5 Tips To Keep Your Outdoor Dining Area Pest-Free
For restaurants, bars, cafes, and other food establishments, summertime is prime time for outdoor dining. The weather is warm, the nights are longer, and customers are eager to sit outdoors, enjoy food and drink, and enjoy the environment - none of which is possible when customers are bothered by bugs.
Aside from the poor reputation a pest problem can bring to a restaurant, insects and other pests can also pose a serious health risk to your staff and patrons, spreading disease and germs on food, silverware, flatware, and glassware left out in the open.
That’s why it’s critical to keep your outdoor dining space pest-free whenever guests are present or food and drinks are being consumed - and only a smart, comprehensive, and regular pest management strategy can do just that. Here are five simple ways to make sure your outdoor dining area remains pest free through the summer.
1. Keep grass mowed and plants trimmed
Pests looking to take advantage of an outdoor dining area will most likely make their way over via a nearby plant - some uncut grass, a bush that needs trimming, or even vines hanging along a fence. These green hiding spaces make for the perfect secure spot for pests ranging from ants and ticks to rodents and birds. From there, they can quickly venture out, grab some food, and head back to safety.
Keeping pests away may require business owners to keep these plants trimmed back and as out-of-reach as possible. This means making sure grass is regularly mowed and plants are trimmed back to the point where pests will not have much use for them. It also helps to regularly check these green areas for the presence of pests to try and head off any infestations before they hit your outdoor dining area.
2. Avoid keeping trash near dining area
As just about every restaurant or food establishment owner knows, trash is an inevitable part of any food service business. It is also a prime attraction for pests looking to snatch a bit of old food waste to bring back to the nest or the colony - and leaving trash outdoors, near your outdoor eating area, makes getting to that trash just that much simpler for pests like rodents, ants, and wildlife.
Instead, restaurateurs should focus on keeping trash and food waste as far from the eating area as possible. Whether that means keeping trash indoors or simple making sure existing dumpsters and trash cans are securely sealed, removing that temptation can be a major relief on that pest pressure for servers and diners alike.
3. Keep eating area clear of food crumbs & standing water
Nothing makes for a more tempting invitation to pests of all sizes than food or water left out in the open for the taking. For outdoor dining areas, this is an especially prevalent problem - diners drop food or spill water all the time, and it doesn’t take long for pests to get a whiff and come running looking for a quick bite to eat.
The more often your outdoor dining area is dirty, the more likely pests will remember to come back the next day. While it may not be possible to get every bit of food the moment it hits the ground, restaurants and outdoor eateries should maintain a disciplined cleaning schedule each and every night to minimize the amount of food and water buildup over time.
4. Consider how your lighting may be attracting pests
Late nights under garden lights might make for a great outdoor eating experience, but it’s also likely to attract pests. Moths, flies, and other insects are likely to be drawn to LED lighting, and positioning these too close to your dining area could lead to an unpleasant dining experience for your guests.
Instead, consider moving your lighting a bit further away from the actual dining area - higher up on a wall, perhaps, or just a bit further away from the tables themselves. Also, business owners may want to consider switching to sodium vapor lighting, which is less likely to attract moths and other pests than standard LED lighting.
5. Maintain a robust pest management strategy
By far, the best way to keep pests from bothering your outdoor diners is to keep pest management front-and-center all year long, not just when the weather’s warm. That means working with an experienced pest professional to implement an integrated pest management strategy throughout your food service establishment to reduce the temptation for pests looking for a bite of food.
Our experienced pest management specialists are trained and ready to help identify those weak points in your pest prevention strategy and take action to make sure your restaurant, cafe, or eatery is as pest-free as possible throughout the year.
If you’re eager to get your outdoor dining area pest free for your guests to enjoy through the year, get in touch today and get your outdoor dining space on the path to total pest prevention. Your customers may not notice, but they will sure be happy to settle in and enjoy.