Any time you are dealing with food on a frequent basis, you run the risk of having a pest infestation. Most insects and rodents are attracted to food, water and shelter, and restaurants offer plenty of all three. There are a few different reasons why you might be dealing with an ant infestation in your restaurant. Take a look at the top five reasons below.
Spills & Crumbs
Ants and other insects are constantly in search of food. Leaving crumbs and spills on counters provides them with exactly what they’re looking for. The minute you have finished preparing food, take the time to wipe up all spills before they have a chance to get sticky, and wipe down counters to make sure they are free of crumbs. This small step may save you a major headache in the future.
While cleaning up your counters on a daily basis may seem slightly common sense, it’s easy to forget about your floors. When you’re preparing food, you are constantly letting foods and liquids drop onto the ground beneath you. Not only that, but diners can be extremely messy with their food. If you don’t sweep and mop every single day, perhaps multiple times a day, there’s a good chance you have quite an accumulation of dirt. Every evening and possibly again every morning you should make sure that you staff sweeps and mops every inch of the restaurant.
Food Left Out
Anytime you leave food out on the counter you run the risk of having a pest invasion. Any food that you keep on hand needs to be properly stored. Keep appropriate foods in the refrigerator, and all other food sealed up tight. Use airtight containers made of hard plastic, metal or glass to store all supplies such as flour, sugar and all other dry goods.
On the same note, make sure that food doesn’t get left out on dirty dishes or in the sink. This is a major draw for ants and insects of all kinds, so it’s essential that all dishes be washed and stored away before the day is over.
Empty trash throughout the day as needed, and be sure to take the garbage bag out at the end of the night. Food left in trash bins is just another reason ants may camp out in your restaurant. It’s also important to frequently wipe down trash bins with a disinfecting solution. Leftover food, dirt and grime often accumulate on these containers, which may attract ants and other bugs.
If you’re seeing a regular ant issue in your restaurant, now’s the time to do a very thorough walkthrough of your building. Check for cracks and gaps in the walls and foundation. Make sure that window stripping around windows and doors is secure. Also, consider installing screens on windows and doors, especially near the kitchen, if you haven’t done so already. The more difficult you make it for ants and other insects to enter, the better your odds are for keeping a pest-free kitchen.
Dealing with an ant issue is never fun, but when you’re trying to run a restaurant it can be downright worrisome. If patrons happen to see ants running around, or worse yet, in their food, you run the risk of loosing valuable customers. If you haven’t done so, call your local pest control company to come out and take preventative measures to keep your restaurant as clean and ant-free as possible.