Skip to main content

Expert Column: Enhancing Grocers’ Integrated Pest Management Programs


There's no question that the nature of the grocery industry demands the most stringent standards of quality and hygiene. In this environment, having customers see pest activity and contamination of food from pests is simply unacceptable. As a result, grocery stores have the critical need to remain vigilant and maintain careful records ensuring that pest activity doesn't have a negative impact on public health, or their businesses and reputations.

Traditional paper-based methods for documenting pest control activities as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program often result in cumbersome logbooks containing a large number of documents, including inspection tickets, inspector recommendations, chemical specifications, authorized product lists and inspector certifications, to name a few.

Paper Chase

Because of the sheer size of these paper-based logbooks, it can be difficult to find particular documents needed for a health or food safety inspection, as well as to systematically track actions taken as a result of pest inspection results and recommendations. The process is further complicated when multiple site locations are involved, which is often the case for larger grocery chains or those that experience unplanned growth. Additionally, the possibility exists for documents to be misplaced or destroyed.

At the heart of an effective IPM program is the interaction, communication and cooperation that takes place between the grocery store management and the pest management provider, which is one of the main reasons that moving from a paper-based logbook to an online pest management system can deliver huge benefits.

Fortunately, new communication and document management technologies are changing the way pest management programs are managed in the industry. Implementing an online pest management reporting system can go a long way toward enhancing an IPM program and reducing the burden of maintaining pest management records.

Benefits of Online Reporting

With an online pest management system, the servicing pest professional logs the results of an inspection and any recommended remedial actions electronically at the end of a site visit. The information is recorded and visible immediately in real time by the grocer on an easy-to-read dashboard. Pest activity and the nature of any service applications can be highlighted by location, and the system can incorporate tracking of all inspection recommendation and actions subsequently taken concerning them.

Benefits of online pest management reporting include accurate, detailed records of pest activity; recommendations to help improve a pest management program; interactive site plans to demonstrate pest management coverage; customized charts that can assist in identifying pest trends; reports that deliver data directly to a grocer's inbox; multisite tools to help a grocer manage its entire pest control program; and the ability to access information on pest activity 24/7.

A Proactive Approach

Having data about a pest control program organized — and at a grocer's fingertips — in an easily retrievable online database is not only a convenience, it can also enhance the management of the pest control program in the grocer's stores. Leveraging technology to have vital pest control information available on demand, rather than manually maintaining a physical logbook, will save time, reduce the risk of incomplete recordkeeping and help a grocer collaborate with a pest control provider to achieve a successful pest control program.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds