Keeping bars and restaurants pest-free

Bars and restaurants can be ultra-attractive to pests, and owners cannot be complacent. These high-traffic establishments provide plenty of sugar-rich and moisture that is a buffet for cockroaches, mice, ants, and flies.

However, evidence of pest activities in your bar or restaurant premises could seriously jeopardize your brand’s reputation, attract the wrath of the city health officers, and lose your business and goodwill.

The country’s leader in eradicating pests using its services, Mapecon Pest Control, suggested a holistic approach to curbing and controlling pests, whether industrial bugs or inside residential spaces.

Bryan Atienza, assistant national director of Mapecon Philippines Inc., said pest control is imperative to prevent the spread of some diseases and viruses brought by rodents, termites, cockroaches, flies, and mosquitoes, among others.

“Also, termites, bukbok (weevil) can cause damage and compromise the sturdiness of structures like houses and buildings. While others, such as mosquitoes, bring the dengue virus, while rats can cause leptospirosis. We should treat this holistically through finding its root causes or where these pests lair and not just use chemicals in eradicating them,” according to Atienza during his interview with the Daily Tribune’s digital morning show Gising Na!

As pests are easy to propagate and infest, he said getting rid of them should be done from all angles.

“During the rainy season, dengue cases are surging, even leptospirosis caused by rats. Rats also bite electrical wirings that can cause a fire. It is high time that people invest in dealing with these pests, which have potential dangers innate to them,” he said.

But when infestation strikes, he advises not to dwell with pesticides and chemicals that can harm individuals immediately.

“We get rid of these pests because we want a healthy environment. That’s why we should also check the kind of pesticides we use to care for our environment and our household members or officemates.

We should avoid overly toxic chemicals. Let’s check first its possible hazards and if it has side effects,” according to Atienza, adding that Mapecon uses insecticides invented by Filipino inventor and founder of Mapecon, Gonzalo Jun Catan Jr., an invention that won a silver medal in Geneva, Switzerland in 1997.

Father of Pest Control

The country is benefitting from the technology of Mapecon through the hard work and intelligence of its founder, Gonzalo Jun O. Catan Jr., who grew up in an environment where he learned very early in his life the value of creative, honest work.

His father, Gonzalo Catan Sr., was the principal of the public elementary school in his hometown of Valencia in Negros Oriental. He is the eldest of three sons and two daughters.

After completing high school in three years at St. Paul’s College in Dumaguete, he enrolled at Silliman University in 1953 as an Associate in Agriculture. He started becoming active in the newly created 4-H Club, where he became the president of the Club’s chapter in his hometown.

Through the 4-H Club, he could enter the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture with free tuition and books.

He majored in Entomology with a minor in Chemistry. Throughout his two-and-a-half years at the University, he began applying his training in Entomology, serving as a consultant on several 4-H projects.

It was also the 4-H Club that allowed him to participate in the international Farm Youth Exchange Program where he was sent to the United States to learn about farming techniques and agriculture.

When he visited New England, he met his wife, Nancy Russell, who was one of the daughters of his host parents. While in New England, he was offered an opportunity to study for a Master’s Degree at the University of Vermont but opted to return to the Philippines.

He came to Manila in 1959 and became employed as an Entomologist with Botica Boie, Inc. A few months after joining the company, he presented a proposal for selling pesticides and offering services to users. The company encouraged him to venture on his own. He then started the Manila Pest Control Company and the rest, as they say, is history.

Solid beginnings

Catan Jr. conceived the Manila Pest Control in January 1961, which started by proposing free trial services for one month to customers.

He then bought a sprayer and duster on terms. He worked mostly at night, starting at about four in the morning. In those days, established companies provided services for controlling just a few insects, while he offered a complete service to eliminate all insects, rats, and other pests.

After a month of trials, he signed with customers impressed with his services’ results: the Manila Hotel, the Jai-Alai Building, and the Safari Restaurant. With 60 percent of the payments he received as profit, he could resign from his job and concentrate on building the company.

By 1962, Mapecon had 300 customers and 19 employees. Mr. Catan continued to attract clients by giving free demonstrations of his services. He was then able to sign a chain of theaters, a shipping line, and more than 20 restaurants.

Today, Mapecon has grown from a single proprietorship entity to a multi-million-peso corporation with approximately 700 employees nationwide. It has numerous branches all over the country, including the provinces of Cebu, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Legaspi, Baguio, Palawan, and many others.

Remember, it takes only one customer to spot a mouse, and before you know it, the resulting bad publicity can destroy your brand and your business. That is why bars and restaurants, like any enterprises that handle foodstuffs, need to take a proactive approach to pests. Rather than control, prevention is always the key.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *