If you run a commercial kitchen there is a high likelihood that you know what a grease trap is, and the mere thought of cleaning it can bring on a headache. But did you know that it could be attracting these 3 pests to your kitchen?
Our latest blog offers more insight into the 3 pests you may be attracting and how to deal with them.
A commercial kitchen is definitely not the environment in which you would ever want to see pests, but commercial kitchens are - in fact - the perfect breeding ground for certain pests.
What draws pests to a kitchen?
There are a number of things that can lure pests into your restaurant kitchen, but the main attraction is food and water. This can be the food you are preparing for your guests or food in the form of waste and spills. But did you know that the grease and sludge in your grease trap are also hugely attractive to pests? It's like inviting them to an all-you-can-eat, 24/7 buffet.
What is a grease trap and why are they necessary?
A grease trap is a plumbing device designed to slow down the flow of greasy wastewater. It separates out grease and solid waste before they enter the sewerage system. The water flows down the pipe to the sewer, and the grease floats to the top and is retained in the trap.
The South African sewer reticulation system is only geared to accept toilet, sink, basin and bath waste. Our stormwater system is only geared to accept rainwater. Anything else puts a severe strain on the system and ultimately causes blockages. Because commercial and restaurant kitchens produce large volumes of waste grease, the law requires that all premises engaged in the cooking and preparation of food must install and maintain an adequately sized grease trap. (You can read all about the legislation governing grease trap maintenance here).
Why do grease traps attract pests?
The fats, oils, grease and starch (FOGS) that are separated by the grease trap form a scummy layer in the grease trap which must be disposed of regularly. If proper grease trap cleaning and maintenance is not regularly performed, the accumulation of FOGs and foodstuffs can start to rot and give off the characteristic rotten egg drain smell, and it's this scummy layer that can attract pests.
3 pests your grease trap is attracting:
This rotting sludge is extremely attractive to pests - a veritable buffet in fact - and a common cause of flies, cockroaches and even ants in your commercial kitchen.
1. Flies:Flies carry a wide range of serious illnesses, including typhoid fever, cholera, conjunctivitis, tuberculosis and diarrhoea, and it's these transmissible illnesses that should be your main reason for wanting to prevent them from breeding in your kitchen. You can read more about the problems flies cause for hoteliers in this blog post.
Limit flies ability to breed and feed by removing all potential food sources, and this includes making sure that your grease trap is maintained effectively. The sludge in your grease trap is both a source of food and water - and a great breeding site - for flies, so keeping it clean and free-flowing will go a long way to mitigating a fly problem. Other DIY fly control solutions include installing fly strips across doorways and fly screens across windows.
Cockroaches are pretty much synonymous with filth, and to make matters worse, they also contribute to the spread of disease. Cockroaches can squeeze through the smallest of cracks, which makes proofing against them difficult. They are able to fit through a gap as small as a quarter of their body height, by flattening their flexible exoskeletons and splaying their legs to the side. This means that if there is a food and water source available to them, they WILL find a way to get to it.
You can read more about cockroaches and what you need to know about them here: 10 facts about cockroaches you should know.
Ants are continually looking for food and water and will hunt for any food or food debris that we leave behind. Like humans, ants require a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in their diets, and they are attracted to anything damp or that contains standing water, which means that your grease trap with its scummy layer of FOGS is definitely appealing! You can read more about ants and some of the problems they can pose in our recent Deep Dive into Ants blog post.
Grease trap cleaning: how to prevent pests in your kitchen
As we've mentioned above, correct and regular grease trap maintenance can go a long way to helping eliminate these three pests from your kitchen. Biological Dosing - offered by Initial - is an environmentally friendly, non-chemical maintenance program for grease traps. The biological enzyme, which is dispensed into the system in a metered-dose, digests FOGS, thereby eliminating blockages. Installed, serviced, and maintained by Initial, bio-dosing results in a free-flowing drainage system.
Pest problems are eliminated by reducing the available food source, and the elimination of bacteria means that the characteristic "bad drain" smell is also controlled, as a happy side-effect.
Alternately, book a free pest risk consultation with our team.