IPM In Fast Food Restaurants
We can be proud that our pest control industry has been rightly called a "guardian of public health" â€“ and we can be proud of that role as it applies to the fast food restaurant industry. The presence of flies, rodents and / or cockroaches in fast food restaurants can be an obvious and significant public health threat to employees and customers alike. Solving that particular infestation isnít necessarily easy, but if you take an IPM approach, you can almost always effectively achieve your goals.
IPM control measures such as sanitation, exclusion, record keeping and minimal insecticide applications make up a good fast food pest management program, but first you must aggressively seek all breeding sources by conducting a thorough, site-specific inspection inside and outside the building. Your inspection should reveal areas that are breeding sources, which must then be eliminated.
Every restaurant has critical control points that must be considered for an effective control strategy. Consideration of the flow of people, products and pests that move throughout the facility should be a priority when identifying potential pest control measures. Here are some important pointers to consider when you initiate an IPM treatment in a fast food facility:
- Be sure to explain the ramifications of a pest problem to your client's management. Discuss the potential disease transmission, their loss of reputation and the possibility of litigation. Assure them that even long-lasting infestations / problems can be solved.
- Look for missing grout in tiled floors. These areas can harbour organic material, which are a breeding source for small flies.
- Properly clean anti-fatigue mats. These can harbour food debris and need to be removed nightly and hung up so the area can be properly cleaned.
- Advise your clients that self-closing doors are a must for employee entrance and exit doors.
- Be sure your client's window screens are tightly fitted when ventilation is needed.
- Advise your client to replace damaged or missing thresholds or door sweeps.
- Tell your client that air doors, which can reduce entry points for flies, have to be operational and must push air hard enough to work properly.
- Remove organic matter that has built up on drains, which can become a breeding ground for small flies including fruit, drain, phorid and vinegar flies. A good IPM program must include the removal of that debris and the upkeep with a bioremediation product.
- Bioremediation penetrates the surface of the drain and allows the bacteria to eat up the organic material as well as odours that build up in fast food drains. Other areas, such as baseboards, beverage lines, legs of equipment, and cracks in floor tiles can be foamed to prevent flies from breeding.
- Use insect light traps (ILTs), but in doing so you should know the pest's biology and behaviour. That will tell you where to place traps and what else to do. Make sure they are located at least 10 feet away from sensitive areas for electrocuting the pests. Glueboards should be located 5 feet away from the traps. Make sure they are hung in such a way that they are not visible from the outside. ILTs are also a monitoring tool to distinguish the species of flies and where they might be breeding. Flies have a 20- to 25-foot range of vision so this must be kept in mind when placing ILTs. And since flies often land right after entering an area to get their bearings, have an ILT waiting for them.
- Apply insecticide on the exterior around doors and on the interior near the doors. Flies tend to rest on an exterior surface prior to entering a new area. This application provides a perfect opportunity to stop flies from entering.
- Apply rodenticides on the exterior and especially around dumpsters. This can be very effective at controlling rats and mice before they get a chance to enter the facility. Be aware, though, that old bait can also become a food source to grain insects.
- Look for fly hot spots such as ledges, corners and areas with fly faecal material. The sunny side of the building tends to attract more numbers of flies than any other sides.
- Advise your client that exterior lighting, which may also attract many flying insects, should be located off the building and on light poles away from the building.
- Look for hot areas near stoves and steam pipes. These are areas where cockroaches seek shelter for warmth, food and water.
- Inspect and monitor ceiling voids or false ceilings for pest activity. These allow for easy movement around the kitchen and dining area.
- Do not use rodenticides indoors. They can be spilled or carried away to non-target sites and food contamination could occur.
- Know, too, that salmonella, a group of bacteria pathogenic to people, can be transmitted from contaminated surfaces by cockroaches, flies and rodents through their excrement.
- Finally, be sure to conduct an annual review. This involves sitting down with the restaurant personnel and evaluating the pest management program and making any changes as necessary. Also, a review must take place if there are any changes to the facility.
Article provided by Pest Control Charter