Controlling Pests Around Farm Buildings

By Wayne Du, On-Farm Food Safety Specialist, OMAF and MRA

Pests such as rodents and insects that inhabit farm buildings can carry pathogens, contaminate food or spread disease. If not properly controlled they will not only cost you money but can also potentially put your business in jeopardy. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs are here to help you keep up to date on the latest food safety practices, so you can meet your buyer requirements, ensure food safety and protect your business. Here are some general tips for putting a lid on pests.

Keep pests out

o     Deny access to new invaders by making sure potential entry points are sealed off such as fixing holes and cracks, repairing windows, walls and roof, and installing screens for vents, eaves and windows.

o     Remove debris, and control weeds and other vegetation in a 0.5-1.0 m border around buildings to eliminate harborage areas.

Discourage them

o     Deny access to food and water sources. Keep buildings clean and garbage containers covered. Remove garbage and other food sources in a timely fashion.

o     Repair leaky taps and pipes and remove standing water sources in and around buildings.

Catch and exterminate them

o     Use traps, glue boards/strips or other devices to catch them.

o     In non-food production areas use chemical products that are approved for use in Canada to exterminate them.

o     Locate traps and chemical products away from food and packing material storage areas and avoid hanging sticky glue board/strips directly above exposed food.

o     Label all chemical containers and bait stations clearly with appropriate warnings. Check traps and dead pests frequently and dispose of them properly.

Monitor pest control practices

o     Evaluate pest control practices at regular intervals such as monthly by observing if there is a pest population reduction or elimination.

o     Ensure pest control practices are kept up to date and adjust practices if necessary.

Effective pest control in and around farm building is essential to safe food production. To protect food and your business make pest control one of your food safety priorities.

Food safety is everyone’s responsibility. To attend one of our free online workshops on pest control and other important food safety topics, visit us at: or call: 1-877-424-1300. Food safety practices keep agri-food businesses competitive, productive and sustainable.

About Sean Westerveld

Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Specialist, OMAFRA
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1 Response to Controlling Pests Around Farm Buildings

  1. Jeff Huffman says:

    Please ensure that pesticides are applied legally as per label instructions. The label is the law. The federally regulated Pest Control Products Act says so! The Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the provincial Ministry of Environment are out and about, not to mention, CFIA, BRC, and SQF, HACCP and many other include proper pest control practices and program implementation as part of regular audits!

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