Canadian Pizza Magazine

New technologies and pest control

By Bill Melville   

Features Business and Operations Health & Safety

From demanding healthier options and locally sourced ingredients to
changing taste preferences, consumer demand is perpetually reshaping the
foodservice industry.

From demanding healthier options and locally sourced ingredients to changing taste preferences, consumer demand is perpetually reshaping the foodservice industry. National chains and indpendent pizzerias alike must adapt to stay competitive and profitable. However, there is at least one constant that consumers (and health inspectors) will always demand – a pest-free dining experience.

When it comes to pest control, it is important to implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

This approach focuses on sanitation measures to minimize pest attractants such as food and water as well as facility maintenance to block pests’ access to your building. To combat this threat, the pest management industry has introduced new or improved technologies to help effectively treat pests that are a primary concern for pizzerias


These pests transmit more than 100 known pathogens, including E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus and shingles. Flies leave behind bacteria every time they land through their contaminated bodies, regurgitated fluids or fecal deposits. To help combat flies, in addition to focusing on strict sanitation practices, the industry has adopted the use of insect light traps. These traps effectively capture flies, ensuring that proper identification and eradication procedures are implemented.

These advancements in continuous, effective and sanitary fly control can be discreetly placed in virtually any location, and are well suited to food preparation areas. There are no chemicals to worry about and no concerns about airborne contamination from insect parts – a common problem with traditional “bug zappers.” That’s because the newer traps are designed to attract flies using ultraviolet lights, and then capture them on a non-toxic adhesive trapping board inside the unit. These silent trapping devices operate 24 hours a day.

Cockroaches carry a number of organisms and bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea and dysentery. Roaches typically pick up these diseases by walking into contaminated environments and then spreading them to other areas. While thorough sanitation is the most effective way to combat cockroaches, there are new tools that can help trap and repel these pests.

For example, pheromone traps use synthetic materials relating to the particular biology of a specific cockroach species to lure roaches to sticky traps. There also have been advancements in insect repellants to keep cockroaches from hiding in cracks and crevices. One such example is repellant dust, which uses naturally occurring compounds such as silica or natural pyrethrin to prevent roaches from entering harbourage areas. This is most effective when applied in small openings where roaches may hide.

Rodents carry salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tracts and can contaminate food through bacteria passed in their droppings or urine. Researchers have recently revisited the effectiveness of ultrasonic devices to help manage rodent populations. Manufactured with specific sound frequencies that are out of the human hearing range, these could be ideal tools to help keep rodents from entering your pizzeria. Typically, ultrasonic devices are best suited to exterior applications, where rodents are always on the lookout for an easy entry point.
While some technologies are used for specific pests, there are others that can help with your overall pest management program. Here are a few you should consider:

  • Organic cleaners made with naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes eliminate the grease and grime pests feed on and breed in, especially in drains.
  • “Active monitors” and detection devices locate and track resilient pests. Active monitors can use specific attractants to draw in pests that are dwelling in close proximity to the devices.
  • Odour reduction technology can help limit the smells that attract pests to your facility. While it is tempting to use masking agents such as air fresheners, they are not effective for long-term odour control. Installing a misting system with powerful all-natural reactants can neutralize airborne odours from accumulated waste and convert odorous anaerobic bacteria into non-odorous facultative bacteria. Such systems do more than mask with ineffective perfumes; they eliminate odours at the source.

No one technology can help you avoid a pest infestation, so it is important to work with your pest management provider to set up a plan to manage the specific pests in your environment. When combined with an IPM program, the right mix of new technologies is the key ingredient to pest control success.


Bill Melville is the quality assurance director for Orkin Canada. He has 35 years of experience in the industry and is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. For more information, e-mail or visit .

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