As depicted in Table 10 (below), food facilities use fumigation services to control or eliminate a large number of pests. We generally think of stored product-feeding beetles, weevils and moths as most associated with fumigation services, and this was true in the QA survey as related to flour beetles — the pest most commonly targeted in fumigation (50%). However, cockroaches and other structural pests were the second most common — both listed by 33% of respondents as targeted for fumigation control.
In addition to a vast array of species, the pests targeted in a fumigation service were said to originate from many different sources, with incoming ingredients/foods being the most commonly cited source by those facilities that use fumigation:
- Incoming ingredients/foods. With half (50%) of respondents stating that pests for which they use fumigation services most commonly originate in incoming ingredients and foods, more facilities may want to consider trailer fumigation (as the 31% did in Table 7, pg. F4). Additionally, it could be advantageous for these to increase their supplier pest control requirements to decrease their need for fumigation.
- Exterior environment. As the second most commonly cited source, by 25% of respondents, pests coming from the exterior can be a significant source of infestations. However, structural exclusion methods should also be implemented to potentially decrease the need for fumigation and other chemical applications.
- Non-food incoming supplies. Other incoming supplies can be a source of pest infestations, as noted by 6% of respondents. As previously noted, it could be advantageous for businesses to increase their supplier pest control requirements — for non-food suppliers as well.
- Employees/visitors. Only 3% found employees or visitors to be a source of pests targeted for fumigation. This is not surprising, however, given that many of the pests that may be unintentionally carried into a facility on persons or in their belongings are not always treatable with fumigation, such as bed bugs, or may be seen as having fumigation as a very last option, such as cockroaches.
- Unknown. Although it may seem to be surprising that 14% did not know the origination of the pest for which fumigation was conducted, it can be very difficult to determine pest sources, particularly once an infestation is well underway, commodities have been combined, etc.