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Iron Kitchen: The 4 pests you need to know about this Spring [And the 4 ways you can prevent them]

This quarter’s Iron Kitchen is presented by our Pest Control partner:


If there’s one thing that can ruin a restaurant’s good reputation, its pests. What kinds of spring pests should you look out for? And what can you do once you find them? In this article, you’ll discover the four most common spring pests and the top four things you can do to prevent them. Advantage Chemical is proud to partner with Orkin for our pest control services. For more information visit our pest control page, or request a free consultation at the end of this page.

WHY THEY’RE A THREAT

Ants are resilient and tireless invaders. They can enter restaurants through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances. Ants can contaminate products, cause structural damage and be a general nuisance.

WHERE TO LOOK

  • Near food sources and moisture
  • In hidden protected places like wall voids, under appliances and beneath floors

PREVENTION

TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT

It’s important for the General Manager and Restaurant Team to abide by the following good housekeeping practices to help deprive ants of food, shelter and entry points:

  • Clean up food particles, grease deposits and other debris under counters and equipment in the servers’ alley, expo line, cookline, food prep and dry storage areas.
  • Remove potential food sources under dining room booth seats by thoroughly vacuuming on a regular schedule.
  • Inspect bars and servers’ side stations for debris, spilled liquids under counters and soda dispensing equipment, and clean and sanitize these areas.
  • Remove spilled garbage, grease and exposed food waste in and around the dumpster corral.
  • Inspect the exterior foundation for foraging ants, loose piles of soil (indicating ant mounds), debris and cracks in the foundation.

WHY THEY’RE A THREAT

Bird-related problems can lead to lost business, contaminated products and expensive damage to building exteriors. Birds can carry more than 60 diseases, and their feathers and droppings can lead to health threats.

WHERE TO LOOK

    • Roofs
    • Ledges
    • Outdoor dining patios
    • Exterior signs/marquees

TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT

  • Inspect exterior eaves, soffits, lights, and speakers for evidence of nesting and roosting birds.
  • Keep dumpsters closed to help prevent potential food sources from attracting unwanted birds.
  • Inspect for and remove all spilled garbage, grease and exposed food waste in and around the dumpster corral.

PREVENTION

WHY THEY’RE A THREAT

Bees and wasps can be a danger to your employees and patrons, causing painful stings and sometimes more serious health issues like painful swelling, infections, nausea and allergic reactions.

WHERE TO LOOK

Nests can be found in the following areas:

  • Gutters
  • Sidewalk cracks
  • Around leaky dumpsters
  • In trees (especially fruit-bearing) and bushes
  • Near brightly colored flower plantings

PREVENTION

TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT

  • Always remember that employee and guest safety should be a priority when dealing with bee/wasp activity.
  • Contact your pest management professional immediately upon noticing bee/wasp activity.
  • Document areas of activity and what time of the day the bees/wasps are being observed. Report findings to your pest management professional.
  • Keep the dumpster lid closed and the surrounding area clean to help prevent yellow jackets, which forage aggressively on exposed food products, particularly sugars and carbohydrates.
  • The only way to help rid bees from your property is to remove the hive entirely. This task requires the correct tools and strategy. It is imperative that a pest control expert is consulted before any bee control technique is attempted.

WHY THEY’RE A THREAT

Fruit flies, drain flies and phorid flies can contaminate food, cause health inspection violations and irritate or disgust customers. They also reproduce rapidly, so a population explosion can occur if the issue is not managed properly.

WHERE TO LOOK

  • Fruit flies can be found near fermented materials in trash cans and floor drains.
  • Drain flies commonly breed in raw sewage under slabs where undetected broken pipes may be located.
  • Phorid flies thrive off the moisture found in the bottom of trash receptacles, under kitchen equipment, in drains that are backed up and in dirty mop heads.

TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT

  • All breeding sights must be identified. Inspect the bars, servers’ side stations, mop drain, floor drains, dish area, dry stock room, and inside trash cans and trash carts for decaying organic matter.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry out any areas with decaying matter to help prevent problems with small flies.

PREVENTION

Prevention Guide

Exclusion

Exclusion

  • Install door sweeps, weather stripping, and window screens.
  • Seal cracks and crevices inside and outside your restaurant.
  • Seal entry points around utility penetrations.
  • Install air curtains for an added pest barrier.
Sanitation

Sanitation

  • Follow a strict daily sanitation regime.
  • Thoroughly clean, dust, sweep, and mop on a regular basis.
  • Remove any clutter like cardboard boxes that offer shelter for pests.
  • Remove all food and water spills immediately.
  • Store all food and garbage properly in sealed containers.
  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and HVAC units.
  • Get rid of standing water in the parking lot, near the building foundation and on the roof.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean.
Landscaping

Landscaping

  • Move plants away from the restaurant’s foundation so they don’t touch the building.
  • Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch. Trim overgrown branches, plants, and bushes.
  • Install a 30-inch gravel strip around the immediate exterior of the building to obstruct crawling pests.
Ongoing Inspections

Ongoing Inspections

Inspect your restaurant’s exterior and interior for signs of a pest
infestation or potential points of entry. Report any findings to your
pest management professional.

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