Hands up, who loves chocolate? Unfortunately, this is not a snack favorite specific to humans.
Many types of pests love nothing more than to chow down on Hershey’s finest. Stored product pests are particularly pesky since they can hide successfully among product and storage containers. If your business stores chocolate products, what can you do to protect your inventory?
Let’s take a deep dive into how to spot and treat stored product pests in your chocolate supplies.
Stored Product Pests Infestations
Stored product pests (SPPs) are types of pests that love to feed on stored food items. This includes a wide range of stored goods, such as grains, flour, powdered milk, and, you guessed it, chocolate.
As mentioned at the outset, some pests, including cockroaches, are not fussy eaters. These pests enjoy chocolate as part of a varied diet.
The stored product pests that particularly migrate toward chocolate include:
- Flour beetles
- Indian meal moths
- Phycitine moths
Naturally, chocolate manufacturers are particularly vulnerable to these types of pests, as large quantities of raw ingredients and finished products are often stored in these facilities.
However, many other businesses also need to store large quantities of chocolate on-site. These businesses include:
- Candy stores
- Boutique chocolate producers
- General stores
- Gas stations
- Online confectionery retailers
Usually, the turnover of products is high in these environments. However, stored product pests are stealthy and can cause damage quickly. It’s even possible to import these pests from a warehouse on delivery without realizing it.
Signs Stored Product Pests Have Infested Chocolate
When you have a stored product pest infestation, you will notice damage to chocolate products.
You may notice holes where insects have bored through packaging and into the chocolate. You may also see dust and signs that insects have been moving from one food source to another.
Infested products become warmer and riddled with waste products. This taints the flavor and also leads to outbreaks of mold.
Finally, you may see the beetles or moths moving around inside the chocolate when you go to inspect said inventory.
These pests are not just confined to business settings. You may also get stored product pests in home pantries as well. The signs are the same as those mentioned above.
Most pests that love chocolate are cosmopolitan feeders. This means they’ll eat a wide range of foods. So if you get an infestation in chocolate, they can quickly start to infest other stored foods in your pantry.
Preventing SPP Infestations in Chocolate
Every business that stores food items needs to have a pest control strategy. Defense is the best form of attack: preventing pests from ever taking up residence in your storeroom or warehouse.
In a family home, it could be as simple as storing smaller quantities of dried goods and chocolate at home.
For businesses, you can also use a “just in time” approach to warehouse restocking. If this sounds a little scary, at least try to reduce the maximum amount of time you store items to just a couple of months.
Employ a first-in, first-out approach, so that older items are sold before newer ones.
The goods receiving process is also critical. Stored products pests are often imported when stocks arrive from warehouses. All stocks should be thoroughly inspected before accepting deliveries.
If any of the goods have the following signs, you should reject them:
- Broken seals
- Damage to the packaging
- Products close to their expiration date
Make your warehouse or storeroom an inhospitable environment for all pests by keeping it spotlessly clean. Warehouse shelving should be regularly wiped down and cleaned. Use vacuums to clean up spills or crumbs immediately.
Make sure all staff understand and buy into your pest control strategy. Regular cleaning means there is nothing for stored product pests to eat, so they won’t be attracted to your inventory.
Use Refrigerated Storage
Another option for storing chocolate is to use refrigerated storage. Chocolate keeps well when stored in refrigerators. This will protect this product from stored product pest infestations.
Handling SPP Infestations
You may take every precaution and still find that you have stored product pests infecting your chocolate supplies. Kudos to them for having good taste, but it’s time to make this their last meal.
Avoid Chemical Insecticides
Two things that never mix: food for human consumption and insecticides. If you go down the insecticide route, you will have a number of issues.
First of all, you’ll have to bring in a pest removal service and close the entire area. Your staff will have to move to a different part of the building for their own safety, forcing you to close down your operation for some time.
You will have to discard any food products that were treated with or exposed to insecticide or even products that were not infested, which can cause a financial blow to your company.
Then, there are the after-effects of insecticides. Thankfully, there is a much better and safer solution: Cryonite.
Why Cryonite Works for Stored Product Pests
Cryonite works because it is safe, leaves no residue, and doesn’t use harmful chemicals.
Cryonite works by covering infested areas with frozen snow, or liquid carbon dioxide, that is sprayed onto the infested items. This kills the pests by freezing them and ensures these pests don’t develop a resistance to the treatment.
Then, you can simply discard infested food products. The remaining stocks will still be perfectly safe to use. Cryonite shines for treatments of sensitive environments, as it’s safe to use on all food prep surfaces.
This low-prep pest control solution means there is no need to close your facility. Employees can get back to it within minutes of the treatment.
Say Goodbye to Stored Product Pests with Cryonite!
Chocolate infested with stored product pests is something no business owner wants to find. But if you do, choose Cryonite.
Cryonite is non-toxic, low-prep, and reduces business downtime. It really is the ultimate solution for stored product pest removal.