Don't allow pests on your patio
Nothing can spoil an alfresco experience quicker than flies, mosquitoes and other pests invading the space. Here are 10 tips from Frank Meek of Orkin to keep your customers comfortable outside.
1. Cover all trash cans with tightly sealed lids to prevent odors that can attract flies, which can carry more than 100 pathogens and transmit bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella every time they land.
2. Clear customer plates as quickly as possible, as the leftover food can serve as an open invitation for flies.
3. Replace outdoor fluorescent lights with sodium vapor bulbs. Flies are less attracted to sodium vapor lighting.
4. Clean up any rain puddles as soon as possible. Mosquitoes only need a thimble full of water in which to breed.
5. Work with a pest management professional to assess any decorative water features and determine the need for mosquito-eating fish to eliminate mosquito larvae, or other preventative steps.
6. Avoid planting brightly colored or fragrant flowers and trees that can attract stinging pests, and cut back bushes and branches near the patio where mosquitoes may hide when not in flight.
7. Choose umbrellas, awnings and other outdoor décor with dark or neutral colors to further discourage stinging pests. Since reactions to stings can vary from an infection at the site of the sting to severe or deadly allergic reactions, these precautions are important for your guests’ comfort and safety.
8. Pressure wash your patio or deck each night to remove any crumbs or debris that collect throughout the day to prevent cockroaches and ants from coming in search of a midnight snack.
9. Cut down grassy areas and remove any mulch surrounding the patio area where ant nests or mounds may be found.
10. Keep doors to the patio closed when not in use, and install door sweeps and weather stripping to deter pests that may migrate inside your restaurant through these potential entry points.
Frank Meek is international technical and training director for Orkin. He can be reached at email@example.com or visit www.orkincommerical.com.