5 Ways to Impress the Health Inspector

Ensuring your restaurant kitchen is always ready for inspection

Is your restaurant kitchen ready for the visit from the health inspector? Avoid common mistakes with this simple checklist.

Practice Good Hygiene

Clean habits make for a clean kitchen. Ensure that your staff always washes their hands after using the restroom. Gloves should be changed between preparing different dishes. Most importantly, staff members who are ill should never handle food. Be sure to check the bathrooms to make sure that the sinks and toilets are clean and all drains are operating properly to prevent backup or potential contamination.

Proper Handling of Hazardous Foods

Meats, dairy products, eggs and certain prepared foods must be kept at the proper temperature to avoid bacterial growth. Never leave refrigerated or frozen items sitting out until they become lukewarm. Cook all foods thoroughly and serve or store them in a timely manner. Keep food preparation and cooking surfaces clean at all … Read Full Post »

Do You Know About Those Tenants Under the Eaves?

You may not be in the habit of inspecting the eaves of your building. However, keeping this part of your store or office free from pests is vital when you want to keep dangerous rodents and critters at bay. You probably think outdoor creatures such as squirrels, opossums, and chipmunks are cute, but rodents like these can carry deadly diseases with them and infect your building by invading your eaves. When you want your office, store, or other commercial space to be free from such nuisances and health dangers, you can take these steps to keep these critters away.

Rodents like to live under your eaves because this area provides the warmth and shelter they need to build nests and raise offspring. In fact, this website reports that squirrels can have two or more litters of pups each year. You can get rid of these creatures and discourage them from taking … Read Full Post »

Furry and Freaky Creatures That Go Bump in the Night

Furry animals are cute to look at in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary, but when these critters invade your attic and take over your property, you begin to understand why pest control specialists refer to these animals as nuisances. Despite their small size, they can wreak total havoc on your home, often within a matter of days after finding their way inside your attic, basement, or eaves. When you hear skittering in your attic and on your roof or see the tell-tale signs of a nocturnal animal invasion, it’s time to take the necessary steps to get rid of these critters.

Discouraging these animals from coming into your home can start with practical steps such as bagging up your garbage each night, removing pet food and water bowls from your outdoor patio or backyard area, and getting rid of any other sources of food that might be attracting these animals. When … Read Full Post »

Five Ways to Dispose of Bed-Bug-Infested Bedding

Don’t let your bedding infest other homes

Bed bugs remain an exceptionally difficult pest to exterminate. They hide in tiny crevices and inflict itchy bites after dark. Texas law identifies this insect as a public health nuisance. To avoid spreading these bugs to fellow Texans, it’s vital to discard infested belongings in a safe and lawful manner.

Disposal Options

1. Consider calling a local junk removal service. Some firms will dispose of almost anything for a fee. They quickly haul away mattresses, couches, upholstered chairs and other unwanted items.

2. Many cities provide free curbside junk collection. Dallas residents may use this monthly service to discard old beds and carpets. To protect sanitation workers and neighbors, seal all infested objects in plastic.

3. If your city, landlord or trash removal company allows it, you can put relatively small things in a nearby dumpster. Be sure to deface these items and attach warning labels.

4. Another option … Read Full Post »

Don’t Let Pests Chase Away Business

The customer is always right about pests

Rodents and insects create problems for Dallas businesses, whether they’re child care centers or furniture rental stores. They can annoy, sicken or injure your firm’s customers and employees. Even if you don’t have direct contact with the public, an infestation may ruin valuable goods. It’s vital to take action before pests cause serious harm to your business.

Bothersome Bugs

Your company may offer excellent products and services, but this won’t stop a small infestation from chasing away your customers. No one wants to find ants crawling on a dining table or hotel bed. Likewise, people won’t shop or eat if they smell an expired rodent in the wall. A single pest can prevent you from gaining a loyal patron.

Bad Publicity

When customers buy flea-infested furniture or swat flies while eating meals, they often tell other people about these experiences. Business review websites make this very easy to … Read Full Post »

When You Need More than a Dead Bolt

Improving the Protection of Your Dallas Property

Although the rate of burglaries in Dallas has been dropping since 2007, it’s still a good idea to take steps to protect your home or business. Fortunately, the latest security systems are high-tech marvels that offer a customizable range of features, and this will enable you to put the appropriate measures in place. As an added bonus, installing a home security system will have a positive impact on your annual homeowners insurance premium.

How Do Alarm Systems Work?

The latest home security technology combines a mixture of cameras, motion detectors and window and door sensors in order to protect your home or business. These features are closely monitored so that the police can be quickly called for assistance in the event of a home invasion or burglary. Additionally, the presence of an alarm system is often enough to deter criminals from targeting your property.

Do I Need … Read Full Post »

St. Augustine or Bermuda? A Texas Dilemma

It’s the ultimate showdown in Dallas lawn care

A battle’s brewing in Dallas, and it has to do with lawn care. If you’re uncertain which grass to root for, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of both contenders will help you make an informed pick between St. Augustine and Bermuda. We have a feeling this will be a close fight.

Water

Sorry, St. Augustine fans, but Bermuda wins this round. As reported by WFAA, Patrick Dickinson, the urban water program coordinator at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center, suggests St. Augustine will lose the Turf Wars because it greedily slurps up twice the amount of water as Bermuda grass.

Choosing grass involves other factors, but this will influence those people looking to conserve the water supply in Dallas or reduce the cost of lawn care.

Temperature

While neither grass thrives when the temperature drops below 60 F, St. Augustine grass does have a lower stress tolerance than Bermuda, … Read Full Post »

Are Your Guests Sleeping With the Enemy?

The modern bed bug invasion and what to do about it

Are unwelcome visitors feasting in your guest rooms? We’re not talking about intruders helping themselves to the minibar. We’re talking about bed bugs. Are they dining on your guests?

Bed bug infestations are on the rise. When the National Pest Management Association surveyed pest management companies in 2010, they found that 95% of the companies that responded had encountered bed bugs in the previous year, up from just 25% in 2006. The nasty things have been found in homes, hospitals, dorms, retail stores and even in the offices of the Wall Street Journal.

The hospitality industry is also on the creepy-crawly radar. When bed bugs invaded hotels in New York, it made headlines all over the world. Most people assume these creatures are a sign of poor housekeeping. The truth is that bed bugs are the world’s best hitchhikers. They hide in … Read Full Post »

When Dallas Yards Get Hungry

Enhancing your property with proper fertilization techniques

Although Dallas definitely stays warmer year-round than states in the northern half of the country, it’s still imperative to consider your property’s lawn care needs for the spring, summer and fall. After all, fertilizing strategies change with the weather, and you also need to aerify warm season turfgrasses during the spring and summer months. Taking the time to create the proper strategy will help ensure a lush lawn.

Fertilization Schedule for Southern Grasses

It’s common for Dallas-area residents to have Southern grasses such as Zoysia, Bermuda and St. Augustine on their property. All of these grasses require granular slow-release fertilization four times a year to help them look their best. This requires a proper schedule so that you don’t end up overwhelming your yard or inadvertently causing some damage. You should have the first fertilization applied between late February and early March, and follow it up … Read Full Post »

Stop the Weed-Whacking Insanity

When the weather is warm and there’s plenty of rain, it can seem like all you do throughout the spring and summer is try to keep weeds under control. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to put away that noisy, stinky old weed whacker? With the right lawn care methods, you can do just that and still have an amazing lawn.

Don’t Buzz Cut Your Lawn

An ultra-short lawn may extend the time until you have to mow again, but it also leaves your grass vulnerable to being overrun by more aggressive plants. Mowing at a higher level gives your grass a long enough leaf to produce the nutrients it needs to grow strong and “crowd out” pesky weeds.

Hoe Your Rows

Weed whackers only cut the visible parts of weeds, but a good old-fashioned hoe can stop them in their tracks. If you’re sick of weeds that seem to spring up year … Read Full Post »