Pest Preventions to Implement in Your Commercial Kitchen

January 10, 2018

Restaurant pests: it’s something that few people want to think about. Like it or not, pest management is an essential consideration for every commercial kitchen.

Offering food, shelter and water, the unprepared commercial kitchen naturally provides everything pests need to survive and thrive. With the proper preventative measures, however, you can keep unhygienic, destructive pests from invading your commercial kitchen or restaurant.

Effective prevention and elimination of pest problems starts with a comprehensive pest management plan. Your plan should include everyone from managers, to maintenance and landscaping workers, to restaurant staff and pest management professionals. It may seem like a large undertaking, but if it can prevent property damage, keep your diners healthy, and maintain your reputation, it’s worth it.

5 Commercial Kitchen Tips for Pests

To get you started, here some of the top measures we recommend implementing in your commercial kitchen to keep the pests out.

  1.  Educate yourself and your employees on common pests that seek indoor refuge at different times of the year. For example, rodents and insects like ground beetles and ladybugs seek warm, indoor places to stay for the winter. In the summer time, flies and mosquitos are common pests that are both annoying and carriers of disease.  

Once you know which pests you could be dealing with, you can tailor your plan to keep specific pests out of your commercial kitchen and restaurant.

  1. Keep the exterior of your commercial kitchen secure. It only takes a small opening to let in insects, spiders and even rodents. Amazingly, according to the rodentologist, Dr. Bobby Corrigan, a mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a #2 pencil – just ¼ of an inch wide. Its specially evolved skeletal structure is great for the mouse, but not so great for you and your commercial kitchen.

So what can be done to prevent these tiny holes from letting the pests into your commercial kitchen? Inspect your building’s exterior periodically for cracks and holes, and fill them with water-resistant sealant. Add weather stripping and door sweeps to keep pests out. Consult with a pest management professional to see if further measures, such as placing rodent traps on your property, are necessary.

  1. Eliminate outdoor food sources. The dumpster outside your commercial kitchen will attract rodents quickly if not kept closed and cleaned regularly. In addition, landscaping should be well-maintained to reduce the amount of edible vegetation that can attract pests to your commercial kitchen. Proper landscaping practices also reduce leaf litter and overgrown bushes that pests can use for cover.


  1. Reduce pest attractants in your commercial kitchen. This means cleaning up food spills, removing trash and recycled beverage containers daily, cleaning food residues from drains and kitchen equipment, repairing leaks quickly, sweeping frequently, and making sure all dishes are cleaned and dried at the end of each day.


  1. Pest-proof your food storage areas. Open-backed shelving will get reduce the number of places for pests to hide. Regular inspections for pests, using pest monitors and checking for signs such as bite marks, urine and droppings, will help you catch a pest problem before it turns into a bigger problem.  

When creating and implementing your plan, enlist the help of a pest management professional, and of course, your employees. With everyone on board, you’ll be more effective at preventing and catching infestations, so your commercial kitchen can continue to operate healthily and your customers can keep enjoying your food!

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