Keeping your food business pest free is vital, not only for the health and safety practices of your business, but also for your reputation. There are essentially four basic steps to maintaining a well-managed Pest Control Program within hospitality environments.
Keeping your food business pest free Step 1. Inspection.
The first involves thorough inspection of your environment. This will provide you with a basic understanding of where the pests may be residing, and traveling, so that pest control deterrents can be placed most effectively.
a) Rodents, cockroaches and flies usually leave behind some evidence – look for droppings, cast skins and egg cases.
b) Inspect rubbish bins, sinks, drains, kitchen equipment, electrical boxes or outlets, and cracks, crevices or voids where pests may have taken up residence. If you find any holes or likely nest entries, or accessways, block them up. Steel wool, copper mesh or concrete are all useful cavity fillers.
c) If you suspect activity, place an insect detector nearby. This will help you to monitor the suspected problem areas, and provide you with a good insight into what type of pest you may have and how large the infestation may be.
Keeping your food business pest free Step 2. Good hygiene
One of the most vital elements in sustainable pest control. Regularly clean rubbish bins, sinks, floors and kitchen equipment and ensure all food and scraps are cleared away before leaving overnight. Keep all food that is left on the premises in sealed, air tight containers. Cover rubbish bins tightly and clean waste disposal areas frequently. And keep your outside rubbish bins as far away from your buildings as possible.
Keeping your food business pest free Step 3. Secure your premises to prevent pests entering.
Ensure there are tight weather seals around doors and windows, cap any drains, and block any holes that provide access to wall cavities (no matter how small). If you regularly open doors or window for ventilation, install screens.
Keeping your food business pest free Step 4. Be aware of your external environment too.
By including your pest management programme in your external environment too, you will have a good chance of controlling them before they consider entering indoors. Rodents like long grass to hide from birds, and can use tall trees to climb and enter your roof cavity.
The pests that seem to be an issue for almost every food service company we deal with, are flies, cockroaches and rodents. With the correct procedures in place, carried out consistently over time, in conjunction with proper pesticide application, pest problems can be significantly reduced and controlled.