Running a restaurant involves managing a lot of moving parts—and dealing with a cockroach infestation can bring it all to a screeching halt. From health code violations and possible shutdowns to the impact on your reputation, the loss in profits could have a major impact on your business. Minimize the damage by facing the problem head on. Here are 4 things you should do if you have cockroaches in your restaurant.

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Signs of a roach infestation

Before you can start the process of eliminating cockroaches, you have to recognize the signs of their presence—then you can start working on a solution. Here are the most common signs you and your staff will notice if you have a cockroach infestation:

  • Full grown cockroaches: Even if you only see a single cockroach, you can be sure there are a lot more. German cockroaches—the most common species—like to live in groups, and they multiply quickly.
  • An unpleasant smell: Roaches communicate using chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons. As the infestation gets worse, so will the smell until the pungent, musty odor is impossible to ignore.
  • Droppings and smear marks: Cockroaches will leave behind feces that usually look like brown or black specks similar to coffee grounds. They might also leave long smears of dirt or feces created by dragging their bodies over wet surfaces.
  • Egg casings: When German cockroaches start reproducing, that's when the infestation gets out of control. Some lay egg casings with up to 50 eggs inside at a time.

If you have noticed any of these signs, it's time to act. Here's what we recommend.

1. Contact a professional pest control company

Have you ever heard the saying that if something was to survive the apocalypse it would be a cockroach? That's why if you notice the signs of a roach infestation, you should skip the DIY solutions, and call a cockroach control technician immediately. From determining the extent of the infestation, to completing treatment and providing advice for keeping cockroaches out for good, a professional has the experience to tackle the problem aggressively so you can get your business back up and running as soon as possible.

2. Evaluate cleaning and sanitation protocols

For businesses that prepare and serve food, strict cleaning, sanitation, and food storage protocols should be a top priority. That includes wiping up spills immediately, cleaning floors and countertops regularly, and sealing and storing all food items in tight-fitting containers. Garbage disposal and dish washing procedures should also be evaluated to ensure staff aren't doing anything that could possibly attract cockroaches.

3. Be transparent with your staff

Your kitchen and wait staff spend a lot of time in your restaurant. That makes them an important resource for detecting and preventing a cockroach problem. Make sure your staff are fully trained in cleaning best practices to avoid attracting pests in the first place, and ensure they are comfortable reporting a problem if they notice one.

4. Establish an ongoing prevention plan

Cockroaches are one of the most common food pests restaurant owners need to be on high alert for. The hardest part of a cockroach infestation is getting rid of all traces of the infestation and ensuring there are no remaining egg sacks waiting to hatch and reinfest your restaurant. Next, you'll need a plan to avoid re-infestation.

A pest control expert can help safeguard your restaurant to prevent cockroaches from getting inside again, but the cleaning and sanitation practices will be up to you and your staff. We recommend requiring regular training for your staff to ensure they're doing their part in keeping your restaurant cockroach-free.

Don't wait for things to escalate. Call us at 877.837.6464 to schedule service or request a free quote.

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