Pest Control Tips

What you need to know to keep pests out of the restaurant.

By Kinnek Community

Implementing an adequate pest control process in your restaurant is key to avoiding a pest infestation.  An infestation can cause serious problems for your food service business - it is not only disgusting for most patrons, it can risk the health of your patrons and can destroy the reputation of your business if word gets out.  

Consider the following tips for managing the sanitization and hygiene of your food service business:

Try to place outdoor light sources away from restaurant entrances.
Because lights tend to attract insects to the source, they can be used to your benefit.  The light source, if placed away from entrances, will guide insects away from your business.  In doing so, however, make sure that there is sufficient lighting being directed at the entrances and exits, as many premises liability lawsuits arise from patrons injuring themselves on restaurant property due to low-light conditions.

Clean your dumpsters appropriately and consistently.
Dumpsters can become a major source of issues when dealing with pests.  Loose waste, especially wet or moist waste, can attract pests of all kinds.  To minimize any pest issues with respect to your kitchen dumpsters, try to place them a fair distance away from your building, make sure that the dumpster lid is securely and tightly fastened at all times, and have someone regularly clean the dumpster and the surrounding area with water (but make sure that the liquid excess can be drained or removed afterwards).

Ensure that doors and windows are properly sealed.
A key strategy in preventing pest challenges is to ensure that all possible entrances are sealed tightly, but that means more than just windows and doors — for insects and rodents, a crack in the wall can readily serve as an entrance to your kitchen.  To avoid this, conduct regular inspections of both the inner and outer walls of your restaurant and fix any major cracks as you find them.  As far as windows are concerned, many restaurants invest in high quality window screens for those windows that must remain open throughout the day.  Speak with suppliers about further window and door sealing options.

Never leave crumbs, liquid, or other particulate matter lying around.
Crumbs, spilt liquid, and other particulate matter can collect around table stands, kitchen equipment, seats, etc, and attract pests.  Restaurants with pest issues often appear to be presentable, as employees clean visible gunk.  It must be a policy of your restaurant to clean those areas of the restaurant that are not necessarily visible to patrons.  

Store food in airtight containers and inspect foods to ensure that they are being rotated through frequently enough to avoid pest problems.
Make sure that food is stored in airtight containers rather than loosely closed ones, as pests will find a way inside if the seal is not perfect.  As a general precaution, many restaurants inspect their food stores for pests on a regular, systemized basis.  Pay extra close attention to food products that are not frequently replaced.

Cover all trash cans and use liners.
Liners are a must - but you must ensure that the liners are high-quality and thick enough that they do not get punctured or cut by the trash contents.  The trash can itself should have a lid, and the contents should be emptied out frequently.  A trash can in which the garbage comes out of the liner and touches the can itself should be cleaned.

Inspect any and all drains.
Drains can be a major source of pests.  Clean the drain by removing the grate, loosening and removing any particulate matter, and using a chemical cleaner to finish it off.

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