Maine Pest Control for Food-Handling Businesses
Food-handling businesses fear nothing more than a pest problem, and they are right to. Not only are pests grounds for low scores on inspections, but they can also cause food to be contaminated which has to be thrown out and it costs a lot of money to replace that food.
Integrated Pest Management
For many restaurants and businesses that have been closed for some time, the threat of pest infestation is higher. As part of the COVID-19 reopening checklist for food establishments, the Maine CDC Health Inspection Program suggests owners check facilities for pest infestations that may have grown during the time the space was empty. This applies to businesses that close seasonally as well.
From school cafeteria services to hospital kitchens to restaurants, we work to ensure the cleanliness of your workspace. Any kitchen or food storage location can be vulnerable. Don’t let your space be taken over by pests.
The biggest problem with pests in a food business is that they drive customers right out the door, along with their money and your chance at a profit. That is why pest control is such an important part of maintaining a food business.
Which Pests Threaten Food Businesses?
The term “pest” has a wide-ranging definition, applying to any threatening infestation of an insect or mammal. Managing your pest problem starts with knowing the pest type, the location of the pests, and the repairs needed from the infestation.
Your local Maine pest control for food-handling businesses will be able to help you identify those and come up with a plan of control.
A nightmare for any business, but especially food-handling businesses, cockroach infestations demand immediate treatment. These large, winged insects are attracted by accessible food and will get into open containers and storage areas.
Cockroaches carry serious diseases, historically spreading salmonellosis, typhoid fever, cholera, leprosy, and even plague. They leave their feces and eggs around the area they have infested, making clean up difficult. Worse, these deposits may draw other roaches to the building.
Access to food and moisture must immediately be restricted in the food-handling business. When pest control arrives, a combination of baiting, heat treatments, and sanitation will be used to rid the space of the roach infestation.
Ants are attracted to food in kitchens and food storage areas. Anyone who has had a basic ant problem in their own kitchen knows when you see one and it’s only a matter of time before you see 100.
In Maine, there are several types of ants. One, in particular, is likely to be drawn to food or dampness indoors, the cornfield ant. They typically enter where there are damp areas under the building, like a leaky sink. Accessible food, spills, and trash also attract them indoors.
Though they do not cause serious injury from their bites, their nesting indoors when attracted by food and water, can be problematic to deal with.
Mice, Rats, and Other Wildlife
Have you ever heard the term “trash panda” in reference to raccoons? These adorable black and white garbage bandits are just one of many mammalian pests that threaten the health standards around food-handling businesses.
From raccoons and bears that strew trash around outside to rats and mice that take up residence in walls near where food is stored and prepared, managing wildlife entrance to food prep areas is an extremely important safety issue in pest control.
Preventing exterior access to trash is one step. Trash attracts more pests, so make sure it is locked down.
On the interior, mice and rat trapping and/or removal are essential to maintain the health standards of your food prep business. Both small mammals can spread diseases to the surfaces and food they interact with. Furthermore, their urine and feces can be infectious with things like hantavirus.
Perhaps the worst part of larger pests like these accessing food storage areas is that smaller pests like insects surely follow through the large holes they make. Comprehensive pest control considers how multiple species may go after your food storage.
Integrated Pest Management
There are different types of pest control, but the most effective one is integrated pest management. In the long-run, it is the healthiest and cheapest form of pest control. It is called integrated pest management because it uses integrated techniques like baiting, exclusion, and sanitation to manage your pest problem.
Expert Maine Pest Control for Food-Handling Businesses
Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control are experts at helping businesses get free of their pest problems. Your food-handling business is no different! The foundation for all pest control situations are the same, but we tailor it to fit your specific needs.
We will come out to your business and conduct an inspection, then provide a plan of attack. We know our pests inside and out and we know just how to safely remove them and keep your food-handling business clean and safe for customers to return.