Industry News

Industry News & Case Studies

Common Food Pests – #1: Rodents

Common Food Pests – #1: Rodents

According to the SAPCA, South Africa has 3 main species of rodents regarded as pests – The House Mouse, Black Rat & Norway rat. Their destructive abilities are well documented and an infestation should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Not only do these rodents have the ability to create significant damage but they are also considered vectors for a variety of diseases such as Salmonellosis, Hantavirus and Tularaemia.

Rodents are usually accompanied by fleas which increase the spread of diseases such as Typhus and Bubonic Plague. In addition to all of this, they pose risks of contaminating water supplies through their urine, bringing along some other unpleasant diseases.

While rodents are usually a year round problem, extra prevention measures should be implemented in food manufacturing facilities during autumn and winter months as colder conditions can drive rodents indoors in search of water, food and shelter to survive these colder periods.

Preventative measures

  • Close and seal all points of entry
  • Eliminate any harbourage in and around buildings and as far possible prevent access to food, water and shelter
  • Monitor and check machinery, equipment and your facility often
  • Provide adequate training for your staff – what to look for and the importance of reporting any sightings
  • Work with a reputable company to assist with a pest control program that is suitable for a food processing environment

Indications that Rodents are present

  • Droppings
  • Noises – scurrying, squeaking or gnawing
  • Sightings – dead or alive
  • Smears
  • Burrows
  • Distinctive gnaw mark on cables, packaging or food, smudge marks from their fur
  • Odours
  • Urine stains – detectable with the use of UV light
  • Tracks


Pest control in the food industry has specific requirements and there is a need to follow detailed standards and legislation to ensure food safety is maintained.  A pest prevention program designed by trained professionals should include detailed training records of staff members, records of all sightings, the strategy used for monitoring and the mapping and maintaining of all bait stations.

If your business is in need of a pest prevention program contract the services of a reputable company able to provide the necessary safety assurances.

Ecowize is a proud member of the SAPCA.  l   +27 21 001 2263

Leave a Reply

Get in Touch
Give Us A Call
Covid 19 Update