The Special With a Side of… Bug? How to Keep Your Restaurant Pest-Free
In the food service industry, having a pest-free facility is critical. Infestations pose more than just health risks and equipment damage — one negative online review about bugs or rodents can ruin a restaurant’s livelihood. And while you may think your space is spotless and bug-free, critters can get creative.
Here are five regular practices to prevent pests from creating disasters in your kitchen.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Consistent restaurant space and equipment inspections are key to keeping your business pest-free. Ensure areas where bugs and other pests could enter machinery are sealed and that equipment is clean and working properly. Be sure to check employee breakrooms and identify any possible entrances or food and water sources that might attract critters, such as leaks or storage bins.
Not only do you need inspections for your machines, but pest control inspections are vital in prevention. In a perfect world, these inspections are done monthly, but every other month is most common.
Close Your Doors to Pests
If a pest smells food, senses water, or assumes it can find shelter, it will squeeze its way in. Look for cracks, holes, or other openings both inside and outside your building. Larger pests like mice and rats can fit through surprisingly small gaps, so fill and close off any possible entrances. Doors and windows should remain tightly shut if not in use, and routine maintenance can help ensure these openings stay sealed.
If your restaurant has outdoor seating, large awning windows, or any other open areas, keep the floor regularly swept and cleaned of food particles, and close spaces up daily to clean efficiently and effectively.
Eliminate Food, Water, and Shelter Sources
Leftover food and drinks, trash that’s missed the bin, a leaky faucet, a warm shadowy corner — all of these can be attractive places for a pest to eat, drink, and sleep. Make sure to store food at least six inches above the ground. Meanwhile, keep cooking equipment completely sealed where the base meets the floor or lifted six inches. Pests love to sneak under warm ovens and dishwashers, so it’s vital to inspect and clean beneath them regularly.
Keep Things Clean
In addition to keeping food stored correctly, wipe down all surfaces, properly dispose of the trash, and ensure any debris is cleared. If you have outdoor areas, it may seem impossible to keep everything squeaky clean, but sweeping regularly throughout rush hours and downtime can help keep hungry pests away.
Even in areas of no food contact, keep areas as spotless as possible so that pests don’t have a motive to weasel their way in (pun intended).
Identify the Threat
Your menu isn’t the only thing that changes each season. Each type of pest leaves its unique footprint — literally. They’ll vary throughout the months and will require different methods of pest control. Identifying which kind of intruder you’re dealing with and using professional exterminators can help rid your restaurant of unwanted visitors more efficiently, while causing the least harm to your food and patrons.
Professional pest control can help you identify unwelcome restaurant guests and find a solution to keep them out. If you’re worried about food safety and keeping your customers happy, contact us for a personalized pest control plan.