way in.
- Don’t underestimate a rodent’s ability to gain access to a building; they only an opening of a ¼ inch to make their way inside.
Fall is an important time for bird management in commercial facilities since most species of protected migratory birds head south for warmer climates and abandon their nesting sites. Control efforts – including deterrents and exclusion work – should be performed during this time to prevent the birds from returning in the spring and re-establishing nesting sites.
Bird work can often exceed a client’s normal operating budget for traditional pest management services and should be planned for in advance.
Keith Rowney, Sprague Pest Solutions’ special services manager and certified bird control specialist, says fall is a good time for commercial clients to examine capital expense budgets and determine what is needed for next year or if there is money left in this year’s budget complete unfinished projects.
“Even though the birds may have vacated their nesting sites in your facility, out of sight should not mean out of mind when it comes to bird management,” says Rowney. “Doing partial or stop gap measures will not deliver an effective deterrent or exclusion program and leaves your facility at risk.”
Rowney says when facilities add up the costs of power washing and cleaning, replacement of corroded fixtures and the cost of spoiled product, budgeting a comprehensive bird management program makes sense.
Birds are unique problem in commercial facilities because they can easily navigate between facilities that are miles apart and deliver pathogens (in their droppings) that contain harmful bacteria including listeria, E. coli and salmonella that can be brought inside a facility on the sole of an employee’s shoe or land on food ingredients or preparation areas if the birds gain access inside.
More restrictive audit standards brought on by the Food Safety Modernization Act will require commercial facilities pay closer attention to their bird management programs.
“In the past bird control was often overlooked when it came to third-party audits but with increasing pressure from regulatory and audit requirements to safely steward food and packaging materials from farm to table, making sure birds do not pose a threat to your facility and its contents is essential,” says Rowney.
One species of bird that is of particular concern even though its slight physical appearance doesn’t look threatening is the house sparrow. Sparrows are the number one structural bird pest for incursions in warehouses and retail facilities, and are known carriers of Campylobacter, the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea in the United States.
More than 2 million cases are reported each year and it is estimated that approximately 100 persons with Campylobacter infections die each year.
This non-native, unprotected species can go virtually unnoticed because of its size and habit of nesting in small out of the way locations such drop ceilings, soffits and eaves, and inside light fixtures. They will create holes in walls and ceiling insulation especially around utility intrusions to established well-protected nests.
“Sparrows can easily nest out of sight within a large warehouse, logistics or retail facility, and can breed year around if they find a heated, secure nesting location, and reliable sources of food and water,” says Rowney.
The most effective management method for sparrows in warehousing and retail facilities is to physically exclude them. This means performing basic maintenance including repairing openings in ventilation and window screens, installing air doors, repairing broken windows, fixing roofs and installing quality netting materials.
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