Why the need for a Pest Management Field Biologist?
The exacting and ever more demanding requirements of the food industry and its supply chain has resulted in pest management service providers having to provide more highly qualified personnel (technicians and contractors) to undertake the necessary site analysis, risk assessment, planning and implementation of strategic pest management service delivery in oder to comply with the rigorous criteria associated with today's safe and effective integrated pest management programs.
This new approach has led to the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) initiative to provide a formal development program for the specialist role of the Australian Pest Management Field Biologist.
What does the Field Biologist do?
The Field Biologist plays a vital role in the pest management strategy for food industry operations. Working closely with the pest management technicians and food businesses, the Field Biologist will:
- Determine the current levels of pest activity, their detection, source, prevalence and appropriate management;
- Inspect the control processes being applied, audit the quality and sufficiency of the pest management/IPM related records and evaluate and determine trend analysis;
- Work in with site Quality Assurance, Food Safety and Pest Management personnel to examine and advise on alternate and additional controls that could be introduced to mitigate the risk of pest activity, without affecting the HACCP and GMP requirements of the operation; and
- Provide advice on the typical habits, life cycle, sources, behaviour and effective control methods for pests both present and likely, along with prevention measures for the same going forward.
Ultimately, the Field Biologist becomes the central point of contact between food businesses, and pest management service providers (and auditors). The Field Biologist is as skilled in meeting legislative and certification requirements as he or she is in developing Integrated pest Management (IPM) Programs.
Successful Qualified Field Biologists automatically become members of the Institute of Field Biologists.