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Funded Project
Funding Program: Working Groups
Project Title: IC SCOPE: Improving IPM by Promoting Pest Prevention through Exclusion in Industrial and Commercial Food Handling Facilities
Project Director (PD):
Stephen Kells [1]
Lead State: MN

Lead Organization: University of Minnesota
Undesignated Funding: $20,000
Start Date: Mar-01-2015

End Date: Feb-29-2016
Pests Involved: Various Urban and Stored Product Pests
Site/Commodity: Food handling facilities
Area of Emphasis: Improved IPM Practices
Summary: In industrial and commercial (IC) food handling facilities (e.g. for stored products; Food Manufacture, storage and distribution; restaurants, grocery stores, etc.), insect and rodent infestations can become chronic. These pests utilize structural faults within and among buildings in order to gain entry, seek refuge from control measures, and disperse to suitable habitats. Chronic infestations result in significant disruptions and economic losses, such as the rejection of products, shutdown of food production for pest control measures, legal actions, and the loss of customer confidence in brands and services. Traditionally, the approach to pest management in IC facilities has been to target sites where pests are visible and easily accessible, while ignoring the unseen source-habitats that generate new and chronic infestations. More research is needed to scientifically evaluate and predictively model pest exclusion (PE) practices as fundamental methods to prevent pest entry, disrupt pest dispersal routes, and eliminate the risk of chronic infestations. Studies are critically needed to promote PE, and to overcome existing and future impediments to successful IPM in IC buildings.

The Scientific Coalition on Pest Exclusion (SCOPE) has been formed to address the need for improving PE measures as part of IPM practices in food handling facilities. This SCOPE working group is composed of research, extension and industry personnel, who will work with stakeholders in several industry sectors dependent upon effective food safety programs. In addition, advances in scientific methodology and the accompanying economic benefits to
stakeholders will reinforce SCOPEs overall curriculum initiatives to overcome impediments in IPM program development in commercial, residential and other buildings outside of the food handling sector. These programs will have a broad reach across the North Central and additional IPM regions.

The SCOPE working group will produce methods and curricula to support PE as a whole-systems approach to IPM, and this work will have highly significant impacts for the following outcomes:

* Increased realization by industry personnel of the potential benefits and challenges of PE techniques
* Discussions and questions about how different stakeholders may apply PE
* Willingness to consider altering practices for improved PE
* Increased realization by industry personnel of the potential benefits and challenges of pest exclusion (PE) techniques
* Facility managers expectations to use PE as a prerequisite practice
* Contracted Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) responding to customer demand by offering PE installation and maintenance services as standard practice
* Greater efficiencies and predictable costs in pest prevention from adoption of validated assessment checklists

Successful conclusion of this project will set the stage for active research on knowledge gaps and priorities to further adoption of PE methods in urban and stored product IPM programs.

Objectives: To achieve these outcomes, we have proposed the following objectives and activities:

1. Assemble a working group to discuss and identify pest exclusion issues in industrial and commercial food handling facilities
2. Prepare a literature review summarizing current PE practices and identifying knowledge gaps in IPM for IC buildings
3. Prepare strategic plans for PE research and development of checklists for PE measures in food handling facilities

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North Central IPM Center
University of Illinois
1102 S. Goodwin Avenue
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p. 217.333.9656 f. 217.333.5245

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