1 Why does inspection matter so much in Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

A true IPM program means less reliance on chemical means to control pests, focusing on exclusion, sanitation improvements, environmental modifications, and correction of behavioral practices that promote pest survival. The success of these non-chemical methods starts with identification of risk. If your primary defense is noticing a potential problem, inspection is the first, and most critical, order of business.

2 What is the difference between a base, cursory inspection and a thorough, quality inspection?

A quality inspection is a “three-dimensional” inspection. Visualize the inside of a building as if you were mapping it for Google Earth — ensuring a complete 360° view that includes behind, above, and below, not just in front of you. Good technicians approach inspecting your facility the same way — considering all possibilities from a “360° view.” They also make sure to talk to employees on the floor about their pest concerns, going beyond reading comments in a pest-sighting log.

3 Where is it most critical to inspect in my facility?

It is most critical that your pest management provider inspect areas that are most at risk of pest entry, such as those near doors and areas with a lot of employee activity. In addition, consider areas without devices, like the middle of a warehouse. While rodents usually travel the perimeter, they make exceptions for the right conditions. Another often overlooked inspection opportunity is that of your incoming goods — you should inspect all products and their transportation vehicles right away on delivery.

4 How do I know that my pest management technician is doing a thorough job of inspection in my facility?

Passing an audit is table-stakes expectations in food processing. Ensuring your program is implemented as designed with inspection as a priority is one step further. A thorough inspector not only performs 3-D inspections, they spend just as much time communicating and documenting their findings — verbally and in writing — and explaining where your risks are and what you can do about it.

5 How can I help incorporate more meaningful inspection into my existing pest management program?

Ensuring the inspection time is meaningful relies on having a thorough understanding of your hot spots (i.e., the areas that keep you awake at night) and communicating this information to your pest control company. Partner together to build a robust plan that can be executed by both teams to ensure inspection supports your desired outcomes.