Once employees know the basics of
what to look for, they need to know what to
do when they see something. That’s where
a pest-sighting log comes into play. Many
pests can reproduce quickly and spread
dangerous, disease-inducing pathogens
that can make employees sick and
contaminate product, so sightings should
be reported immediately.
The sighting log should be easy for
employees to fill out and include the
• What was seen — was it the pest,
evidence of a pest or a condition
(like a broken door seal) that could
lead to pests?
• When, where and how many pests
were seen. Employees should treat it
almost like a crime scene, where every
detail helps paint a clearer picture of
what’s going on behind the scenes. Let
employees know to record as much
relevant information as possible.
• If pictures are allowed, a photo of
the pest or issue. Or — even better
— a captured pest in a sealable bag
or other container. It’s tough for a pest
management professional to
correctly identify a pest if they
can’t see it themselves, as there are
No matter how strong the IPM program,
pests may still find their way inside the
facility. They’re determined, resilient and
able to fit through tiny gaps. Employees
need to be part of the plan.
There isn’t a team in the world that can
operate effectively without communicating.
Make sure employees know who to go to
when they see pests or pest issues. Keep
employees informed of changes such as
adjustments to the sanitation schedule,
maintenance projects and new pest issues.
Communicate with your pest
management professional to review the
monitoring and trend reports, as well as
the pest sighting log. You’ll be able to
start seeing patterns and be able to start
predicting what may be developing. Make
sure the team understands the annual
facility assessment and what it means
for the next season. Communication also
includes documentation, so keep writing
down everything and ensure all documents
are up to date.
Switch Up Your Game Plan
Things are always changing, and your
IPM plan should reflect that. Consider factors
such as new construction/modifications to
the facility, new equipment and even new
products which could mean a different set
of pest pressures. Use trend reports and
the annual assessment to reevaluate what’s
been going on and how to respond to any
changes to combat any new pest issues.
Once you have everyone on the team
working together, you’ve got a winning
strategy. Start with a good IPM game plan,
educate your employees and set them up
for success with all the right tools (sanitation
schedules, pest sighting logs, etc.), make
changes to the plan as necessary and drive
home the message that everyone has a part
to play, and that it’s a partnership between
the pest management professional and all
employees at the facility.
Chelle Hartzer is Technical Services
Manager for Orkin.
CleanMove is a full line of stainless steel conveyors designed
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