Restaurant Pest Control
Restaurant owners and managers must be aware that although they can do their own pest control (in most states,) there are certain regulations and limitations for pest management in any commercial food handling area. The regulations are in place to ensure that food, food preparation equipment, serving areas, etc. are not contaminated with pesticide insecticide, rodenticide residues. Measures are also taken in fly control and rodent control to ensure that no body parts can contaminate foods or areas where food is uncovered, prepared, cooked, served or eaten.
The main areas covered here concern general purpose pest control (roaches, ants, spiders, pantry pests, flies, etc.) and rodent removal, rodent control. Indoor fly infestations in restaurants are also discussed.
General Purpose Pest Control
The most used insecticides for homes and business are not always labeled for use in commercial kitchens, food serving areas and food preparation areas due to possible contamination of foods and utensils. Care must be taken in choosing the correct products for these sensitive areas. Always read and follow label instructions before mixing and applying any insecticide. Never apply insecticides while food is being prepared, served, eaten or otherwise open or exposed. Keep treated areas clear of people, guard dogs and open food until all areas have been allowed to dry.
The most common spray products used in restaurants (in control of ants, cockroaches, spiders, flies, pantry pests, other pests) are Tempo SC, Tempo WP, Suspend SC and Acephate (Orthene.) Of these, Tempo and Acephate are used more than others.
Tempo SC: Liquid Concentrate Tempo WP: Wettable Powder Concentrate
Tempo products (Tempo SC, Tempo
WP) are good for most general purpose pest control accounts. We often
see populations of German Cockroaches that are
resistant to synthetic pyrethrin pesticides. When this happens, switch to Acephate
for one or two months. Acephate (a soluble powder concentrate that does
have an odor) works slower than most pesticides ("peaking" at the 4th
or 5th day) but works great on resistant roaches. Acephate also adheres to
stainless steel surfaces better than other insecticide sprays. Once the
resistant roaches have been exterminated from the area, switch back to your
odorless Tempo insecticide.
An alternative to using sprays in commercial kitchens and restaurants is the use of a good professional roach bait. Maxforce FC Roach Bait Gel is the best. When using Maxforce (or any other roach bait,) refrain from using any type of insecticide spray, aerosol, dust, fog or bug bomb as these products will contaminate your bait, making them unattractive to your target pests. Once a large roach population has been cleaned out with the use of Maxforce FG Roach Bait Gel, you can either continue to bait the area (if roaches are your only insect pests) or switch to Tempo SC or Tempo WP.
When spraying kitchens, dining rooms or other sensitive areas, "hosing down" the place is not necessary, is unsafe and usually illegal. Pay close attention to cracks, crevices, hiding places, entry points and areas where roaches, ants, pantry pests and other bugs forage for food or water. Receiving areas and storage rooms are also important and should be kept clean and treated on a regular basis.
For heavy or stubborn infestations of cockroaches, ants or pantry pests you should use Pyrethrin Aerosol in cracks and crevices after spraying with Acephate, Tempo or Suspend SC. The aerosol crack and crevice tool helps flush unwanted pests from their hiding places and is also an excellent tool for inspection. Can also used as a space spray for flying insects.
Controlling Flies In and Around Restaurants
Most fly problems can be solved by locating and eliminating the sources
where flies breed and feed. To help locate these areas, go to our Fly
Breeding Sites page.
Outdoor areas (as well as indoor areas) must be kept as clean as
possible. Dumpsters and garbage disposal equipment must be well kept and
clean. Employees need constant reminding on dumpster procedures, keeping
area clean and always closing dumpster lid after use.
Indoor fly problems often need the aid of professional ultraviolet fly
Rodent Removal, Rodent Control
Special attention to product selection is necessary for eliminating rodents in restaurants. It is illegal and unsafe to use snap traps or rodenticides in any area where food is being prepared or served. Never use any rodent control item that might contaminate food or utensils with baits, poisons or rodent body parts.
Acceptable devices to use indoors are glue traps and live traps. These items will help capture rats or mice that manage to get into the building. Your best results will be achieved by killing rodents before they enter the structure and maintaining a clean property. Keep dumpsters as clean as possible; cut grass and weeds that along fence rows where rodents might hide or enter the property.
resistant bait stations on the exterior is very important. Not only do
these bait boxes keep rodent baits (and traps) safe from non-target animals,
they will give you a chance to kill the pests before they have a chance to enter
your building. Check bait
stations a couple of times each week to make sure that you have plenty of
fresh bait on hand. Rats and mice tend to avoid old, stale or moldy
rodenticides. Bait blocks (such as Contrac or Talon) work best in outdoor
bait stations. Both Talon
and Contrac bait blocks
are specially designed to place in bait stations and they will hold up to
outdoor moisture better than bait pellets or meal.
When in doubt about any pest management procedure or installation of pest control devices, check with your local authorities. If there is any particular regulation seems to be vague, causing confusion or concern, managers of restaurants and food handling establishments should check with the health official or person who enforces such laws at your business. There have been many instances of pest management procedures that seem to follow the law to the letter but frowned upon by local inspectors. When this happens your best bet is to satisfy the inspector who usually has your best interests and the health and welfare of your customers at heart.