Commercial pest control refers to solutions for restaurants, warehouses, manufacturing plants, offices, and non-profit organizations. Each commercial establishment has its own unique set of rules and procedures to address certain pest issues. For this particular post I will be concentrating on restaurants and other food handling establishments like bars, delis and pizza shops.

To start with, the biggest asset in a restaurant pest control program is the relationship between the owner or manager. Having the same technician or at least the same couple of technicians in an account is important because that allows for that technician to form an intimate understanding of the facility. The technician will get to know the nooks and crannies that tend to be chronic areas of concern, they will know the areas that need fixing to help control a pest situation, eventually they will even get to know when certain deliveries are being made and on what day. All of this is an important component of pest control. If you have a new technician show up every couple of months and you have to show him or her around the restaurant and explain the issues that you have then this becomes a waste of time for the manager, the manager then loses faith in the pest control company, and eventually the manager will stop listening to the technician which is terrible for pest control program.

A technician who will take his or her time and pay attention to detail is worth their weight in gold. The other thing to think about, most managers and owners don’t want to hear this, is that your pest control program should be priced at an appropriate price point with the appropriate frequency in place. A technician who swoops in and tosses a few glue traps and is in and out in fifteen minutes is not serving you or your restaurant properly. There are so many components to a pest control program in a restaurant.

The areas in a residential that require attention is the dining room areas, the bar, the kitchen, the dishwash area, the storage area, the basement, the dumpster areas and the exterior. A good technician will quadrant off sections to treat each visit. Bars need to set up to inspect and treat for fruit flies and/or drain flies. They need the beer tap areas addressed, the return hose sometimes needs replacing and this needs to be communicated to the manager. Inspections for roaches and mice need to be performed and any monitors placed out need to be checked.

The kitchen should be set up with plenty of tin cat or metal mechanical traps to catch any potential mice and they also act as a good insect monitor. Notice I said plenty. Sometimes when a salesperson is involved with the initial set up process, they tend to undersell the need to product in a kitchen because they don’t want to scare away the owner. The salesperson wants a sale. This is a giant mistake. This restaurant is your bread and butter, invest in it. Spend the money up front that will help the technician do their job. Mice and roaches can potentially close down a restaurant, or at the very least lead to bad review on Google, which can be just as bad. Spend the money on a proper pest control program and it will pay off in spades.

Above I mentioned tin cats for mice and insects, the other thing that we at Grove Pest implements is an IGR or insect growth regulator. These target roaches primarily, and fruit and drain flies to an extent. It prevents these insects from developing and reproducing, which is invaluable in a restaurant setting where you are getting constant deliveries or various products.

Paying attention to dumpster areas where rats and mice will visit along with breeding and attracting flies is another big area of concern. If the dumpsters are positioned near the restaurant itself, then these pests can become a problem inside. Bait stations will need to be set up and baits or treatments to help control the flies will need to be in place.

Aside from mice and roaches, another big issue in restaurant pest control is the issue of small flies. Drain flies and fruit flies are notorious for infiltrating these establishments. Drains will need to be monitored and when they need cleaning this will need to be communicated to management, broken floor or wall tiles often get buildup under them which breeds small flies. Soda fountain areas need monitoring, bar areas, dishwash areas. Some very effective small fly programs can be developed that will need to be in place and followed by kitchen staff in conjunction with treatments by pest control. There are effective floor drain products and even products that can be placed in return lines from the beer draft hoses and soda fountain hoses that work well.

All of the above circles back to what I wrote in the beginning of this post, and that is communication and partnering with management. Pest control can be achieved and maintained if there is a professional relationship with a kitchen or restaurant manager that cares.

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