How to Achieve an “A” Grade: Rodent Control and Fly Prevention in NYC Restaurants

How to Achieve an "A" Grade: Rodent Control and Fly Prevention in NYC Restaurants

Our blog series focusing on site-specific applications for Integrated Pest Management for businesses has covered a range of topics from bed bug control for hotels, to rodent control, and most recently pest management strategies for food processing facilities. As we continue we will keep in line with the food safety theme in this installment covering pest control and New York commercial fly control, and specifically how to achieve an A Grade from the NYC Department of Health using IPM principles.

“A” Is The ONLY Passing Grade In Restaurants

It’s been in the news lately, with high profile restaurants getting slammed with less than desirable Department of Health ratings in regards to cleanliness and food safety. No one wants to eat at a restaurant with a “B”, much less a “C” and there is no worse stigma for a restaurant than poor sanitation grade glaring in the front window. For any restaurant, high profile or not, the costs can be devastating in terms of reputation and public perception, and those losses may never be recouped. Obviously it is in the interest of every restaurant operator to maintain the highest standards when it comes to insect control, rodent control and fly prevention, as they are part of the main criteria for maintaining the “A” grade.

What Determines The Grade?

Every restaurant in New York City is subject to an unannounced inspection once a year. During these inspections restaurants are audited based on a scale of “critical” and “general” violations. A restaurant receiving more than 13 points on the scale will lose its “A” rating until it can prove it has made the proper corrections. Some of the most damaging critical violations are those involving the presence of pests because they denote an overall weakness in a restaurant’s ability to maintain basic sanitation, and are based on the visible numbers of pests, or evidence of pests. Among these critical violations are the evidence of rodents or live rodents present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas, live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas, and filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Non-critical violations in regards to pest management include the facility not being vermin proof or having harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist. Basically every instance of violation inspectors find will denote a point or more depending on the severity of the problem, for example the number of flies, rodent droppings, etc. The greater the number of flies for example, the more points lost. Needless to say, the presence of any pest in the restaurant can threaten the “A” grade.

Passing the Grade

According to NYC Health’s Guide for Food Service Operators, one of the main steps restaurants need to take in receiving an “A” includes contracting a licensed pest control professional. With this in mind, how does RJS work with its restaurant clients to maintain their “A”? RJS’s Integrated Pest Management strategies provide our clients with an edge since the multi-level approach we use covers everything from training restaurant staff, identifying and eliminating harborage and entry points, to ongoing monitoring programs. Along with this we recommend installing products like Xcluder door sweeps to insure roaches and rodents are unable to enter under doors for example. In NYC commercial fly control for restaurants is a major concern, especially in spring and summer when fly populations can increase to critical violation levels overnight. RJS takes preventative measure like installing BASF Vector fly lights in our client’s properties to ensure fly populations are kept at a minimum. Caulking and sealing entry points, cracks, and harborage areas is also key to insuring our client’s restaurants remain as pest free as possible. In addition to the physical prevention we use staff training to help workers identify and resolve problems such as uncovered garbage, or food, and to identify and monitor the presence of pests. Following RJS’s comprehensive restaurant pest control programs will give our clients the best chance at getting the “A” Grade because we understand the criteria and how to execute a plan that will insure that you are in compliance.

Looking forward to our next blog installment were we will cover how RJS views the future of pest control in a post entitled: “How Technology is Revolutionizing The Pest Control Industry”.

RJS Pest Management specializes in providing superior pest management services to commercial facilities in the New York City metropolitan area. We are a family-owned and operated company that was founded with the mindset of providing a superior pest management service to our commercial customers by providing unparalleled attention to detail, pro-active communication, overall professionalism and customer support.

FREE ONSITE FLY TRAINING

Ready to arm your staff with the education they need to prevent pest infestations? In addition to providing education on the latest pest control best practices, we offer tips on what you and your staff can to help keep pests at bay.



Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Practice

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Practice

Integrated Pest Management Within Professional Relationships, Certifications And In The Field

A “Greener” NYC Requires IPM Specialists

First and foremost, when it comes to Integrated Pest Management, NYC needs to be considered as a very special environment. New York City has so many people, and animals living in such close proximity to one another it is easy to see how pest management efforts need careful monitoring, planning and execution in the “greenest” ways possible. This is where RJS’s commitment to the IPM philosophy proves to be invaluable to creating environmentally conscious solutions. By consulting with IPM specialists like Urban Entomologist and Rodentologist Dr. Jill Gordon, RJS is able to effectively create the most informed and ecologically sensitive plans for pest management in New York City. According to Dr Gordon: “The idea of integrating many approaches to achieve manageable levels of pest populations is the basis of a good IPM program.” Given such expert consideration, we can take the proper steps toward implementing very effective programs for green pest control in NYC.

Professional Certifications and IPM

Along with expert consultation, RJS also implements IPM through its professional certifications such as its Certified Green Pro designation. By completing such programs, RJS gains valuable knowledge and credit in specific applications of IPM in areas such as LEED certified pest control services. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a third party certification program administered through Certified Green Pro that trains and certifies companies like RJS Pest Management in IPM practices applied to green building methods. This aids us in our ability to assess structural harborage sites and create solutions, for example for businesses seeking to proactively eliminate pest issues during pre-construction of commercial sites.

Implementation of IPM in The Field

Taking into consideration professional certification, and expert consultation, RJS’s approach to IPM then integrates many tactics into a logical program of monitoring, identifying, preventing, and controlling pests. The following are specific examples of how IPM is implemented in the field:

SANITATION: Proper sanitation is not only necessary for prevention of pest problems; it is a means of eliminating existing infestations. The removal of food and water sources stresses pest populations, making traps and baits more effective. Proper grounds and building maintenance reduces pest harborage and food sources, which RJS recommends for example, in pest control for NYC parks.

MECHANICAL CONTROL: Mechanical control involves the use of traps, barriers, door sweeps, mechanical exclusion (screening), air currents, manipulation of environmental factors (temperature, humidity), and proper building maintenance. In the case of pest control for schools or institutions, for example, RJS can direct faculty members to address these tasks in order to prevent pest activity.

CULTURAL CONTROL: This involves changing the habits or behaviors of people to reduce infestations. An example would be changing cleaning schedules so that food debris is cleaned up daily or keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep flies out. This is very effective, for example in restaurant and hotel pest control efforts.

HARBORAGE REDUCTION OR ELIMINATION: This involves proper storage practices (i.e. all storage off the ground and at least 18 inches away from the walls). Shrubs and vegetation need to be closely trimmed and well kept. Pests (especially rodents) will hide behind clutter and in high vegetation, drawing them closer to the structure where they may migrate indoors.

CHEMICAL CONTROL: The judicious use of pesticides may constitute a portion of control options. Using IPM philosophy, pesticides are carefully reviewed for their appropriateness and are selected on as needed basis and as a last option.

When it comes to Integrated Pest Management, NYC represents a wide range of possibilities and challenges, and RJS’s strategy works on many levels in response to this. Whether it’s partnering with specialists, furthering our own expertise, or taking this knowledge into the field, IPM defines our whole process, philosophy, and commitment. We in turn pass that on to our customers and community. Look for more on IPM and it’s effectiveness on specific pests in coming blog posts.

RJS Pest Management specializes in providing superior pest management services to commercial facilities in the New York City metropolitan area. We are a family-owned and operated company that was founded with the mindset of providing a superior pest management service to our commercial customers by providing unparalleled attention to detail, pro-active communication, overall professionalism and customer support.

FREE ONSITE FLY TRAINING

Ready to arm your staff with the education they need to prevent pest infestations? In addition to providing education on the latest pest control best practices, we offer tips on what you and your staff can to help keep pests at bay.



Integrated Pest Management Defined

Integrated Pest Management Defined

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – What It Means To Us And What it Means To Our Customers

Ok, so you are here to learn right? Why else would you be reading about something so seemingly boring as Integrated Pest Management? Well, we understand that you are here researching the best methods and resources for commercial pest control because you probably have a need in your business to protect your livelihood, customers, employees, and the greater health of the community we live in. In many ways we all affect one another in our lives through our actions, decisions, and practices. We are part of a greater system that includes the environment we live in which could be described as an integrated system. When the system gets out of balance problems arise, and in the case of New York’s urban ecosystem, pests can become a major problem if not kept in balance. For this reason the Integrated Pest Management strategy is the perfect solution to New York City pest control because it takes a comprehensive, yet balanced approach to controlling pest populations.

So What Is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is described as an environmentally sensitive, yet effective approach to pest management. IPM uses a wide range of organic, biological, chemical, mechanical, and cultural applications to create a comprehensive, balanced and economical strategy for managing pests. The main goal of IPM is to minimize damage to people, property and the environment.

So How Does IPM Work Exactly?

IPM is not a singular pest control method. It is more of a series of evaluations, decisions and controls. In practice pest management professionals use the following methods for effectively monitoring, assessing, and acting to control the pest population of a given area.

Setting Action Thresholds

Prior to taking action, IPM first sets an action threshold. This is the point where pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. This means that although evidence of pests may be present there need to be certain criteria in place that identifies threatening levels of population versus incidental occurrences.

Identifying Pests

The IPM approach works to monitor pests, identify them, and assess their populations so as to make informed decisions regarding the proper course of action given the existing information from the action thresholds. This insures, for example, that pesticides will only be used when necessary, and that the right kind of pesticide is used in the proper levels.

Prevention

Ideally this is the first set of actions IPM uses to insure pest populations are kept in balance. By putting together prevention strategies for clients we can cost effectively avoid expensive treatments and invasive procedures. Ultimately the goal is to control pests by understanding their life cycles, survival needs, and behaviors to safely avoid any issues before they become larger problems. Specifically when creating a prevention strategy for pest control NYC has its own unique set of challenges. RJS implements these prevention strategies based on our wide experience working in our unique urban environment by eliminating opportunities for pest to enter, feed, and breed.

Control Methods

If action thresholds, along with monitoring and identification procedures indicate that prevention measures are no longer effective, control methods are taken into action. RJS uses IPM programs to determine the correct method taking into account risk and effectiveness. Starting with the least risky methods, the IPM approach dictates the use of a wide range of non-toxic, mechanical, and biological means before action thresholds indicate the need for more aggressive treatments with the wide use of pesticides, for example, being the last resort. The ultimate goal is to eradicate problems using a comprehensive approach with minimal environmental impact.

RJS, IPM and You

At RJS our commitment to our clients is carried out through our use of best practice in implementing IPM so that your place of business is treated like our own with attention to safety, health, and the overall wellbeing of your clients and employees, because its all connected. That is how RJS ‘s commitment to Integrated Pest Management philosophies carries over into our relationships with our valued customers.

RJS Pest Management specializes in providing superior pest management services to commercial facilities in the New York City metropolitan area. We are a family-owned and operated company that was founded with the mindset of providing a superior pest management service to our commercial customers by providing unparalleled attention to detail, pro-active communication, overall professionalism and customer support.

FREE ONSITE FLY TRAINING

Ready to arm your staff with the education they need to prevent pest infestations? In addition to providing education on the latest pest control best practices, we offer tips on what you and your staff can to help keep pests at bay.