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Help addressing pest harborage, please?


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#1 Parkz58

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:32 PM

Greetings,

 

We've got a bit of a conundrum.  As you can see in the pictures, our ceiling joists sit on top of the cinder block wall, then extend back to the corrugated metal "skin" around the building's exterior.  This effectively creates a "shelf" of sorts, roughly 6 inches deep and about 5 or 6 inches high.

 

My boss has had two food industry experts tell him he should fill it in somehow to prevent pest harborage.  I'm not so convinced.

 

I look at the irregularity of the space and cannot imagine how we could fill that gap (which goes all the way around the ceiling, obviously) in such a way that we actually don't create an even WORSE pest harborage, such as having small cracks/crevices and open pockets of space behind, where pests would LOVE to hide.

 

In my mind, the best course of action here is to actually leave it completely open, as-is, and acknowledge it in our Sanitation and Pest Control programs.  We can then establish regular schedules for inspection, cleaning, and appropriate pest control.

 

I realize that it's not ideal.  I've even thought about how we might be able to create a slope to the ledge, but I'm not sure that is even very feasible.

 

Thoughts from any of you who have dealt with similar situations?  Or anyone with auditing experience who can give me the auditor's perspective on this?

 

FYI, we are not third-party accredited (only FSMA compliant), and we are producing grain products in a dry processing environment, no RTE products.

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Brian

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#2 Scampi

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:49 PM

I would cover it with "fascia" on the side. One edge attached to ceiling, the other to the cinder block wall.......obviously that wall needs to breathe or you may have larger problems (building maintenance wise).  I wouldn't suggest leaving it open, there are just too many places for critters to control, and since you're a dry environment, you cannot clean in the void with a spray down

 

the other alternative is expanding spray foam......(very inexpensive) and then monitor it once/week or so for deterioration and replace areas as required.


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#3 Parkz58

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:56 PM

Scampi, how does that make sense?  All that does is create a void behind the fascia, which is even worse...it's a perfect hiding place for pests!  They don't like being out in the open (which is what it is now)...they would love it if we created a new home for them!

 

We thought about expanding spray foam, but it tends to shrink and deteriorate after time, and getting up there to check it and repair it weekly simply isn't feasible.  We can inspect the open area weekly relatively easy, and clean it as needed...but once there is something else up there, it will be much more difficult to view, and much more labor intensive.

 

I need a solution that will completely fill every single nook and cranny, won't deteriorate, and is made of material that repels pests...or at least, is made of something they don't like and will avoid.

 

Otherwise, I can't see how it makes any sense to do anything further.



#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 06:04 PM

Hi Brian,

 

I would leave it open and do what you mentioned about checking it.

 

I had a client with similar issue and they went ahead and "filled" it in - it created an even bigger issue because mice absolutely loved building condo's inside the blown in foam.  They turned around at my suggestion and ripped it all out and left it the way yours is right now.

 

Another one, had just taken over a the building and wanted to fill in, however decided against it as it would also create a humidity issue.

 

So, I think your idea is the best.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
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#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 03:11 PM

I agree with Glen. My building has a similar "shelf" halfway up the wall completely surrounding the warehouse where the thick insulated wall ends and the thin fiberglass wall begins to let light in. We inspect it periodically for evidence of pests and dust accordingly. I would increase inspection intervals if for some reason I started seeing things caught in my interior traps.


Austin Bouck
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#6 Parkz58

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 04:11 PM

Thanks SQFconsultant and FFF,

 

I agree with both of your assessments, and after talking to my boss, we've decided that this is the way we're going to go.

 

Brian






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