Q: How can I keep my restaurant free of pests?
A. The most effective method for preventing pests from entering your restaurant is an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This common-sense approach employs proactive sanitation and maintenance procedures to decrease the chances of pest problems, while reducing the need for chemical treatments.
Your pest-management professional can help implement an IPM program that best suits your needs, but understanding the basics of pest behavior can help you take proactive steps to keep pests at bay. Pests need three elements in order to survive: food, water and shelter; and your restaurant provides ample supply of each. By managing these elements, you can ultimately reduce pests. Here are a few tips to help jump start your IPM program.
Clean constantly: Don’t wait until customers leave to begin cleaning. Clean throughout the day to eliminate food or water sources that can attract pests. Wipe down tables and chairs after each guest leaves, and clean up spills immediately, even if its just water. Most pests need only a few drops to stay alive.
Take out the trash: Pests see trash as a five-star meal. Frequently empty trash receptacles within your restaurant. Keep dumpsters covered at all times and as far away from your building as possible, and clean and rotate them regularly to get rid of residue that might attract pests.
Inspect your products: Inspect incoming shipments for signs of pests before storing. This includes droppings, shed skin or live or dead insects before storing them. Keep a sample from suspect shipments in a sealed and labelled container. If larvae or insects appear, immediately contact your supplier for instructions on how to dispose of the product.Store dry product away from the walls and floor to help prevent it from becoming contaminated and serving as a prime breeding spot for pests.
By following these steps and implementing an IPM program you can help keep your restaurant free of pests.
About the Author
Bill Melville is Quality Assurance Director for Orkin Canada. Melville has 35 years of experience in the industry and is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.orkincanada.com.
image courtesy of aopsan