Masa gives food pests hard time

Mohammad Arif Hussain (pictured), entomologist at Masa Establishment, shares his knowledge of pest control in the F&B industry

May 2015

THE presence of pests in food production and preparation areas such as kitchens, food and beverage industry facilities and bakeries has always been unacceptable.

Concern for the environment and requirements by regulators for improved practices in the industry mean new methods to control pests have to be devised. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are designed to assure that foods are produced under hygienic conditions and that microbiological, chemical and physical hazards are prevented. Establishing procedures for pest control is an important component of GMPs. Pests are harmful organisms and can cost the food industry a great deal. The pests of primary concern are insects and rodents and they are responsible for spreading disease through foods. Rodents and insects carry pathogenic bacteria both internally and on their bodies. Birds sometimes may become a problem in food processing areas and may potentially be a public health hazard.

Jeddah-based Masa Establishment for Pest Extermination, Maintenance & Contracting’s professional experts are providing their services to a wide range of facilities starting from labour accommodations to well-designed and sophisticated spaces including food preparation and handling areas and food storages where normal chemical application is prohibited by law. In this regard Masa has a variety of chemical formulations such as gel baits that contain Imidacloprid as an active ingredient and an ideal chemical with various formulations aimed at eradicating a variety of insect pests from subterranean termites to the most notorious cockroaches.

The company has a full backup of scientific and technological support through its Research & Development Department whose main  focus is  research related to pests, pesticides and service equipment.  The R&D department provides technical support to the operational department for its pest control work through its branches. The latter department is staffed by an entomologist and pesticide specialists. The combination of  Masa’s R&D and its operational team working through the branches shows up as a formidable force in beating the pests menace.

Masa has accumulated high expertise as it labours in the fields of general public health vector/ pest control, termite control and fumigation. Indeed, its responsibilities go above and beyond that range and cover the tackling of pests such as birds, snakes, scorpions, lizards and cats, etc.



A professional pest controller should have knowledge of the distinguishing characteristics of the orders of insect they are often called on to control. Knowledge of these characteristics will be invaluable in beginning the identification process. It is often necessary to know the exact species of insect involved in a problem. Pests of major concern to public health in Saudi Arabia are: Carpenter ants, domestic flies (house fly, flesh fly, blow fly, moth fly, phorid fly, fruit fly, etc), biting flies (midges, eye gnats, horse fly, deer fly, black fly, stable fly), mosquitoes (Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, etc), rats and mice, cockroaches (American, Oriental, German and brown banded), bed bugs, ticks and mites, rat fleas etc. These pests are responsible for the cause and spread of disease.



Masa workers prepare for a new day in the field

Masa workers prepare for a new day in the field

The science of fumigation is highly specialised and technical in nature, requiring a great deal of skill, knowledge and experience for successful and safe usage. Fumigation may be defined as the act of introducing a toxic chemical in an enclosed space in such a manner that it disperses quickly and acts in a gaseous or vapour state on the target organism. Due to their physical characteristics, fumigants occupy all air spaces within an enclosed area. Fumigants penetrate cracks, crevices, pores in wood and the commodity being treated. Their ability to penetrate and fill all voids makes them ideally suited in many situations for the control of structural and commodity pests that other type of chemicals cannot reach.



Termite control is a specialised job approved only to be performed by professionals. A perfect termite control job calls for good termite training and lengthy experience. In general the main focus of termite control is on the type of construction or the manner in which a building is built. The main objective in termite control is to create complete and continuous chemical barriers that wrap around walls and footings of the building foundation. Such barriers come between the structure and the termite nest. Better results can be expected if those performing the service have knowledge about the type of construction they are dealing with.

Masa has an impeccable record over 35 years and has gained a fine reputation in the pest control industry thanks to its diligence in maintaining a high quality of services. The company’s staff is trained, certified and insured for this kind of work. Furthermore, as a member of 13 international pest control associations, Masa exerts every effort to boost public awareness of pest hazards and has been exhorting the public to cooperate with professional pest control operators to maintain a healthy environment.

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