As the mercury rises, so will ant pressure and activity in and around your facility.
While ants are one of the least harmful pests, they can be one of the most prolific. Less of a threat to food safety than cockroaches, flies and rodents, ants found in a food processing, service or healthcare facility will still raise a flag with auditors and inspectors.
What are a few ants you might say? Ants seen trailing into a building are just the worker ants that are members of a much larger colony. It is safe to assume that if you see one ant there are many more nearby. It takes an expert to track ants to their source and eliminate the threat. Also, finding the right solution depends on identifying the type of ant that’s causing the problem.
Sprague’s diverse geographic service area puts our service specialists in contact with a variety of ant species including:
- Argentine (California)
- Odorous house (Puget Sound and Oregon)
- Harvester (intermountain region in Idaho, Colorado and Utah)
- Pavement ants – all areas
As the moisture from unusually heavy winter rain and snow dissipates, ants will start foraging for new sources of food and water. Their prime target could be inside your facility where an abundance of the previously mentioned necessities exist.
Ants will look to expand their colonies and establish satellite nests on the exterior and interior of structures. Argentine and odorous house ants are recognized for their ability to quickly establish satellite nests that can include thousands of members.
Jeff Weier, technical director for Sprague, says it is important for clients to remember that an effective ant management program is not an overnight process. Because of their behavior patterns, biology and large colony sizes they won’t disappear instantly following a treatment.
How do you prevent ants from becoming an issue? Sprague’s Weier says good exclusion and sanitation practices – sealing cracks in the foundation, installing door sweeps, cleaning up food spillage and debris, deep cleaning food processing equipment and eliminating excess moisture – are essential.