Restaurants and Food Services

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Restaurants and food services offer a perfect place for pests to dine

Keeping a culture of cleanliness in the kitchen can be hard. But for restaurant owners and operators it’s crucial, as poor sanitation efforts can lead to outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Disinfection is key to ensuring a safe space for both your employees and customers. We have a webinar that would benefit your business both in the short and long term, just click here.

But one factor that is often forgotten when it comes to preventing an outbreak is pests. Pests such as flies, rats and cockroaches not only transmit pathogens, but they can also cause gastrointestinal irritations and allergic reactions.

Not to mention the impact that a pest sighting can have on your business’ reputation.

To avoid a situation that could lead to a foodborne illness, here is our guide to the top pests to look out for and how to prevent them invading.


For restaurant owners, a mouse or rat infestation can be devastating, ruining your reputation, and potentially destroying your ability to operate at all.

Rodents often enter when doors are left open and will eat almost anything, making a restaurant a very attractive option for these pests.

To prevent a rodent infestation, you first need to be able to identify when you have a problem.

Gnaw marks on electrical wiring, rub marks along the base of walls and tiny holes in the wall near the floor are all signs of rodent activity. You also may notice small, pellet-like droppings.

To combat rodents in your commercial operation:

  • Conduct regular maintenance to ensure there are no openings for the rodents to get in.
  • Ask your staff to stay alert, the quicker they report a sighting the quicker the problem can be dealt with.
  • If you are worried about rodents call in the experts. It’s much easier to prevent them from setting up shop in your business than deal with the fallout if they do.



Cockroaches seek out restaurants and food service businesses, as reliable sources of warm, damp shelter close to food and water. Once there, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything.

Cockroaches create an unsanitary situation and can pose various health threats to humans. Eating food contaminated by cockroaches may cause food poisoning, these pests can also spread harmful bacteria by crawling through garbage and sewers to food preparation surfaces.

To stop cockroaches invading:

  • Follow a strict daily sanitation routine.
  • Seal entry points around your facility.
  • Inspect incoming supplies, especially any corrugated boxes.
  • Regularly inspect your premises for signs of activity.
  • Periodically inspect and clean employee lockers.
  • Use organic cleaners to help eliminate the grease and grime pests feed on and breed in.
  • Implement a deep-cleaning schedule and assign staff specific roles to ensure cleanliness is a constant priority.
  • Take out trash and rotate trash cans regularly.


Ants are attracted by food and water, and enter businesses through the tiniest of cracks to scavenge for edible items.

Controlling them can be difficult. But not only are ants unsightly and a nuisance, they can also cause serious damage to your operation.

To prevent an invasion from ants this:

  • Keep your facility sanitary and maintain a strict cleaning schedule.
  • Use organic cleaners to help eliminate the grease and grime pests feed on and breed in.
  • Implement a deep-cleaning schedule and assign staff specific roles to ensure cleanliness is a constant priority.
  • Regularly empty trash cans.
  • Frequently used trash cans should be power-washed once a month to get rid of residual trash and odours.
  • Regularly inspect your premises for ants.
  • Keep the structure well maintained, repair all cracks in walls and foundations, and keep doors, windows, and entry points sealed.


Flies are looking for somewhere moist and warm to breed and feed. In kitchens and food preparation areas fruit flies can be a common problem, as can drain flies and phorid flies that like to live in or around drains and under equipment.

Flies can easily spread disease, putting your employees and diners at risk, and rendering your food inedible.

To prevent a mass invasion of flies:

  • Keep your facility sanitary and maintain a strict cleaning schedule.
  • All breeding sites must be identified. Inspect bars, mop drain, floor drains, dish area, dry stockroom, and inside trash cans and trash carts for decaying organic matter.
  • Check for condensation around ice machines.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry out any areas with decaying matter to help prevent problems with small flies.


Indian meal moth larvae will consume seeds, grains, cereals, dehydrated herbs, and dried pet food, making restaurants and food service facilities a highly attractive location for these pests.

These larvae can make pantry products unfit for consumption. Accidental ingestion of moth cocoons or larvae can even cause gastrointestinal irritation and an upset stomach.

To guard against an infestation of Indian meal moths:

  • Store pantry items in airtight containers.
  • Vacuum up spilled foods promptly.
  • Use pheromone traps.
  • Look out for the silk webbing left behind by the larvae.


Grain beetles are pervasive in businesses across Canada, attracted to nearly any stored food product, particularly cereals, breakfast foods, flour, dried fruits and meats, pet foods, and many other items. Meanwhile, flour beetles survive Canadian winters feeding on finely milled starches like flour and meal.

A beetle infestation makes pantry products unfit for consumption, while the sight of the beetles themselves can alarm people.

To stop grain and flour beetles invading:

  • Inspect cereals, flour, cake mixes, and noodles regularly for signs of infestation.
  • Store all milled grain and starches in airtight glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers.
  • Keep food storage areas clean and sanitary.
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