Have you ever thought about what a rodent problem might mean for your restaurant? As a restaurant owner or manager, you’ll probably think about your customers first, and how they might react to seeing a mouse, rat or the droppings these pests leave behind. While your customers are certainly an important consideration, rodents can cause additional issues for food service establishments.
For example, did you know that rodents can cause gnawing damage to structures and equipment, as well as product loss? Because rodents can carry pathogens that may cause disease, and unsanitary rodent droppings can contaminate equipment and food, they can also compromise the cleanliness of your restaurant and the health of your customers and employees. In addition, mice and rats can generate unpleasant odors, disrupt productivity and violate health codes. Even one rodent sighting or incident may be enough to harm your restaurant’s good reputation.
Rodent control can be challenging because restaurants offer the very things that these pests seek for feeding and breeding - food, water and shelter. Doors and windows of restaurants are often left opened, which can provide access to the rodent necessities inside. And there are other ways they can get inside, which are mentioned below. Even so, there are still some steps you can take to help keep rodents out of your restaurant. Here are five of them:
1. Take care of trash and garbage.
The abundance of food scraps and leftovers that restaurants discard can be enticing to rodents. That’s why it’s important to remove food scraps quickly, empty trash cans multiple times per day and secure all trash receptacles and dumpster lids. If possible, you should also position outside trash and garbage containers away from buildings and entrances to discourage rodent entry.
2. Secure sources of food and water.
In a restaurant, you obviously can’t completely remove the food and water that rodents seek to survive. However, you can keep food securely covered unless it’s being prepared or served, and you can be diligent about keeping dining and kitchen areas clean. Pay special attention to crumbs that settle into crevices and along baseboards, and to food spills in storage areas. Wipe up all moisture spills immediately, including water, and make sure counters and floors are dry at the close of each business day.
Clean up clutter to help prevent pest harborage areas. Rodents look for places to nest and breed, and can multiply rapidly when sufficient food, water and the shelter are available. Don’t overlook storage areas and closets where clutter can gather, and clean out boxes, papers and unused items regularly.
4. Take care of your landscaping.
Regular mowing and trimming around your restaurant can help make the exterior more inviting to customers and less inviting to rodents. Remove tall weeds and grass from around structures to help prevent rodents from living and hiding around the perimeter of your building, waiting to sneak in.
5. Stay on top of repairs.
Rodents can enter restaurants through doorways and very small cracks and holes. In fact, rats can squeeze through holes as small as the size of a quarter and mice can slip through openings the size of a dime. To help prevent rodent entry, seal all exterior cracks and crevices (pay special attention to openings around pipes leading to the exterior), install door sweeps, and repair torn or ill-fitting window screens. It’s also important to fix all leaks as soon as possible to help remove water sources.
Attempting to control a rodent infestation on your own is a tall task, especially with the many demands of running a restaurant. A commercial pest control company, like Terminix® Commercial, that is trained in serving restaurants is your best resource for dependable rodent control.
The Terminix Commercial technicians are trained in a variety of methods, like traps and baits, for rodent removal. They also know how to incorporate physical barriers and exclusion techniques that are specifically designed to help prevent future rodent entry.
Make sure rodents don’t get a seat at your restaurant.