Pest control in a commercial kitchen is not for the baseboard jockey’s of the world. I was reminded of this by a recent comment on Facebook to my video, Chalk Talk Treating the Commercial Kitchen; ‘Getting into the equipment.’ It reminded me that at one time that is exactly how I did pest control even in commercial accounts. It was how I was taught and I’ll venture to say it is how many technicians are still advised to apply control barriers in this type of account even today.
Now I’m not here to disparage you if you use a B&G as a primary tool. It is still king of the application equipment world and I use one every single day. In a kitchen however there is just no way that this or any ONE tool can be your primary weapon especially when dealing with german roaches. The same can be said for the where to treat in a commercial kitchen. To often we service our kitchen accounts around the edges, under the shelves, stocks rooms and the office and call it complete. In reality we haven’t even done a fraction of the service needed when we approach it this way. What we have passed up and left untreated is a whole other world that roaches thrive in, breed in optimum conditions and live almost completely protected lives in. What have we left?
When we think of equipment I’m sure we envision refrigerator motors, stoves and big items like these but the average kitchen is filled with all kinds of different things that help them run the operation both big and small. Roaches take advantage of these things often because they offer warmth, shelter, food or water. Shoot some times you can find them in a place that gives them nothing or just one good aspect of this yet they pack it with a small army. The reason is they have all they need within walking distance every night so they don’t have to be so choosy on a place to nest.
I could run down the list but I’m sure I would leave out more than I include. Becoming a great commercial tech takes time and experience and usually a lot of trial and error. Some of the best lessons you’ll learn that stay with you forever are the ones that come at great expense. You’re not likely to pass up a small stainless steel meat scale if you’ve ever lost an account because an angry chef found a nest inside his while he was weighing out some prime rib. Lessons learned like this or on the days when you accidentally find a hoard of roaches in a wooden knife holding block are the most profound. It serves to ‘connect some dots’ in your mind and soon it just becomes routine to check those areas and set up your treatment long before it can become an issue.
You’ll only find these and hundreds of other areas by getting curious, opening up panels or drawers and sticking your head in places you wouldn’t normally think of to go. Now I’m a tech too and I realize you can’t do this all in one service, it would take to much time and you’ve got to get on the road. But if you’ll just do a bit of exploration with each service into these areas you’ll soon find that you can put barriers down that may last longer because these spots are somewhat protected. Also if you start getting complaints in a nook of the kitchen you can easily check out these remote areas because you’ve already mapped these spots out, know how to get into them and can make quick effective treatments that will impress your client and go along way to keeping the account happy.
I am doing a video series just on commercial kitchens and have my latest one posted here. In the first video “Treating the dishwasher area” you can find a lot of information that will translate nicely to every area of the commercial kitchen. I plan on following up with 3 more that should give you almost all the ammo you need to keep a commercial kitchen pest free. None will have all the information in and of itself just so I can keep them short but I will try to link them back and forth to each other to make it easier to put all this information together. You can also check out my video pod cast area on the top right section of this page and simply scroll through the different ones I have done.
As a job, I think pest control has got to be one of the fun-nest and most exciting, beats making sandwiches for me anyways. But the times it can be most frustrating is when we have complaints or are not getting results. Sometimes this is due to things like sanitation or deliveries which is something we can’t always do to much about. It may also be a lack of training but that can be corrected and once you start finding those well hidden pest fortresses and actually start making a positive difference in an account you’ll find that your excitement, level of pride and feelings of professionalism will go way up. It all starts with you and your willingness to get to the heart of the matter and one great place to look is in the commercial kitchen equipment.