Rodents are of primary concern, as they are easily the most dangerous pest when it comes to disease transmission. However, it won’t be as easy as you might think to get rid of them—not in a commercial place. It is illegal to use snap traps or rodent poisons anywhere near food preparations or servings, and using them in any interior place is highly discouraged unless a last resort. You cannot use this poison if there is the slightest chance of contaminating utensils.
The reason why, in addition to the whole gross imagery of a dead rat in your restaurant, is that if a rat were to die in the restaurant his carcass will attract insect life such as flies, maggots and roaches.
However, you are allowed to use glue traps and live traps, which are just what you need for a couple of rodent strays. (As opposed to a mass infestation which obviously would require a more concentrated approach.)
You want to kill rodents well before they have the chance to enter the structure of the facility, because once that happens it’s time for a renovation! Other methods of rodent control might include:
- Tamper-resistant bait stations (this only works if you have plenty of bait and check the station often)
- Bait Blocks (Contrac, Talon, among others)
- Stuf Fit Copper Mesh and Pur Black Foam are two products that can help with sealing up holes (something an exterminator cannot do)
- Keeping large weeds and other grassy areas mowed, since this gives them a hiding spot
In conclusion, remember that what ultimately matters is what the local inspector has to say about the establishment. While you or the exterminator may understand a degree about pesticides and insecticides, the county may have an agenda of its own, perhaps even some form of biological pest control program. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the inspector occasionally disagrees with something you’re doing and demands a change.
The inspector has your best interests at heart, as well as the local population and the environment. Cooperate and get your restaurant approved. The most important thing is that you keep the premises clean and this is something that only you can manage.
Speaking of forbidden commercial practices, why is there so much trepidation about fogging and fumigation? Is it really dangerous? Is it effective and what is the worst case scenario? This is the subject of our next posts.