Since the wake of Harvey, we have gotten a handful of phones calls from worried restaurant owners wondering why they are facing new pest problems despite taking every effort to maintain a clean, sanitary environment.
Unfortunately, the added moisture was highly conducive for a variety of pest populations, which is why so many found their way into any place that was dry and had a food source. Here are a few pests that you may have come across:
The American Cockroach
The American Cockroach flourishes in flood-damaged areas and is extremely difficult to control. They prefer warm, moist areas, and the humidity after a flood lends itself to their survival. The flooding of sewers is another factor that drives them out of their usual hiding spots. Once the water pushes them out, they are forced to relocate to new environments – like your restaurant. Because they breed so quickly, it’s hard to manage their population before it gets out of hand.
Like cockroaches, rats were driven out of their homes in the sewers and moved into places like basements and building walls following the floods. Uncontrolled garbage brought out by the flooding also allows them easy access to food sources and makes travel easier. It’s important to keep rats out – especially if your patrons are going to be consuming any food on your property because they carry diseases, and are even more ridden with dangerous bacteria from the flood.
You may have also noticed a larger population of flies now that everything has dried out. Unfortunately, flooding brings about many food sources for flies – such as sewage and dead animal carcasses. Flies can carry diseases, especially after a flood, and deposit bacteria when they land on food. Don’t hesitate to call a professional if you notice a fly problem at your establishment.
All of these pests are known disease carriers, which is why you can never be too careful if you see them in your restaurant or anywhere near food. Fortunately, these pests’ populations should decrease as the effects of the flood recede. If you are still noticing that these critters are overrunning your restaurant or establishment, contact a professional immediately to be rid of them.