Pest control should always be top of mind for restaurants, but that’s especially true now when there are even more and stricter regulations for keeping businesses clean and healthy for patrons. Even though dine-in numbers may be down, takeout and delivery numbers are up, and it’s important to take extra steps to maintain a restaurant’s reputation and the quality of their food and facility. While the typical and traditional methods of restaurant pest control should be used, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind.
Double Down On Dumpsters
Although restaurants may not be producing the same volume of trash they did during full-capacity dine-in days, dumpsters still need to hold enough without overflowing — something that pests love when looking for food of their own. Trash service might also be intermittent or interrupted, and old trash is like a “welcome” sign for pests. If there aren’t yet dumpsters available, call the local waste management provider or property owner or manager about getting receptacles that are large enough to hold enough trash. Also, speak to municipal service providers about ensuring regular trash disposal and take note of the weekly schedule and any changes.
Take Out The Trash
On that note, take out the trash at the end of every day. Don’t just put it outside the back door; take it all the way to the dumpster and away from the restaurant. It’s tempting to keep bags in the kitchen overnight for employees working the next day’s shift, but hungry pests like cockroaches, flies, and even rodents don’t need much time to find a meal. From there, those pests can easily infiltrate food storage areas, eating into valuable inventory needed to keep restaurant doors open. Not only that, trash left in the kitchen can be smelly and just plain gross.
Beef Up Cleaning Procedures
Restaurants typically have a pretty robust and consistent cleaning strategy in place, and that should continue now. It could be difficult to keep up when restaurants may be working with a skeleton crew of staff, but floors especially need to be mopped regularly in both the kitchen and the dining room before messes stick around too long. Ants love sticky messes, and once they set up shop, infestations are much harder to get rid of. Dishwashing areas need to be kept clean and organized as well, without dishes piling up in sinks full of dirty water — something that’s also very appealing for pests and rodents.
Make Maintenance A Priority
Don’t overlook regular maintenance tasks and repairs to the building structure of the restaurant. Pests and rodents can fit through the smallest of cracks and holes undetected and easily become a widespread problem. Survey the kitchen for areas to seal up, like the back exit doors or any hoods and vents that lead outdoors or to the roof. Check the entrance doors at the front-of-house to make sure they function properly and close completely, and the seals around them are fully intact and not eroding, which will allow for easy entrance for pests.
Straighten Out Storage
Stocking up on inventory in dry and cold storage along with stacking takeout containers is like building a playground for pests and rodents. Things like open bags of dry ingredients or cardboard pizza boxes become food and shelter for roaches and rats. Keep food containers fully sealed when not in use and move any takeout containers well organized and away from sources of moisture. Cold storage units like freezers or refrigerators need to be swept regularly and door seals should be checked and replaced when necessary.
Call In The Pros
Restaurants can’t afford to have their reputation impacted by uncleanliness or a pest infestation, but that’s true now more than ever when margins are thin. Working closely with a commercial pest control team helps identify any potential problem areas in both the back and front of house. These experts can also safely tackle infestations with products that won’t impact food safety, and help avoid serious health code violations or the spread of food-borne illnesses that originate from pests and rodents.
By choosing to work with PestShield, you can get rid of a commercial pest problem as soon as it arises. We have the tools and treatments in place to rid your space of pests and help you put your business back on track. Our PestShield team can handle any type of pest that’s putting your business at risk, including bed bugs, ants, flying insects, and even rodents — get in touch today!