Wasps, Bees, and the Food Service Industry

waspSummer means an increase in insects that fly and sting, like bees and wasps. If your business is related to the food service industry, you may face special challenges concerning flying stingers.

Unfortunately, people, food, and stinging insects do not mix well. Both people and flying stingers are attracted by the food you offer, but the results can be annoying or even deadly. Here’s what to know about flying stingers and how they can impact your business.

Bees and Wasps Are Dangerous

Your business may prepare and serve food at a restaurant, café, or outdoor food cart. Whatever the nature of your food business, bees and wasps do not belong there.

Bees and wasps don’t generally carry diseases like ticks and mosquitoes, but their sting can be dangerous. Most people that are stung by a bee feel a sharp pain followed by a red, swelling bump at the sting site.

However, victims who are allergic to the venom experience additional, more serious reactions like difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. In some cases, a bee sting can be fatal.

Bee and Wasp Communication Is Damaging

When a bee or wasp stings its victim, it releases a pheromone that calls to other nearby colleagues to join the fight. This instinct to join forces is an effort to protect their nest if they believe it is threatened. Your bee sting might have occurred simply because you shooed away a bee from your plate of food, or accidentally touched or stepped on a bee. You were probably unaware of any hive or nest nearby.

What does this instinct to protect a hive or nest have to do with food service? Your customers and employees are at risk for multiple stings if a single bee or wasp feels threatened. Increased insect stings are not just bad for your health, but can be bad for your business. No one wants to frequent a restaurant or work in an environment fraught with bees and wasps.

Bees and Wasp Prevision Is Possible

The nature of a restaurant or food facility requires the presence and proliferation of food which can attract bees and wasps. Fortunately, there are several ways to discourage or prevent unwanted attention from bees and wasps and their resulting stings.

If possible, try not to leave garbage cans outdoors. Wasps and bees love to check out the contents and look for sweet, sugary food like fruit and juice as well as protein-based food like meat. Otherwise, keep lids on tight and regularly clean up food and crumbs from tables, chairs, and floors, especially in outdoor eating spaces.

Sometimes despite your best efforts, bees and wasps still hang around and bother customers and workers. Hang up hornet and wasp traps to lure them if you can’t keep them away from the garbage and diners. Traps may contain sugar water, meat, and even vinegar to attract and contain flying pests to keep them away from people.

To keep your employees safe if bees or wasps come around, give them some helpful tips to keep flying stingers away:

  • Don’t use strong fragrances like deodorant, soap, and perfume, especially banana scent which mimics pheromones.
  • Keep away from flowers and flowering plants which attract bees.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors as they resemble flowers.
  • Maintain clean work areas free of food.

In addition, remember that shady areas are better than sunny ones to avoid bees and wasps.

Sometimes bees and wasps establish a hive or nest in close proximity to your place of business. When this happens, bees and wasps are more likely to visit, and the risk for stings increases. Call PermaTreat Pest & Termite Control for help if you believe a nest or hive is nearby. We can help your restaurant be free of bees, wasps, and any pests you may have.

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