Two rats in a good environment can build a population of hundreds of millions of rats in just three years. If that scares you, know that on the pest spectrum, rats are just one of many species you need to be worried about.
Pests have long plagued the restaurant industry as food attracts these unwanted visitors and their presence can put eateries out of business. That’s why you must be aware of when pests have made their way into your business so you can deal with the problem before damage is done.
Identifying signs of pest infestation is integral to your ability to assess the scope of a potential problem. In this post, we share a handful of tells you should be on the lookout for to nip pests in the bud!
1. Sightings by Team Members
Your eyes are your best tool when it comes to knowing definitively if you have a pest problem. If you or a team member ever sees a rat, mouse, or any other unwanted visitors moseying around, say something.
Many times, team members will keep silent when they have a sighting assuming that what they witnessed isn’t telling of a full-blown infestation. That may be true today but believe us when we say that if one pest gets into your restaurant and finds favorable living conditions, more pests will be close behind.
Pests leave excrement in their wake. That’s bittersweet news seeing as how excrement is generally easy to spot in a white, clean kitchen.
Tell your clean up teams to keep an eye out for feces. Also, pay attention to foul odors as excrement build-up, over time, should produce noticeable smells.
If you suspect rats could be the pest you’re dealing with, their excrement trails can usually be found where your floors meet your walls as rats tend to travel along wall lines.
3. Nesting Materials
Ripped up paper. Fabric scraps. Cardboard. Cotton…
Do you know what all of those materials have in common? They’re preferred nesting materials for rats and mice.
If you notice a pile of miscellaneous materials stacked up in corners or dark areas of your kitchen, you probably have a pest that’s getting ready to nest. Immediately clean out these areas and call in the best pest inspection company in your area to more fully assess your issue.
4. Smudge Trails
Most rodents take consistent routes from their nesting areas to places where they can gather resources. Over time, these routes become apparent via smudge trails.
Trails you see in your kitchen that seem inconsistent with marks that might be left by shoes or wheels on your equipment should be followed. When you notice these trails leading to holes in your walls or ending at large, stationary equipment, you can be sure that you have a pest problem.
5. Gnaw Marks
Rats and mice have a tendency to gnaw on property. They do this to collect materials for nesting and recreation.
Inspect the area where your walls meet your floor. Do you notice gnaw marks or dust collected in piles? What about inexplicable chipped paint?
These may be signs of pests.
It’s important to note that property flaws can be brought on by general wear and tear as well. The best way to know for sure if rodents are to blame for the issues you’re seeing is to use this sign in conjunction with other signs we’ve shared.
6. Broken Into Cupboard Items
Any kitchen worth its salt keeps its perishable foods under lock. Consequently, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice signs of pest infestation in your refrigerated items.
The items you keep in your cabinets/pantries, however, are a different story.
When our team seeks out signs of potential pests, we usually head to where dry goods are stored. Any time you notice boxed dry goods with holes in them that look like they are chewed out, you can be sure you have a pest problem.
Food is almost always the primary reason why pests take up shelter in kitchens. Among the best ways to avoid pests is to keep your dry goods as secure as your perishables and to deep clean your kitchen after closing.
7. Customer Complaints
In a perfect world, you’ll have discovered and resolved your pest problems before customers take notice. Sometimes things don’t transpire that way though.
You could find reviews associated with your business on Yelp, Google, and other platforms that criticize your business for pest appearances that were spotted by the general public. When this happens, it’s time to take action.
First, call a pest removal company immediately to sweep your property for problems. Second, side-bar with the complaining customer and let them know you’re looking into their allegations.
If you find that there were pests in your restaurant, reply to the negative review publicly to share your values concerning cleanliness and that the issue has been managed. If an investigation turned up no signs of pests, make that message clear online.
Keeping an Eye Out for Signs of Pest Infestation Will Keep You in Business
As we hope we’ve communicated, there are several signs of pest infestation that even novices can spot. It’s imperative that you keep an eye out for them so you can manage any problems before they cost you your business.
We hope our tips proved to be insightful and welcome you to explore more of the content on our site for additional guidance on business, finance, and more!