What May Be in Your Restaurant’s Drains?
Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t always apply to your restaurant’s drains. Food particles, water, sugary drinks, grease and more can keep restaurant drains pretty dirty. And, the dirtier the better for many types of pests, because that drain filth can offer them the food and moisture they need to live and breed.
Drain pests can cause a variety of problems for your restaurant:
- In addition to feeding on the organic matter inside your drains, some insects can breed inside the pipes and lay eggs there.
- Some species of cockroaches may live in kitchen and bathroom drains, which can provide entry points into your restaurant. These pests can contaminate food and may trigger allergic reactions in some people. German cockroaches, which are very common in kitchens, can establish large infestations very quickly, and even one cockroach sighting can mean that hundreds of others may be hiding nearby.
- Several species of small flies breed in drains, sewers, septic tanks and soil that is contaminated with sewage.
- Unlike some other fly species that increase during warm weather months, fruit flies can be nuisances all year long and lay their eggs in the fermenting material that can be found in drains.
What Can You Do to Help Avoid Restaurant Drain Pests?
A master cleaning schedule is a useful tool in any restaurant. It helps make sure that no items are overlooked in your cleaning program. It can be divided into daily, weekly and monthly items and assigned to specific individuals or shifts to accomplish each task. Some of the things include:
- Clear any clogged or slow moving drains immediately to eliminate decomposing materials that can create pest harborage and breeding environments.
- Many insects found in the drain are nocturnal, so if you’re not sure which drains are causing problems, use sticky tape to make an “X” over drains, partially covering the opening. The following day, check the bottom of the tape to see if you’ve caught any insects to help determine problem areas.
- Clean drains weekly, sometimes even daily, paying particular attention to those that have caused pest problems in the past. Remove food waste, sludge and any other built-up organic material with commercial drain cleaning products.
- Pay special attention to drains in bar areas, which may be handling extra amounts of sticky, sweet substances.
- Don’t allow food waste to accumulate and stand in sink areas.
- Regularly clean garbage disposals, too, as well as any drain or drip pans underneath refrigerators and air conditioning units.
- When not in use, be sure to use drain stoppers, covers or metal drain screens.
- Eliminate any standing water in kitchens or bathrooms.
- Move garbage and trash cans as far away from drains as possible (for example, avoid having small garbage cans tucked underneath sink cabinets).
- Keep nearby counters and appliances clean and dry.
Repair and maintenance items may include:
- Having a professional fix leaky faucets that may provide moisture sources for pests.
- Sealing any cracks, crevices, holes or deterioration in drain pipes with silicone caulk, plaster or cement.
Make sure you have an experienced, reliable commercial pest control provider on your side to help if you encounter persistent pest issues in your drain. Choose a provider with experience in serving the special pest control needs of restaurants.
Terminix® Commercial can help. Terminix Commercial’s trained professionals know how to identify structural exclusion opportunities and sanitation threats that may be increasing your risk for infestations. They also understand federal food service regulations and local health codes to help keep your restaurant compliant. In addition to addressing any current pest problems, Terminix Commercial can teach your staff how to identify and address conditions that are conducive to pest activity.
Don’t let pests put a drain on your restaurant’s service, quality and productivity. Find out more about the impressive menu of professional pest control services that Terminix Commercial offers.