What You Need To Know About Pest Control In Restaurants

November 16, 2015

Anywhere that you will find food and food handling alike, pest control is pivotal part of running a sanitary and compliant business. If there is any morsel in food, you can rest assured that there is potential for infestation and there will be pests around the corner. Employees need to know this fact and how to prevent these infestations from happening.

upscale restaurant with tables and booths

Pest control can sometimes be a difficult thing to monitor. The amount of food, moisture and the changes in temperature all influence infestation. Long business hours and sites neighboring areas where pests harvest are contributing factors as well. Pest control is particularly challenging for an establishment that does not close. This is because the kitchen does not have time to properly prepare and clean to keep the pests away. The establishment will need to find time to close and perform the treatments. Products used in these treatments are only authorized in times that the restaurant will not serving or operating. If this cannot be accomplished, pest control workers may come in and accommodate whenever the restaurant might be able without cooking. This is often times very late at night or in the early morning hours. Pest control workers will suggest cleaning the floors beforehand so that when the pest control treatment is applied, it will provide the best results. Employees will need to coordinate close-knit relationships with pest control representatives so that the job can be completely in a timely and efficient manner. Owners should be aware that factors such as moisture, steam and grease can defeat the overall effectiveness of pest control treatments. 

There are four types of pests that are particularly bad in the restaurant environment. These are roaches, flies, rodents and stored product pests. First and foremost, it is a worker's responsibility that they should not give an opening to these pests. If they do not have food and water, they will not survive. It is the employee's just to ensure this, as they are cleaning and preparing the area.

Owners need to be familiar with where pests like to hang out in the area. These areas to look for are likely encouraging for the pest and provide the means they need to survive. Some restaurants have more pest spots that others, but many restaurants have very similar spots. Learn the most common spots and guard against them.

  • Waste: Pests will often prey in areas outside where food is thrown out such as areas with dumpsters and trashcans. If waste is improperly disposed, pests will prey on these parts in particular. Any fallen or piled food debris will be the perfect source of food for pests.
  • Entrance/Exit: Workers are first and foremost advised to keep restaurant doors shut at all times. Any holes, crevices or openings that lead into the establishment need to be fixed. This can include window screens and cracks in walls as well.
  • Outdoor Lighting: It is important to have satisfactory outdoor lighting because these pests flock to lighting. Also be aware of how sanitary the establishments next door are, and be sure to confront them if need be. Pests like to travel.
  • Supply Storage: Keep storage closets in clean and working order. Pay particular attention to mops when you are finished using them. Mops need to be set aside from food areas, and placed in a dry area to be hung properly and dry out. Do not leave mops wet ever. This is a breeding ground for pests and bugs.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Areas need to be both cleaned and sanitized whenever possible. There is, in fact, a difference between the two. Having a clean area means that the dirt or matter is removed from its surface, but not the bacteria. Sanitizing removes surface bacteria and organisms themselves and is more thorough than cleaning. Be sure to keep an eye out for broken and dirty floor drains, as pests can come in through here all the time. You will need to clean out drains on a regular basis. Any broken tiles and missing pieces on walls should be replaced as soon as possible as well.

Despite all of these precautions, some establishments may not be able to keep bugs away. In this case, don't get discouraged. Many new products are put out on the market each day to try and combat these issues. Versatility is a big part of figuring out these products. Products will need to be capable of covering all pests. Workers can best recommend proper treatment methods to pest control workers when the time comes. Together, they can help find the best solutions and discuss if a new product might need to be in order. 

There are a few different kinds of pest control treatments.

Cockroaches and ants are often treated with baits, which can be inserted in corners, cracks and crevices for termination. When these bugs eat what is inside the bait, they go back to their nests and die. More bugs die from this when existing bugs feed over the carcass. Roaches in particularly will adapt to certain kinds of bait. It is important to switch bait trap types every couple of months so that they remain effective on pests.

Insecticides may also be used. New versions of these are available and entirely undetectable to the pest until it reaches them. They are to be applied to cracks, crevices and spots where pests are known to walk.

Insect growth regulators can stop the pests themselves from growing and developing. The products will hamper the pest's reproductive abilities and cut their life cycles short. IGRs can be used in conjunction with other pest management systems to terminate unwanted pests.

With all these things in mind, preventing the infestation of pests in restaurants is a team effort. Employers and employees alike need to keep track of their pest control issues. Employees are responsible for cleaning up their areas and disposing of waste in a sanitary manner. Environment should be as clean as possible at all times.

Alliance Pest Services has a complete team of commercial pest control specialists that keep the restaurants we service pest free.

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