14 Nov. 19

Do all restaurants have pests?

Yes, your deli, diner, or fine restaurant has delicious food, an impeccably trained staff, and an enticing ambiance. All that don’t matter because nothing can take away an appetite quicker than spotting a cockroach on the counter. 

A pest problem can ruin the dining experience for your guests, and consequently, can affect your future potential customers. It can also harm your business reputation in general.

The question now is, do all restaurants have pests? Let’s put it this way.

Restaurant properties have many of the things that pests love—food, moisture, frequently opened doors, foot traffic, and shipments coming in. Thus, they are a year-round threat to restaurants because it provides their food, shelter, and water that they seek endlessly.

It’s important to be aware of the pests that pose the greatest threat to any restaurant.

Three of the dirtiest pests and most common offenders are rodents, cockroaches, and flies.


As a key player in the urban pest category, rodents such as rats and mice are one of the most common pests found infesting restaurants, cafes, commercial kitchens, and other food service businesses.

These adaptive creatures are attracted by strong, frequent food supplies and do not venture far from their nesting sites to feed. So, as you can guess, restaurants make the perfect place for them to inhabit. Rats and mice are capable of a rapid increase in population given an abundant food supply, due to the number of litters they are capable of producing and the time to maturity.

They are known to cause damage to both buildings’ fixtures and electrical equipment due to both their nesting, burrowing, and gnawing habits. They can also cause loss of stock through not only eating food items, but also damaging food containers and packaging. They have also been known to spread a range of diseases, such as Salmonellosis, which can contaminate food items and equipment through their urine and droppings.


Cockroaches cause particular problems because of their size, giving them the ability to hide in small places, their varied diet, rapid reproduction, and the diseases they can carry.

Cockroaches are primarily nocturnal, sheltering in the daytime and coming out at night to find food and other sites for shelter. They shelter in dark places such as cracks, crevices, drains, sewers, inside equipment and furnishings, and hidden spaces that provide the right temperature and humidity. These places are also hard to reach using normal cleaning and sanitation methods.

They pose a risk to food safety as they are known to carry a large number of disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can easily contaminate both food items, packaging, machinery and cooking utensils through their urine, droppings, and saliva.


As I’m sure you’re aware, flies are another issue for restaurants. There a number of species of flies which are attracted to food odours generated by commercial kitchens such as fruit flies, drain flies, and house flies.

Different species of flies are attracted to different food products; however, they all pose the same risk to food safety and other legislations restaurants must adhere to.

They are known to transmit over 200 different pathogens which, as you’ve probably guessed, can lead to the contamination of food items, machinery, and cooking utensils, posing a risk to both staff and customer health.

Why do restaurants have pests? 

  • Food storage and serving facilities, like restaurants can indicate signs of much bigger problems, as follows: 
  • Bacteria and sanitation issues where the food is kept, cooked, or served.
  • Poor hygiene among restaurant staff and potential food safety problems.
  • Structural issues with the building, such as cracking or missing insulation that lets pests enter the space. 

Some practical restaurant pest control actions to keep in mind

There are practical restaurant pest control actions that your management and staff can take to drastically reduce the likelihood that pests will be attracted to your restaurant. Here are five of the many actions that you can easily implement: 

  1. Close doors when not in use and install door sweeps on exterior doors.
  2. Caulk and seal cracks, crevices, or other openings.
  3. Regularly clean and service drains.
  4. Install dishwasher splash guards to keep walls from becoming saturated with moisture.
  5. Practice first in, first out rotation. Product stuffed onto the back of shelves that doesn’t move out for long periods of time is subject to unnoticed pest infestation. By using the oldest product first, staff members can ensure that pests don’t have a chance to gain a foothold.

Why is pest control important in any restaurant?

If you see any of these pests in your restaurant, it’s also a good idea to have a contracted restaurant pest control partner to help you stay one step ahead of pest activity with a customized plan. Many commercial pest control companies have extensive experience in delivering effective restaurant and food service businesses pest control. In addition to treating your pest problems, which will help you meet health code requirements in regard to restaurant pest control, trained professionals can also offer you and your staff tips for helping avoid and eliminate conditions that may attract pests. 

With this solution, customers would come back to your restaurant, not pests.

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