Skip to content

Identify And Eliminate Pests

Pests are never a welcome sight, but that statement holds particularly true when it comes to areas of the facility where food is served. There are three common pests that often make their way into food service areas. And it is important for custodial executives to understand what pests frequent these areas and how to deal with an infestation, should one occur.

Cockroaches are a health hazard, so an infestation needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. These little pests can introduce and spread bacteria within a facility, which means building occupants can suffer from diarrhea, food poisoning and gastroenteritis.

Cockroaches are naturally attracted to areas where food is readily available, which means staffs should regularly check food service areas. Kitchens stay fairly warm, providing a perfect, moist environment for these little creatures.

Custodial executives that see cockroaches should not wait to remove them. Cockroaches are amazingly resilient; they can go without eating for weeks at a time, and they can access the indoors through the smallest of cracks.

Rats and mice are constantly looking for both food and shelter, which makes the food service area of a facility the ideal place to hide out. Unfortunately, building occupants tend to get very upset at the sight of a rodent, which means businesses can suffer as a result of an infestation.

Both mice and rats are fast, they can get in through very small spaces and they do carry disease. As if this isn’t reason enough to keep rodents out, they can actually cause fires as a result of the physical damage they inflict on a building.

Staffs should be on the lookout for signs indicating the presence of a rodent. This might include droppings, misplaced insulation or the presence of other nesting items. Once an infestation is suspected, immediate action should be taken for extermination.

As the weather warms up, flies can become abundant and, if not prevented, will cause numerous problems in food service areas. Not only are flies an annoyance, they can transmit pathogens and contaminate food by landing on it. Flies have been known to cause shingles, tuberculosis, salmonella and E.coli, among other things. If they make their way into a facility, flies are particularly attracted to food such as flour, cereal and beans.

Preventing Problems
Even the cleanest facility can have issues with pests. That’s why it is important to pay attention to areas in and around the facility that often draw these creatures in. Doing so can help minimize any potential for problems.

First, it is important to spend some time outside of the building. Outdoor dining areas should be swept well and tables need to be cleaned regularly. Sidewalks and patio spaces should be hosed off on a recurring basis. However, make sure workers do not leave any standing water around; doing so will only attract more pests.

If trash receptacles are being stored near facility entrances, move them immediately. Trash attracts pests, so making sure receptacles are not kept along the exterior wall of the facility will keep pests further away. All trash cans indoors should be emptied and cleaned with hot, soapy water on a regular basis. Regardless of whether the receptacle is indoors or out, it’s very important that they also have a tight fitting lid that will keep unwelcome pests at bay.

Inside the kitchen, foods that are particularly attractive to pests, such as sugar and flour, need to be placed in containers with tight fitting lids. To cut back on flies, invest in fly screens for the doors and windows, and consider purchasing an air curtain for the doors, as well.

Also, make sure the dining areas receive a lot of attention. Properly cleaning this space often involves regularly cleaning tables and counters, sweeping and mopping floors, washing chairs and checking seat cushion cracks for food and debris. Also, make sure workers don’t forget food storing stations and soda machines, which are particularly attractive to pests.

Finally, it is important to close up any gaps or cracks around pipes, drains, vents and wiring. This helps to keep out both bugs and rodents.

No one wants to deal with a pest infestation. Food service areas are unfortunately prone to a number of different small visitors. However, with a bit of work, it is possible to keep pests out of the facility.

- See more at:

What Crops Can you Plant in your Organic Garden?

The number of people and blogs talking about the importance of organic gardening are numerous. However, for a new farmer it can be difficult to decide on the type of crop that is best for your garden. Let me begin by confirming that the stories are true, organic gardening requires commitment and understanding. Organic gardening does not utilize chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, gardeners, use biological methods of pest control such as a wasp trap. Organic gardening also entails the existence of nature in perfect balance; therefore, do not be surprised to see gardeners who do not mind the insects. This is because they understand the important role of insects in the garden, so much so that some organic gardeners have built a bug hotel in their gardens with the aim of enjoying all the benefits of insects in gardening.

It is important to note that the type of crop grown differs with each garden due to climatic, soil, and nutrient differences. Therefore, the clever way is to spend some time doing research on the climate in your area and the requirements of each crop. It is advised that a soil test should be utilized to identify the nutrient ratio of the soil before deciding on a crop. Organic gardeners utilize various methods of weed control, but, you should expect that there will be some weeds. The weeds can be controlled using natural weed control methods, while some can be used as food for your pet especially rabbits, all you need are good outdoor rabbit hutch plans to begin.

The choices of organic crops in the market are enormous and the new farmer needs to choose the crop that is best suited in their environment.

1. Radishes. Radishes do well even in not-so-great garden soil and are ready to harvest in only a few weeks. Plant the seeds in spring and fall.

2. Salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula and corn salad). Pick your favorite, or try a mix — many companies sell mixed packets for summer and winter gardening. Plant the seeds in spring and fall, and you can pick salads almost year-round.

3. Green beans. Easy to grow and prolific. If you get a big crop, they freeze well, and they are also delicious when pickled as dilly beans. Start with seeds after all danger of frost has passed.

4. Onions. Start with small plants, and if they do well, you can harvest bulb onions. If not, you can always eat the greens.
5. Strawberries. Perfectly ripe strawberries are unbelievably sweet, and the plants are surprisingly hardy. Buy bare-root plants in early spring. Put this perennial in a sunny spot and keep it well weeded.

6. Peppers. Both hot peppers and bell peppers are easy to grow. Start with plants and let peppers from the same plant ripen for different lengths of time to get a range of colors and flavors.

7. Bush zucchini. This squash will not take up as much room in your garden as many other types, and it is very prolific. Start from seeds or transplants. You will not need more than a few plants for a bumper crop.

8. Tomatoes. There is just no substitute for a perfectly ripe homegrown tomato, and it is hard to go wrong when you start with strong plants. If you get a big crop, consider canning or freezing.

9. Basil. Many herbs are easy to grow, but basil is a good choice because it is a nice complement to tomatoes. Basil is easy to grow from seeds or from transplants.

10. Potatoes. An easy-to-grow staple that stores well when kept cool. A simple and low-maintenance approach is to plant potatoes in straw rather than soil. ‘Seeds’ are whole or cut sections of potatoes, sold in early spring.

Sourced from:

11. Asparagus
Plant once, harvest for years: A well-maintained bed of this sweet, slender veggie will stay productive for up to 15 years, and, with its vibrant, ferny foliage, asparagus makes an excellent ornamental. Learn how to plant, grow and harvest asparagus.

12. Beets
Red table beets are only the tip of the beet iceberg: Mangel beets can be used as livestock fodder, storage beets can be eaten all winter, and white or golden beets make a stunning edible display when mixed in a beet salad.

13. Broccoli
Tasty in each of its many varieties, broccoli is easier to grow than its relative’s cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, and can produce bountiful crops for even novice gardeners. Get tips on how to plant, how to harvest and more.

14. Brussels Sprouts
One of the last veggies to be harvested in early winter, Brussels sprouts brings the gardening year to a delicious close. Growing Brussels sprouts is easy if you plant at the right time and work with vigorous varieties. This guide includes descriptions of Brussels sprout varieties and tips for growing this cabbage-family crop in your organic

Sourced from: