can continue to be used safely. The
Registration Review Program began in
2006 with the goal of reviewing each
pesticide’s registration every 15 years to
make sure that the pesticide would still
meet EPA standards.
IPM: Beginning of a New Era
In the early 1980s, a new era of pest
management began with integrated pest
management (IPM). Although there are
many definitions, IPM can be defined
as prevention or suppression of pest
problems through a combination of
techniques such as monitoring for pest
presence and establishing treatment
threshold levels, using nonchemical
practices to eliminate conditions that
are conducive to pest development,
improving sanitation, and employing
mechanical and physical controls. IPM
takes advantage of all appropriate pest
management options including, but not
limited to, the judicious use of pesticides that pose the least risk to people
and the environment.
Monitoring and Inspections
With the introduction of global food
safety audits (e.g., British Retail Consortium, Safe Quality Food) and ongoing
regulations, now more than ever, pest
management programs must be clearly
defined. The service technician must
have the education, communication
skills, and on-site experience to carry
out the duties of a pest management
Equally important, a well-maintained
IPM program is not just the responsibility of the PMP; it also involves the food
safety manager, quality control technician, the maintenance supervisor, and
the plant manager—the entire facility
Monitoring, data analysis, and inspections are the cornerstone of effective pest management.
• A well-designed IPM program depends upon an early warning system.
Trap monitoring is an ideal method
for detecting and even measuring the
extent of an infestation.
• Interpreting the data from sticky
traps, pheromones, insect light traps,
and mechanical devices is extremely
important for identifying pest pat-
terns or sudden increases in activity.
Noted entomologist Wendell Burk-
holder, Ph.D., is quoted as saying,
“The use of pheromones and trap-
ping procedures are not difficult.
However, the timing and placement
of traps as well as interpretation of
the results require a good under-
standing of insect biology and be-
• Monitoring and data analysis sup-
port visual inspections. Knowing
where the potential “hot spots” are
can be a valuable asset. Most impor-
tant, the PMP and the food safety
team should be aware of those con-
ditions that contribute to pest entry,
attraction, and potential infestation.
Over the past 50 years, there has
been a dramatic transition in how
pest management programs are now
performed. With few exceptions, food
handling establishments no longer have
scheduled pesticide treatments. From
those days of pesticide dependency,
estimates indicate pesticide usage has
been reduced by more than 95 percent
in many food plants and warehouses.
Today, IPM, pest prevention, corrective
actions, and science-based technologies
have the greatest impact in solving pest
Richard Kammerling is president of RK Pest Management Services. His career spans more than 40 years in
devloping new pest control technologies, troubleshooting pest problems, and designing food safety and IPM
1. In 2017, EPA reinstated Dursban. The final
decision is in the courts. Based on the history of
this pesticide and having firsthand knowledge,
I believe bringing Dursban back to the food
industry would not be a wise decision.
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