How To Keep Rodents Out of Restaurants In the Bay Area

Mouse on a loaf of bread.

Rodents are a common problem for restaurants and other dining establishments in the Bay Area, such as catering halls and cafeterias, especially high-traffic areas. Rodents frequent and sometimes invade these establishments for the same reasons we do; they come for the food. However, they’re also drawn to garbage and grease, and food waste. The high volume produced by these facilities is often enough to earn them a few return customers, though not necessarily of the high-tipping kind. 

Rodents are scavengers, and thus they’re drawn to unsanitary conditions by nature. Feasting on filthy sources, such as spoiled food, rubbish, and even roadkill exposes them to disease-causing bacteria, some of which can be especially dangerous to humans. Worldwide, rodents are known to spread more than 35 diseases: leptospirosis, hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tularemia, rat-bite fever, plague, and salmonella. 

In San Jose and the greater Bay Area, the gray-bellied rat, known as “roof rats,” “fruit rats,” and “black rats,” are the most common species to inhabit restaurants. These pests have black fur and measure seven to 10 inches in length, with a tail that’s longer than their bodies. 

How Can Rodents Endanger My Restaurant Business?

In the foodservice industry, there are explicit health and safety codes set by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect restaurant patrons and workers from the threat of rodents. 

Because rodents are known for spreading diseases and are also associated with filth, knowledge of a rat infestation is enough to send customers headed for the door. Even spotting a single rodent could be enough to tarnish a restaurant’s reputation. With less business, a rodent infestation can negatively affect revenue, discourage employers, and perhaps convince them to head for the door as well.

Because of rodents’ gnashing teeth and their seemingly endless hunger, they’re also known to cause severe damage to restaurant equipment, in addition to contaminating produce and other foodstuff stored in pantries, refrigerators, and even inside of freezers.

Rodent Prevention Tips For Restaurants

To protect restaurant patrons and employees from rodents, and maintain the reputation of your business, consider the following five preemptive measures to avert rodents from entering your establishment:

  • Seal All Possible Points of Entry: If there are cracks in the foundation, walls, or roofing, it provides rodents with direct access to your facility. Make necessary repairs to correct the damage that may be inadvertently allowing rodents inside. This includes replacing broken window and door screens and air vents as well.
  • Keep Doors Closed At All Times: People are always coming and going in the restaurant business, including patrons and workers alike. Encourage workers to close the door behind them when taking out the trash or stepping outside for a few.
  • Get Rid Of Standing Water: Just as rodents need a constant food source, they also need water. Standing water, whether in kitchens or outdoors, only attracts them, so remove all potential sources.
  • Clean Up All Food Waste: In restaurants, food scraps and debris are common, especially at night's end. When preparing to close up shop, be sure to fully clean and rid all food waste, including scraps that may have fallen in hard-to-see areas, and actively clean workstations throughout the day.
  • Store Trash Properly: If not handled properly, mounds of garbage essentially present as grand buffets to rodents. Close and secure trash bags tightly, and store the trash in dumpsters with tight-fitting lids.

The best way to ensure that rodents don’t get into restaurants and other eateries is with ongoing professional pest prevention assistance. At Bay Pest, for over 50 years, we have offered short and long-term solutions for ongoing pest issues. Let us protect your business by calling us at today.

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