Keeping restaurants clean in the winter season is tough enough, but spring brings a fresh flood of pests. Traveling by ground or air, whether they're mice or flies, these unwelcome guests can spell disaster for a restaurant's reputation. Bad news travels fast, and the mere appearance of a visible pest can cause diners to warn their friends or post poor reviews online.
Fortunately, many experts say that beating restaurant pests isn't a lost cause. They admit that it's almost impossible to keep every insect and rodent out of a building packed with tasty food. And the truth is that most of these tiny visitors don't do much harm.
Health inspectors looking closely at restaurants and bars often find signs of mice and flies in the basement, on the kitchen floor or in a food storage closet. Their usual reaction is to issue a simple warning, because if the problem is quickly cleaned up, there is usually no harm done.
"You have a higher chance of getting sick from food employees not washing their hands and handling raw meat before making your salad than having mice at an establishment. It's all about how critical it is," Milwaukee, Wis., restaurant inspection supervisor Claire Evers told the Journal Sentinel. "Fruit flies are very gross, but the chances of you getting sick from a fruit fly on your glass, it's a very slim chance."
The serious health problems occur when inspectors see signs of pests directly in the food or on the plates. Hygiene infractions of that order will usually trigger an instant violation ticket and a directive to shut down the establishment until it's clean.
Pest management experts say this is when the hard work really begins. It's far easier to keep pests out of the restaurant in the first place through vigorous cleaning and smart food storage than to extirpate a tough infestation. Many common insecticides aren't recommended for food service facilities because of the danger that they may also contaminate human plates, utensils or cooking equipment. Even less virulent commercial pest control options require that a proprietor keep all customers and staff out of the building until the pest spray has dried and been ventilated.
Once a restaurant has opened its doors again, managers may have to change to new cleaning techniques. Some experts say that the high-pressure water streams commonly used to spray down surfaces in modern kitchens can harm the infrastructure in the long run by breaking up tile grout, degrading wooden baseboards and leaving spots of moisture behind for thirsty pests to drink. They say it's better to use a light touch for deep cleaning.
You probably already know that most people are repulsed by the simple sight of cockroaches. If you are personally dealing with a cockroach infestation, the feelings of disgust are probably even more intense. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather tends to be one of the reasons this pest ends up in your home in the first place, according to Any Pest. While you may know that you don't want to share your home with cockroaches this winter, there are a number of interesting facts about this pest that you've probably never heard.
Because of the high amount of traffic and the versatility of the facilities, pests are naturally attracted to long-term care institutions. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other care facilities include on-site kitchens and cafeterias as well as private rooms and common spaces. All of these places are susceptible to attracting pests because of the presence of food, water and viable habitats.
During the summer months, some people love to go camping with family and friends. Yet this fun trip can be ruined with a few unwanted visitors, most notably different types of bugs. Crawling spiders, hungry mosquitoes and buzzing flies can become annoying quickly. How can you avoid these pests when you're outdoors? Consider these tips to keep bugs out of your campsite.
Carpenter ants can chew through the strongest studs and stringers in a house as they hollow the wooden beams out for nesting. The resulting damage can weaken the home's structural support and require expensive repairs. Professional pest control workers can remove a colony of ants, but the best practice for homeowners is to learn the best ways to keep out an ant colony and prevent the problem before it begins.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.
The kitchen is largest gathering place for pests in a residential home. The reason is simple: pests can grab a bite to eat and take a sip of water while they're here. And when they find such a bountiful place, they will return home to their nests and report the finding - before you know it, your whole pantry is a buffet for ants! The problem could get even worse if a piece of food falls somewhere and begins to rot. Similarly, fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be harboring unseen pests waiting to hatch.