Pests are a year-round threat for every country club, but they can be especially problematic during patio season.
Dining establishments offer the perfect habitat for pests. By providing food, water, and shelter year-round, the presence of pests only increases once a club’s outdoor dining season begins. Even on a patio, a pest sighting can make members think twice about coming back to dine. While pests can be an annoyance for members, pests also jeopardize food safety by potentially spreading dangerous disease-causing bacteria and threatening the health of members. However, there are practical actions that clubs can take to drastically reduce the likelihood of pests invading their patio spaces.
Outdoor dining or kitchen spaces need to be cleaned vigorously, just like the inside. Plates, bowls, and cutlery should be removed as quickly as possible and tables should be wiped down immediately after each use or after any spills. Any food waste left on the ground should be swept once diners have left and the whole outside area should be hosed down, with drains being cleared of any debris left behind.
If possible, avoid placing trash receptacles outside. Be sure to remove trash as soon as possible as they are a pest magnet. Trash receptacles should have tightly sealed lids and be washed regularly to reduce odors. Dumpsters should also be positioned as far away from the building as possible.
Whether formed by rain, from cleaning, or spills, any standing water should be wiped up. Any ponds, fountains, or other water features need to be properly maintained along with cleaning gutters and downspouts. The grass surrounding outdoor spaces should be mowed regularly, branches and shrubbery trimmed, and if possible avoid planting brightly colored or fragrant flowers and trees.
Some other solutions to consider are installing outdoor fans to keep flying insects away, position lighting away from the building, use sodium vapor lights, and choose outdoor decor with darker or neutral colors to discourage stinging pests.
In addition to choosing a commercial pest control company that has knowledge of foodservice regulations and local health codes for proactive preventive strategies, these simple actions can make a big difference in the number of pests attracted to a club’s patio space.