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Summer Health and Safety

How to Protect Your Restaurant From Summer Pest Problems

Photo: Courtesy of Hanny Naibaho

Daniel A. Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS, CFPM

Director of Technical, Training, and Regulatory Services; Terminix Commercial

Restaurants have many things pests love: frequently opened doors, foot traffic, regular deliveries, and food. Pests can take a big bite out of a restaurant’s bottom line, from costly damage, to inventory, facilities, and equipment, to pest sightings that may harm a business’s reputation.

During the high-revenue summer season, restaurant owners and managers should be aware of the measures they can take to avoid a pest infestation, be it cockroaches, rats, or mosquitoes. There are some simple steps owners and managers can take to help discourage pests’ presence:

  • Ensure a high standard of cleanliness
    • Restaurants’ abundance of food scraps can be appealing to pests, especially rodents. Empty trash and garbage containers multiple times per day and keep outside containers away from the facility, particularly exterior entrances. It is also helpful to clean and declutter storage areas and closets, as pests often look to nest and breed in them.
  • Protect exterior entrances
    • Installing air curtains and securing the building envelope by sealing cracks and openings prevents pest incursions . Pests such as cockroaches are always looking for food sources and many can fit through extremely small spaces, such as floor drains. Seal exterior cracks and crevices with caulk, wire mesh, or other materials, and fix all leaks as soon as possible to help remove water sources.
  • Be mindful of not creating attractive environments
    • Simple steps like keeping patio umbrellas folded down when not in use and keeping decorative items, such as planters, at a distance can help keep pests away from the dining area.
  • Keeping a well-manicured lawn
    • This will help make a restaurant exterior more inviting to customers and less inviting to pests — especially in warm summer months. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, mosquitoes can breed in very shallow standing water and are typically active when temperatures are above 50 degrees, laying as many as 100 eggs in a container the size of a bottle cap. Removing tall weeds and grass from facility grounds, and ensuring all containers, such as fountains or bird baths, are regularly cleaned can prevent them from becoming mosquito breeding grounds.

The daily demands of keeping customers satisfied can make focusing on pest management challenging. Luckily, a qualified commercial pest control partner like Terminix Commercial can keep pests off restaurant managers’ plates and provide needed peace of mind.

Daniel A. Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS, CFPM; Director of Technical, Training, and Regulatory Services; Terminix Commercial, [email protected]

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