inspecting for pests with a flashlight

The flashlight is one of the handiest tools our technicians use in finding pest harborage areas.

Did you know the first Eveready flashlight was introduced in 1898? Or that the prototype for the first alkaline battery is on display at the Smithsonian? Who knew flashlights had such a long and storied history?

Every day the Sprague Pest Experts and our fellow pest professionals at Sprague rely on flashlights to help us protect our client’s facilities from unhealthy and destructive pests. You may ask how does a flashlight help manage pests?

It is true that a flashlight can be used as a primitive form of immediate pest elimination (ever see a spider survive an encounter with the business end of a Maglite?) but its real value is helping our service specialists identify and locate pests and pest harborage locations, especially in food processing facilities.

Baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson said, “You can’t hit what you can’t see,” and that is true in pest management as well; you can’t eliminate a pest unless you see where they live, eat and travel.

In food processing facilities (and in all our accounts) the Sprague Pest Experts adhere to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices when it comes to preventing or eliminating pests. One of the pillars of an IPM program is a comprehensive, top-to-bottom inspection of the facility.

It is during the inspection that we use our trusty flashlight (among other tools) to look for signs of pest infestation or conditions inviting to pests in a food processing facility. What are some signs or favorable conditions that could indicate you have a pest problem?

  • Rodent droppings are a telltale sign mice or rats have been active inside your facility. Rodents like warm locations near food and water sources (inside machinery is a favorite harborage spot) and can gain access to your facility in shipping pallets, boxes or raw food commodities.

  • All pests – rodents, flies, birds, ants - enjoy it when you make their job easier. Loading dock doors that are left open or that do not have air doors installed, torn window and ventilation screens, lighting too close to the building, openings along the foundation or on the roof around heating and cooling units, all provide easy access to your building for ever-eager pests.

  • Excess water from a leaky faucet or hose, poor fitting lids (or no lids at all) on raw food commodity containers, spills that aren’t cleaned up, infrequent removal of garbage, and failure to properly inspect incoming shipment for evidence of pests (gnawed boxes, torn packaging, etc.) are conditions that invite pests to come on in.

Food processing facilities are a beehive (excuse the pun) of activity at all hours of the day. With people and product shipments coming and going all the time, opportunistic pests will look to take advantage and gain access anyway they can.

Protecting your facility from pests starts with a thorough inspection and analysis from the Sprague Pest Experts. Based on what we find and see (with our trusty flashlight leading the way!) we can make recommendations and execute a pest management plan that has you seeing results and pests seeing the door.

If you have questions on preventing and eliminating pests in food processing facilities, the Sprague Pest Experts are ready to help. Send us an e-mail at info@spraguepest.com and we’ll be happy to get back with you with more information.


The Sprague Pest Experts