Down the Drain

There are thousands of restaurants in New York City. Many of them are great at cooking and serving; but they’re not great at cleaning – daily, weekly or monthly. That’s where Magic Exterminating helps. Serving the five boroughs of NYC, the full-service, family owned company is an integrated pest management (IPM) specialist that services sensitive accounts, such as homes, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The company, which generates more than $5 million annually, specializes in termite control, commercial pest control, structural repairs, IPM for schools, and fumigation. It has earned the Angie’s List Super Service award in 2010, 2011 and 2013. A typical situation goes something like this: Magic is called in to a restaurant that failed a health inspection to immediately control the fly problem. Magic usually goes in after hours, after the restaurant employees have cleaned the kitchen. Magic employees scrub, scrape and steam the drains and walls, then apply the necessary pesticides to kill off the flies. Magic follows up with InVade, a bio sanitation product that eliminates organic buildup and odors in commercial kitchens. “In one week, there’s a dramatic difference,” says Ralph H. Maestre, BCE, Magic’s technical director.

Magic uses several InVade products: Bio Cleaner, which it sells to restaurant clients for regular use; Bio Drain and Bio Foam, which the company uses to reduce the overall amount of organic build-up in the drains; and InVade Bio Cleaner in the ready-to-use spray bottle. Magic has been using InVade products for about 10 years now. Maestre met Dr. Cisse Spragins, owner and CEO, at a regional trade conference where she answered many questions about flies and how to address sanitation issues that can contribute to problems in accounts. Before InVade, Magic used another bio product with enzymes that would eat the junk in the drains of its clients. The product used previously was effective, but InVade products contain actual living microbes that act as “enzyme factories” so they work better and longer than products that contain only enzymes, and the price is more reasonable, Maestre says. Magic orders two or three cases of gallon-sized InVade Bio Cleaner every two or three weeks and buys about 26 cases of the 16 oz InVade Bio Foam concentrate a year.

Magic’s fly programs are part of many of its contracts, but it’s not a regular service. Magic uses InVade Bio Sanitation with every client that has a fly program and uses it every time no matter the frequency. “Clients are still continuing to have us perform work, so they must be satisfied,” Maestre says. Some structures in NYC are 400 years old, so there are many layers to walls, and there are tunnels, vaults and other unknown areas underground that people aren’t aware of. Old pipe lines are cut sometimes but are still considered part of the sewer system. These areas harbor pests. Generally speaking, restaurants in NYC are inspected once a year. If one fails, it’s inspected more frequently, but Magic typically doesn’t have that type of account. When controlling a pest problem, Magic employs every possible means to keep pests under control, which means clients need to do some work on their end. “We use InVade for sanitation purposes, along with the pesticide treatments,” Maestre says. “It’s one tool in the toolbox. We use a combination of punches, not just a jab.”