Inspecting Incoming Goods is Essential for Keeping Pests Out of Facilities

How often do you talk to your commercial clients about inspecting incoming goods, pallets, packages, and so forth for pest activity? If you are like most of us, probably not enough.

logistics-858903 copy(Note to readers from the food processing industry, especially quality assurance managers and  plant managers: if you don’t inspect incoming goods, talk with your pest management professional about what you should be looking for and best practices for your industry. Even consider a mini-training session on the topic. If your pest management professional can’t help you, try his manager, and if he can’t… you might want to consider another pest management company who specializes in food processing pest control.)

It boggles my mind to think about some of the pests I’ve seen arrive on pallets and in packages:

  • German cockroaches (on an international shipment)
  • Mice (of course… I heard a study where a distribution center had more mice show up on pallets than through dock doors. Is your rodent management program set up for this type of invasion?)
  • Black widows
  • Brown widows
  • And my personal favorite: a Coptotermes termite only found in East Asia (Copotoermes is the group that includes the Formosan termite).

The termites were sent to a landfill, and a couple of swarmers were sent to me for identification. Non-US termites are outside of my realm of insect identification skills, so I sent them to the USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, who, in turn, sent them off to a specialist in Washington, DC for identification. I never heard back regarding an identification. Sometimes, when I think about the samples, I think of them ending up in some X-Files type secret government lab, preserved in formaldehyde, in a jar next to a jar containing the alien that Deep Throat shot. Who knows?

A Walmart in Superior, Wisconsin, recently got a shipment in that contained what looks to be an exotic and dangerous Brazilian spider. If this can happen in Superior, Wisconsin, of all places, with a pest from South America… don’t think that your clients’ incoming goods are somehow exempt and safe. Be proactive, and this month, make a point to talk to them about the importance of inspecting incoming goods.

Here’s an excerpt from the article and a link to the Superior Telegram:

Sheila Terry got more than just a bunch of bananas from her shopping trip to the Superior WalMart on Tuesday.

The Terrys, both 53, took the spider to Larry Weber, a retired science teacher, member of the American Arachnological Society and author of numerous nature books, including “Spiders of the North Woods.”

After looking at the insect under a microscope, Weber said he’s “90 percent sure” it’s a Brazilian wandering spider.

“It is one of the world’s most dangerous spiders,” he said.

Inspecting your incoming goods is essential to keep pests out of your facility.  With the increase in international trade and globalization, this is more important than ever.