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Severe mosquito issue, looking for suggestions


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#1 Tgoss

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:09 PM

Hey folks,

I currently work in a facility that produces several products which are used in the food industry (as water treatment or minor additives for flavoring). We are pursuing SQF certification and hope to be ready for our desk audit end of March.

We are on the port, and mosquito's are a HUGE problem here. So much so that in my last 2 walk throughs of the plant I lost count at 20 visible mosquito bites just from a walk through. Up until recently employees would use deep woods off, or other self purchased mosquito repellents. I know that is now not an option. 

I've reached out to my pest control rep to see what options they can provide. 

What I am wondering is have any food producers run into this problem, and what type of personal sprays or repellents (specifically for mosquito's) have you used with success that we can prove will not be a food safety hazard. I would ideally like to purchase these ourselves for our employees and add them to our approved chemicals list so that we have complete control over their use.

 

Thank you in advance for any assistance you might provide!



#2 Watanka

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:53 PM

Tgoss,

 

I am not a fan of adding more chemicals, even if food grade, to make things go away.  Particularity in food facilities.  Recommend you make sure the facility is bug-proof.  Mosquitoes breed in standing water.  Being next to the port you probably have lots of that.  Make sure there are no breeding grounds inside or in the immediate vicinity of your facility.  Your neighbors may be the source of some of your mosquito problem.  Mosquitoes do not like air movement.  Air pressure at doors and fans inside help keep them away.  Your pest control service can provide you with strategically placed passive devices to mitigate the problem.  Contact your local university entomology department.  Perhaps a bright grad student can share some ideas to abate the problem.



#3 ebb30

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:54 PM

How are mosquitoes getting into your facility? May not be helpful in your case, but a (in my oppinion) smart idea I read about is not putting lights on your building, but instead shining lights onto your building from several feet away. For example, if you need light by a doorway, you place a light in the ground that shines up at it from 5-10 feet away. This way as bugs congregate around the source of the light, far less bugs go in through an open door. Lights now are usually directly above doorways so at night everything comes in. Hope you find a way to resolve your issue! 



#4 012117

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 11:31 PM

Hi, Tgoss.

 

From my experience, what we did before is similar to ebb is saying. Perhaps you need to re-orient your lighting fixture away from the building. Or you if you are able, check what lighting is available to you, if you can work with yellow or sodium vapor lamp or LED light then it will you further to minimize attraction. If you also have plastic curtain, you may consider the use of yellow one and check if there are insecutors possibly attracting pest from the outside.

 

 

Ultimately, conduct facility audit around your factory, check if there are water pondings and vegetation not being cut. Check all your scrap areas and other possible water accumulation point (or your cooling towers if you have). These are the possible breeding ground and if you only pertain to the area around you as the possible source, just look for the possible source of attraction.

 

I would suggest that I also do tour around my facility at night and see where lizard on the wall or droppings are the heaviest, then may focus on the 1st going out.



#5 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 11:44 PM

Hey Tgoss,

 

You can treat these tricky buggers without an increase to your pesticide count if you create positive air pressure inside your facility and control airflow through your doors.  The positive pressure in your building will push them out when the doors are open and the airflow pressure points “air curtains” at your doors will create a wall of wind that will keep them from entering.  It is a challenge and can be pricey but it is definitely possible.  Ask your pest control company about adding air curtains at your doors.

 

Cheers!


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#6 Tgoss

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:39 PM

1. Seals and positive air pressure won't work (outside process)

2. I will definitely look into the lighting, that might alleviate some issues if feasible for us, but if this requires point of entry control that won't really be a workable solution

3. We are working on engineering ways to drain any standing water, but the nature of the area limits us from eliminating all standing water which would contribute to this

 

Sorry, I didn't give enough info originally. We are considered an "outside process". Technically we have buildings, but the process itself is enclosed in pipes, etc. and for the sake of certification has been labeled outside process (some areas of our process are actually outside of these buildings, chemical plant). We limit access to the building and grounds but some areas are fenced only. Security is also handled by access to the port itself (being a port, port authority take entry/exit seriously).

I have put out an APB to my pest control so I am hoping they will have some suggestions. The challenge is we are on the port near Houston (much of this area was under water this time last year due to hurricane) and standing water here isn't just an issue, it's a way of life.

As with any problem that affects employees, you can imagine morale and buy in for SQF certification is ebbing. Their consultant came in and did a hard stop to any employees using mosquito repellent, which I do understand. I fear it's getting to walkout levels though, as you can hear Flight of the Valkyries (mosquito's) playing every time you step out to the process...



#7 Simon

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 03:06 PM

This probably won’t help warning.  :ninja:

 

This year’s summer holiday was to Majorca.  First night I was feasted upon by Asian (Tiger) Mosquitoes.  At least 50 meals served.  They only needed to ask and I’d have put a saucer out.  The next day we purchased citron creams and sprays for exposed skin and they never came near for the remainder of the holiday.  We also had a lemon candle constantly burning near the front door and no mosquitoe would enter.  Initially we also had a lot of ants in the kitchen, but after lighting the lemon candle not a single ant would cross the threshold.  It’s clear they hate lemon/citron. 

 

I researched mosquitoes quite a bit whilst chilling and an interesting fact for you.  Not many mosquitoes at Disney even though it’s in the middle of a giant swamp.  It’s because they have a preventative approach.  Mosquitoes locate prey by our breath (carbon dioxide) and so Disney employee a team that manage carbon dioxide traps where they breed, well away from the magic kingdom.

 

I did say it’d be of no help. :thumbup:

 

P.S. Several weeks later some of the bites still itch. 

 

Cheers,

Simon


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#8 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 03:11 PM

Have you looked into larviciding?  Methoprene briquettes or methoprene fluid is non-toxic and can be used in the water/swampy areas around your processes.  The fact that your processes are sealed will help when writing out your plans as you will only need to specifically address controls around the access points to the product.  I am thinking that if you want this plan to be as effective as possible that you are going to need to introduce several layers of defense.  Lights, chems, drainage, etc.


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#9 Tgoss

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 02:04 PM

Thanks guys. I am meeting with Terminex today here at our facility at 1. I am going to hear his suggestions and then run some of these ideas by him if he doesn't mention them. Appreciate it!



#10 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 04:53 PM

Best of luck Tgoss.  Let us know how it turns out.  We can see if any of us were even close to the right response :spoton:


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#11 Tgoss

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 02:26 PM

Well, the pest rep recommended a monthly spray of Suspend Polizone for use on the exterior of the facility. It was already in our approved pest chems list for exterior so it seemed like a no brainer first step. He is also going to have his team do some research into a type of self applied repellent for our employees, which he said he will make sure he has specific instructions on use if he finds any that are made for the food industry. I want to avoid this if possible because I can see this being a hard system to control, but we'll see how the polizone works.

If the polizone doesn't cut the issue sufficiently, (he estimates 80-90% cut entering building threshold) then he says we should move up to the larvacidal deposits for any standing water in the perimeter. He did say that due to our layout and being an open air facility, the lights and of course positive pressure wouldn't work for us.



#12 012117

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 09:06 AM

Will additional application entail additional cost? It could be a temporary solution but always emphasize that the goal of IPM as always is to improve pest management by improving the exclusion and cleaning while reducing chemical application. Should not be the other way around. Good luck on the journey :)






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