RESTAURANTS MANAGING THE RISK
Reducing the risk of pests in restaurants
After 14+ years of doing the same job, tasks repeat themselves as the same issues come up time and time again. ACES pest control deals with restaurants for Pest Control Auckland on a weekly basis
It’s never truer than in Pest Control with restaurants. As the police like to say, “the regular suspects”.
The regular suspects
The pests that invade restaurants in NZ are commonly the German Cockroach and the house mouse. Why? Because they find two things they need, a source of food and warmth.
The business owners that run restaurants are similar too, all hard working, busy entrepreneurs. All driven to make their business a success.
These traits are sometimes why the business owners sometimes fall victim to pest invasions. They are commonly too busy and too focused to spend their time on pest control.
Here are some general tips to help reduce the risk of a pest issue when you’re a business owner working hard at the coal face.
Keep your enemies close
The saying is “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Let’s get to know the pests that are most likely to cause you some issues. Mostly it’s the German cockroach and the house mouse that invade restaurants.
The German Cockroach
Named just before World War I when anything German was bad. So you could just call them the “ BAD “ cockroach, it’s the same intended meaning. Actually they are from Africa, and need to be somewhere hot like Africa. This is why you won’t find them in the garden or out in the open. Yup fridge motors, under kettle stands, dishwashers, interior electric hot water cylinders, and mobile phone holders to name a few.
So if you are going to have a go at DIY chemicals, the warm areas are the first place to look.
The German cockroach likes to feed on the oils often found in hard-to-reach places in restaurants. Commonly these are around lower skirtings underneath benches. The unseen areas of the business. Often in these areas are misplaced plastic containers and utensils ( spoons, knives etc). These act as harbourage for cockroaches and need to be removed and discarded.
So, one of the best things you can do is clean up the areas where people don’t see. Remove any food source such as oils or other food sources. This will please the council inspectors and reduce the ability of the cockroaches to increase exponentially in numbers.
How do I get German cockroaches?
They come in with the materials needed to run the business. Customers have told me they first saw them when they unpacked food items from a supplier. Sometimes staff have them at home and accidentally bring them to work. Either way German Cockroaches are great hitchhikers. They often hop into my working case/bag with all my chemicals. Bad choice!!!
This being the case put some of your controls around the inwards goods area.
Mostly rodents in a restaurant are mice, but uncommonly sewer rats make an appearance too.
Mice are small and lose heat quickly. As a result, they will gravitate to a warm areas. Mostly heat sources in restaurants are inside or behind dishwashers, fridges and freezers and interior electric hot water cylinders.
What does a mouse nest look like? A mess is the best description. A collection of papers, towels, insulation, anything to help keep them warm. Often, they are found behind electric interior hot water cylinders or behind freezers.
Offence is the best form of defense
So even if you don’t have rodents, get some controls, make sure that your staff and food preparation areas are excluded and put them in and around these warm areas that mice prefer.
Put controls around and behind dishwashers, fridges and freezers and interior electric hot water cylinders.
Also remember that a mouse only needs a small gap to gain entry to your business. The gap is as large or small as your little finger. Test the gaps under the doors to see if they can get in. If you can make the gaps smaller without breaking the bank, do so. Please do this before cold snaps hit your area. The cold snaps force rodents to look for warm areas. If you can’t make the gap smaller, consider placing controls (excluded from customers and non-target animals) on either side of the entrance ways.
Are ultrasonic rodent repellers any good? I get this question frequently. My reply is that there is no evidence to say they work, and no evidence to say they don’t. So, it’s a dead heat. Personally I would need some evidence that they work before going all in with this product. But Caveat Emptor, buyer beware.
By Owen Stobart
Director of ACES pest control
Web site: https://www.commercialpestcontrol.net.nz
Phone: 09 3041984