A pest infestation can be disastrous for restaurant owners. A health inspection revealing an infestation can cause your restaurant to close, and a customer seeing a single pest can result in lost business. Certain types of pests will cause a much bigger reaction than others. A fly buzzing around the bar or some ants on a back patio may be tolerated, but a cockroach sighting is almost guaranteed to send people running for the doors.
Why Cockroaches Love Restaurants
Roaches love restaurants for the same reason people do – they provide food, water, shelter, and company all in the same location. Eliminating cockroaches’ access to these life essentials is key to ensuring that your human customers continue to come in and enjoy them!
Eliminating Food Sources
Cockroaches are scavengers, and eat many types of material besides food scraps. These include paper products, cloth items, and cardboard, all of which are usually found in abundance in commercial settings. To help prevent against a roach infestation, store these items in dry areas and try to keep them off the ground. Don’t let empty cardboard boxes pile up around the kitchen, take them out to your recycling bin as soon as possible.
In many situations, however, it is food residue left in hidden areas that attract and keep cockroaches around. “Most restaurants are pretty good at keeping visible areas clean, and owners are understandably upset when kitchen counters are spotless but cockroach activity continues,” says Brad Fischer, District Manager at Batzner Pest Control. “The real problem tends to come from the unseen areas, like a spill underneath an oven, or crumbs not being vacuumed along the walls in a dining area.”
This happened recently at a local restaurant, Fischer explained. “Not only did we have to pull out all the coolers and other equipment to reach the built-up debris that the cockroaches were living on, but we actually had to pull stainless steel wall backing off the walls after we moved the equipment to gain access. The small amount of space between the wall backing and the wall provided heat and harborage for the roaches, and the caulk provided a food source when other sources had been cleaned. Once we eliminated the food sources and treated the existing cockroaches, they stopped being a problem for the restaurant owner.”
Eliminating Water Sources
Water being spilled on the ground isn’t usually looked at as a cleanliness issue, but standing water can be as big of a draw for cockroaches as food being left out. While they can survive for up to a month without food, roaches can only live a week without water. For this reason, any leakage from pipes or faucets needs to be fixed immediately. Good ventilation is also vital to avoiding moist areas from developing throughout the restaurant.
Cockroaches in Wisconsin are reliant on human structures to stay alive in the winter and will go to great lengths to enter a building that has their desired level of warmth and humidity. To combat this, all entry points need to be closed off. Watch out for holes or cracks around window and door frames, water pipes, and baseboards. Use caulk to seal off any holes that are found. Also avoid leaving doors open for an extended amount of time and make sure that doors fits securely inside their frames.
Preventative Pest Control
Taking away their food, water, and shelter is a great start to preventing cockroaches from entering your restaurant; however, doing this on your own can be much more difficult than it seems. A professional pest control company providing preventative treatment and consultation will be better able to keep the cockroaches outside and your customers inside. If you already have an infestation or are struggling to identify the cause of one, call us at 866-591-3519 or contact us online for an inspection or treatment.