Conducive Conditions: Get Down and Look


April 14, 2015

Photo: Jeff McGovern

You must get on your hands and knees to find the out-of-the-way places that can harbor pests. Photo: Jeff McGovern

Whether it’s a residential or commercial kitchen, what appears to be clean might not be clean at all. That gleaming kitchen floor and polished countertop may serve only to distract the pest technician in a hurry to complete his route. Small, out-of-the-way places can harbor pests, providing them a place to feed, breed and continue causing problems.

When floors are mopped in a hurry, food scraps and trash can get pushed behind equipment legs and crammed into corners where they’re difficult to remove. Left untouched, this kind of mopping routine creates a veritable collage of filth, bacteria, food and harborage cemented to the walls, baseboards and floors.

To find these zones, you must get on your hands and knees — and belly crawl, if necessary. The problem then must be dug out and the area cleaned properly to remove the pest and destroy its resource site. To keep it from reoccurring, the partnership of pest professional, management and staff must create a means of awareness and accountability.

You can reach the Kate and Jeff McGovern at

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