07 July 2022
Are you having trouble with vermin and insect pests in your produce storage? Looking for some sort of hopper or bins that are practical, affordable and vermin proof? And is there even such a product available?
Rest assured, you’re not the only one needing answers and a solution to the problem of insects and vermin - this is a challenge faced by farmers and producers right across the country.
We get it: keeping nasties out of your product storage is a big deal. But infestations aren’t necessarily just a stroke of bad luck: the fact is that it requires strategies, excellent hygiene and superior storage solutions to ensure that your product is protected from pests and vermin.
And we’re here to help.
JACKY® Bins - Australia’s Own Solution
There’s nothing like actually getting out on onto the land to understand the produce storage issues Aussie farmers and companies face.
And that’s exactly what the team at Orion Australia does. We talk to the end users. We care. We take time to understand the challenges our clients face, and we design products that go above and beyond their expectations.
Welcome the JACKY® Bin!
Tough. Practical. And affordable. JACKY® Bins have been developed by farmers for farmers, and making them vermin-proof is one of the key elements of their design.
What’s Special About JACKY® Bins?
Yes, there are several types of poly storage hoppers on the market, so what makes the JACKY® Bin special?
Well, since this article is focussing on keeping vermin and insects out of produce storage, we’ll deal with this point first up.
Yes, we make the claim that JACKY® Bins are vermin proof. The plastic walls are too thick for mice or rats to chew through, and once the lid is in place, rodents have no other place to access the contents. Care must be taken at the time of filling to ensure that no animals enter the hopper along with the contents.
We have never had any reports of ingress of vermin into JACKY® Bins. However, it is worth noting that keeping the lid in place whenever possible is important because an unlidded bin is an open buffet for mice and rats.
No, JACKY® Bins are not airtight, and small insects could possibly enter if they are able to crawl through a few millimetres between the lid and the rim of the bin.
Just for the record, we did once have a customer report an incident where a cockatoo flew into a bag splitter bin and got stuck under the splitter blade… finding it couldn’t get out any other way it managed to chew a hole in the side of the bin to let itself out! 😂😂
‘What other features have made JACKY® the preferred storage solution for agriculture and industry?’
we hear you ask. Let’s take a closer look:
Firstly, they’re built to last. Each bin is rotomouled as a single piece, using UV stabilized polyethylene. The walls of the bin are an average of 7 - 8mm thick and the base is 12mm+ thick, which gives the structure unprecedented strength and resistance to external forces (that simply means it won’t break up if it’s dropped or knocked about).
Secondly, the polyethylene used in the construction of the JACKY® Bin is food grade. So, it’s safe for storing food products both in agricultural and commercial situations.
In the food industry, being able to clean storage hoppers easily is important too, and that’s another area where JACKY® Bins have proved to be a superior design - smooth internal walls and the absence of sharp corners makes cleaning simple and practical.
Safety concerns when lifting hoppers is always an issue, and the team at Orion Australia takes these risks seriously.
The addition of a forkliftable galvanized steel frame helps to make handling these bins safer, and the easy-to-use discharge outlet means that there is no reason for any part of the body to be under the hopper during the unloading process.
Your JACKY® Bin can be fitted with a bag splitter, to make the transfer of contents from a bulk bag to the hopper safer and more efficient. Bag splitters have become a favourite with farmers and produce suppliers nationwide for the simple reason that they work: efficiency, safety and simplicity all combined in a single set of blades!
What Else Can I Do to Keep Vermin Out of My Produce Storage?
As we mentioned before, keeping vermin out of your produce storage requires strategy and planning. Unfortunately, mice and rats don’t read ‘keep out’ signs, but here are a few things you can do to help manage this problem:
A well-sealed shed makes it harder for vermin to enter your storage area. This may include pouring a concrete slab floor after the shed is erected so that concrete fills in all the gaps between the corrugations.
Good hygiene in and around your storage area is essential for deterring pests. Limit the amount of loose hay, grain or other foodstuffs on the floors - not only do they eat this stuff, but they use it for nest building.
Baiting is a common and effective practice, especially during the season when vermin and insect activity is at its peak. However, we suggest working with a professional baiting company to ensure that other livestock or produce isn’t contaminated by baits.
Using brush seals on your access doors will help to prevent mice, rats and insects entering under the doors.
Your moggy (or a few of them) might even prove to be your best mouse trap! They’re also useful for dealing with sparrows, pigeons and other birds which could contaminate your storage area.