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Pest Control - Inside, Outside and in the Cloud

Larger Animals, Larger Nuisances

Pest control for food companies typically addresses the interior of a food plant and involves insects and small rodents. At times however, plant managers must venture outside to deal with larger nuisance animals. This can include birds and bats nesting on building exteriors, geese congregating on lawns and problems with squirrels, raccoons and even feral pets.

If they are not kept away from buildings, these animals can become more than a nuisance, as their wastes can compromise food safety and sanitation. Different strategies and tools apply here, of course. These include decoys, traps, sonic disrupters and even lasers designed to keep the pests at bay.

"Research continues into safe, effective, toxin-free pest control methods," says Chrissy Hansen, media coordinator at Bird-X Inc. (, Chicago. "In the bird-control field, a recent introduction is the use of laser technology for large areas such as warehouses and storage areas. Laser beams make these areas inhospitable to birds."

Bird-X provides a full line of pest control services for interior insect and rodent control, but it specializes in birds, offering sonic devices, spikes and visual scares. Those scares include decoys resembling owls, foxes and even coyote, and a product called Terror Eyes — a PVC balloon depicting the face of an owl.

If deterrents are not used (or do not succeed), removal of animals also becomes an issue. For this, Advanced Weapons Technology Inc.(, La Quinta, Calif., offers a net-launching device that allows for the humane capture of nuisance animals. The Super Talon Net Gun propels a net over an animal so that it can be safely handled and removed.

The company's website features video demonstrations involving dogs, cats an alligator and an emu.

*Originally published at Food Processing: