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Insects in pallets, how to verify Pallet Heat Treatment?

IPPC Stamp Heat Treat Pallet Insects

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#1 zac2944

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:47 PM

Is there any way to test a pallet to verify that is has been heat treated?

 

I've recently been receiving pallets from my supplier that are infested with a wood boaring beetle, identified as Ambrosia Beetles by my pest control company.  We pay for pallets to be heat treated (to kill bugs), and they do come in with the IPPC stamp indicating that they are heat treated, but I'm not buying it.  My understanding is that the heat treatment should kill any bugs.  A co-worker says he used to work at the pallet supplier and they often just stamp pallets without actually heat treating them. 

 

I've requested corrective action from the supplier, but the problem persists.  We ramped up inspection and cull out any we identify in house, but I'm still getting beetles in my fly lilghts and finding boring holes in pallets.  I'm going to the pallet suppliers site tomorrow to meet with them and audit their process; not sure what will come of it.  Dropping the supplier is my last resort, but will be a pain and probably add cost.

 

So what can I do to verify that this heat treatement actually happens?  A stamp is just a stamp. I can a stamp on anything but that doesn't mean it was actually heat treated.

 

Anyone else have these pallet/insect issues?

 

 


Edited by zac2944, 17 November 2014 - 08:48 PM.


#2 Snookie

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:01 PM

While you are probably right, you  might also check your environment.  I recently a had a borer get into my plant.  Pest control felt it had from the nearby park as they are having a problem with some of the nearby trees. 


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#3 Anne Z

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 11:02 AM

Hi,

 

Pallets can be heat treated (to kill bugs), but when they are not stored propperly you can have bugs like http://en.wikipedia....iki/Latridiidae

I'm not sure if there is a way to test the pallets. It might be better to audit your supplier and demand actions or switch from your supplier if you don't trust him.

 

Anne



#4 zac2944

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for the replies.

 

While you are probably right, you  might also check your environment.  I recently a had a borer get into my plant.  Pest control felt it had from the nearby park as they are having a problem with some of the nearby trees. 

We know they are from the pallets because we find little holes in the wood, and you can also see little piles of wood dust from where they bore our the holes.  We do get box elder beetles from near by trees, but this particular pest we are most certain is from the pallets.

 

Hi,

 

Pallets can be heat treated (to kill bugs), but when they are not stored propperly you can have bugs like http://en.wikipedia....iki/Latridiidae

I'm not sure if there is a way to test the pallets. It might be better to audit your supplier and demand actions or switch from your supplier if you don't trust him.

 

Anne

 

I've got my audit set for this afternoon, so we will see. 



#5 RG3

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 04:10 PM

Just like you're audit ready when an auditor comes in house I'm sure they'll be. Everything running to a T. You're best bet is to "interrogate" a few of the workers and start asking questions. "What do you do when your heat treated chamber goes down?" OOOoOOo so you just stamp them anyway you say..hmmm...and how often does this happen?..."Where do you store your pallets after they're heat treated?" OoOooOoo right next to these dead trees filled with fungus you say...hmmm



#6 Snookie

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 04:33 PM

Just like you're audit ready when an auditor comes in house I'm sure they'll be. Everything running to a T. You're best bet is to "interrogate" a few of the workers and start asking questions. "What do you do when your heat treated chamber goes down?" OOOoOOo so you just stamp them anyway you say..hmmm...and how often does this happen?..."Where do you store your pallets after they're heat treated?" OoOooOoo right next to these dead trees filled with fungus you say...hmmm

:roflmao:


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#7 CMHeywood

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 06:49 PM

Document the number of shipments with infested pallets and the number of pallets with evidence of infestation.  Show this to your supplier.  The data will indicate that they are not doing a good enough job to control infestation whether or not they are being honest with you.  The next step then is to frequently audit them weekly, biweekly, monthly or whatever you can afford to do.  If they don't pass your audits, then the next step is to tell them you will need to find another supplier.  If this doesn't get them to improve, you would have to change to a different supplier.

 

Heat treatment should kill the bugs.  The only smoking gun is to find live insects.  Otherwise the supplier is going to say no problem since the bugs you find are dead.  Finding sawdust by a bore hole in a pallet would indicate infestation after the pallet was made.  If they store pallets outside, then they may be getting infestation even after they heat treat the pallets.



#8 RG3

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for the replies.

 

We know they are from the pallets because we find little holes in the wood, and you can also see little piles of wood dust from where they bore our the holes.  We do get box elder beetles from near by trees, but this particular pest we are most certain is from the pallets.

 

 

I've got my audit set for this afternoon, so we will see. 

 

So what did you deduce from your audit? I'm curious to how perfect everything looked on your audit.



#9 Snookie

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 07:16 PM

So what did you deduce from your audit? I'm curious to how perfect everything looked on your audit.

 

I am curious as well.


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#10 zac2944

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:17 PM

 

So what did you deduce from your audit? I'm curious to how perfect everything looked on your audit.

 

The pallet suppliers site looked alright; about what I expected for a pallet mill. No outside pallet storage; they really didn't have the space to do this.

They currently don't monitor for insects at their site, so they have agreed to implement this. The also agreed to construct a separate storage area for my pallets post heat treatment. Their treatment lots are larger then my deliveries, so they were storing my treated pallets next to non-treated.

The suspected source of the pests was isolates to a mill in PA, and they have stopped using this mill, but I'm still seeing 20-40 of these pests a week in my fly lights. It varies really. When there is a spike I may see 200+, and then the number go down.

They agreed to a number of other improvements like added inspects, but none of that is verifiable so I don't add much weight to it.

I will be performing monthly unannounced audits to ensure the improvements agreed to are implemented. The supplier is only a few miles from my plant to it is easy to stop over unannounced.

Bottom line is the bugs need stop showing up at my facility or we switch to another supplier. The down side it that the other suppliers might be worse. There are only 3 players in town and they're all shady.

I just reached out to some other quality folks at my food/pharm customer in town to see who they are using and if they see these issues.

#11 Snookie

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:03 AM

Sounds like a good plan.  Fingers crossed they do what they need to do. 


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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 01:01 PM

Dear zac,

 

Their treatment lots are larger then my deliveries, so they were storing my treated pallets next to non-treated.

 

I know absolutely nothing about beetles (except some are associated with Stags) but the above sounds like a simple recipe for disaster.

 

Do beetles never go on holiday ? Or observe TGIF ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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