Pest control

What is a pest?

A pest is any animal that could contaminate food, either directly or indirectly. It includes, but is not limited to, birds, rodents, insects and arachnids (spiders).

Preventing pests

You must prevent pests, to the extent that it is practicable, from entering your premises and eradicate any pests that do enter.

Excluding pests reduces the opportunities for contamination of food. Pests transmit spoilage and food poisoning micro-organisms, damage food and food packaging and might contaminate food with their bodies, faeces, urine and hair. In addition to contaminating food, rats and mice might nest in roof spaces and damage cables and pipes by gnawing.

The type of pest-proofing measures required will vary across Queensland. However, there are many well-known measures that will limit access by pests, such as:

  • pest-proof doors and entrances into the building with flyscreen doors or self-closing doors
  • install mesh screens at opening windows or other ventilation openings
  • ensure drains, grease traps and ventilation pipes are sealed
  • seal openings where pipes pass through external walls to prevent pests such as rats and mice entering food handling areas
  • install appropriate flashing to the base of wooden doors if there is a problem with mice gaining access through doorways.

It is not intended that premises be pest-proofed when there is no likelihood of pests gaining access. In some instances, the exclusion measures may be more appropriate to the whole complex, as in the case of a shopping mall containing a food hall.

You must also prevent the provision of harbourage for pests. Places in the premises that may provide harbourage should be eliminated. For example, where practicable, boxed-in areas that are difficult to completely seal should be opened up or provided with access for inspection and cleaning.

Due to the nocturnal habits of most pests, contamination of food may go unnoticed for some time until the infestation is large enough for pests to be spotted. In addition, it is difficult to eliminate large infestations.

How often do I need to spray?

Regular treatment by a professional pest control operator is strongly recommended as they are skilled in the safe application of pesticides in a food premises. There is no prescribed frequency for treatment, as this will vary depending on the requirements of the premises and the product used by the pest control operator.


The following records can be used for recording pest control treatments:

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