The most ignored part of a restaurant or food and beverage business pest control.
I see many restaurant or food and beverage business that spend tens of thousands of dollars buying, building out and decorating a restaurant down to the last detail from the colors, furniture, fixtures, plates, glasses with the most spectacular menu, they hire a fantastic staff and select the finest ingredients.
Then they open for business and wait till they have a roach or rodent infestation to hire a pest control professional.
This is why i call it “The most ignored part of a restaurant or food and beverage business pest control”.
Why? because most never had a problem in their home and they believe a restaurant is just like their home. To most restaurateurs this is their first food and beverage business and are unaware of the pitfalls in this area. Most are used to doing it themselves or have a one time service to solve a particular pest problem and that’s it till next time.
That belief that if they have a pest problem in there restaurant they can easily solve it in the same manner they do at home can lead to a huge problem before they know it. Because most restaurant don’t understand the severity or magnitude of a pest infestation in a food and beverage business.
To others it’s an expense that is not justified. Pest control is an expense that you rather not have because it eats into your budget and detracts from other things you rather buy or enjoy.
But in the culinary industry pest control needs to be in place before you open your business it’s much cheaper to invest in a good integrated pest management service than to apologize for an infestations or worse yet get shut down.
The most common fallacy believing that the building your in does not have any bugs, and the reality is that every structure has insect pests, just because you haven’t seen one yet doesn’t mean they are not there.
Restaurant in strip malls or in building just like in multi dwellings are among the most difficult to control pests in because you may not treat all units in the same way, one pest control company is using a pyrethroid spray repelling the pests over to your restaurant or no one else is treating their stores, or you are the only food establishment you have something most pest love food and liquid.
Hygiene in small or family owned restaurants and eateries are not the same as in your homes it’s a totally different dynamic and many more variables. Most try to clean their restaurants in the same way they clean their homes which may seem to the best thing to them and with the same store bought products not understanding the biology that is involved.
Using products that are designed for the food service industry is a must, just because something smells nice doesn’t mean it’s clean and most products created for home and general cleaning will contaminate and destroy pest control products rendering most pest control service ineffective. Products like Invade Bio Cleaner will be your best choice.
Most homes don’t have floor drains that have built up with decaying organic matter from sweeping food down the drain and that is being infested with sewer flies for which there is no pesticide product to control them.
These must be treated with biological enzyme product such as Invade Hot Spot that will destroy the decaying matter every time you clean the floors, in severe cases a professional plumbing company may need to called in to clean out those drains with pressurized water and inspect them with a camera.
Homes unlike food service business do not experience the level of products that are delivered to a restaurant and chain custody of those products are uncertain. Cardboard boxes infested with German roaches, grains infested with grain beetles and weevils, cans that have been contaminated with rodent urine and feces. Purchase only from reputable suppliers that have a chain custody pest control program for their business.
Smells in restaurants are an indication of decay and if you can smell it the rodents and insects can smell it too and that can lead to a pest infestation.
Open holes, gaps and cracks in walls, broken or damaged acoustic ceiling tiles, gaps under and around doors, gaps, under sinks, missing floor boards and thresholds that can give easy access into your restaurant need to be repaired and sealed, no amount of chemical can prevent a pest from getting into a structure if it’s can.
Open doors is a definite no no, I’ve heard all the excuses, the kitchen is too hot, we can’t keep it closed because someone is always going in and out for something, again no amount of chemical can prevent a pest from walking Into an open door, keep it closed at all costs and only open it when it’s absolutely necessary. Flies and mosquitoes will get in any everyone, fly lamps are ineffective in a brightly lit restaurant during operating hours and you can’t spray anything in the air to control them, new baits are proving to be helpful in controlling flies but again an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of bait.
Dirty open dumpster bins and stations are a common source of pests and irritations, In most shopping and strip malls you do not control over the garbage collection or control who uses the dumpsters, keeping the lids on garbage cans is a must to control rodents and flies. Alll baits to control rats and flying insects are synthetic or not as attractive as the real dirty rotten garbage. Rodent and fly stations cannot compete with a an open container.
If you have a dumpster area it should not be overflowing or with dirty floors or walls which become breeding grounds for roaches, rodents and flies. These should clean and should be pressure cleaned frequently and treated with biological enzyme that breaks down preventing a build up of decaying matter.
The corners and hard to reach areas should receive extra attention because these are often ignored from regular cleaning and that decaying food can feed an army of roaches.
Have you noticed that I have not mentioned anything up to now about traditional pest control, spraying, bating, IGR’s, that is because unless you handle all these often ignored pest control methods as part of an integrated pest management plan no pest control company on the planet can be effective and performing a pest control service in a food establishment is nothing like performing one in most homes where most people experience pest control.
Hygiene and exclusion are the first priority over chemicals.
A pest control company cannot make up for deficiencies in the hygiene and structural failures.
Before you open your doors hire a professional integrated pest management professional that will be interested in protecting your staff, patrons and good name.
A good name is better than gold and silver and will cost you a lot of gold and silver to build up and worse yet to restore if you are closed down.
Consider good pest control as cost of doing good business.