Just the sight of a rodent dropping or hair is a huge problem for restaurants. A rodent infestation is not only unsanitary, but it can also potentially get your restaurant a negative report from the health inspector. If the pest issue expands to the dining areas, then you also run the risk of having a customer witness a rat running across the room. Unfortunately, that customer could possibly tell someone else or post an image online that ruins your restaurant's reputation.
Rodent control in restaurants can be somewhat of a challenge since you have all of the things in place to attract these pests. The combination of food, water, and warm places to build a nest is the perfect storm for a sudden surge of rodents to take up residence. Your team member did the right thing by reporting their suspicions right away. Now, you can take these steps to follow through on your commitment to practice rodent control strategies in your food service business.
Look for Entry Points
The rat had to get into the kitchen somehow. Often, back doors are left open that create an easy entryway for pests. Ask your kitchen crew to keep the door closed when they are not actively entering or leaving the building. If necessary, install a hinge that causes the door to close on its own when the employees forget or have their hands full. The building that your restaurant is in may also have issues that allowed for an entry point to develop. Consider having the roof and exterior walls inspected for holes that could give rats access to the interior.
Be Strict About Cleaning Up Spills
Food spills attract rodents, and you can expect that there will be some crumbs here and there by the end of the day. However, your kitchen crew can do their best to clean up messes that they make as they work. You'll also want to watch out for food spills that develop outside as the crew takes out the trash. Hose down any areas that develop large trails of food debris and liquids to avoid attracting rodents to your kitchen.
Consult With a Rodent Control Specialist
If your team member saw signs of a single rodent, then you need to assume that there are more. Rodent populations increase fast, and you need a professional to determine the full extent of the problem. Working with a rodent control company helps you to get rid of the rats fast, and they can recommend safe control strategies that you can use around food without worrying about harming your kitchen crew and customers.