McCloud Services, a leading pest management company servicing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and Wisconsin, is generating awareness on stored product insects (SPIs) and the threat they cause to grain-based foods, especially pet foods. Common SPIs include indianmeal moth, warehouse beetles and cigarette beetles and they live in the food they are eating. If populations grow, they can be difficult to control.
According to McCloud Services, pet stores and the pet section of retail stores have a huge challenge on their hands as a large majority of their product is grain-based pet food, which is highly susceptible to SPIs. SPIs can be difficult to detect as they are very small, typically 1/8” to 1/4” long.
“Grain-based stored product foods, such as dog food, are vulnerable to pest populations from the moment it was created in the food processing plant, to the moment it is used. At any point along the food’s ‘life,’ it can be infested,” said Anna Getchell, operations process manager at McCloud Services.
Mitigating the risk can seem overwhelming by considering the path the food takes and all the points in which it’s vulnerable to SPIs, from the manufacturer and transporter, to the retail store and ultimately the consumer.
“Sanitation, exclusion and monitoring are all very important for prevention. SPIs don’t need much food in order to survive, just a handful of dog food trapped behind a pallet rack leg can house a population of warehouse beetles for months. Pheromone-based monitoring tools are typically the most effective, quickly letting us know if there’s a population that needs to be controlled. Looking at their environment is also important, such as the temperature and shelf life of the product as well,” added Getchell.
McCloud Services discusses the severity of SPIs and prevention methods in its white paper “Keeping Pet Food from Becoming Pest Food,” detailing the journey pet food takes through its life, how it becomes susceptible to stored product pests and ways to mitigate the risk including sanitation, exclusion, monitoring, temperate controls, shelf life and other prevention methods.