Mosquitoes flying around

How Do You Get Rid of Rats and Mice in a Grocery Store?

January 30, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Grocery stores are major hubs for food and easy sources of water, and they provide plenty of hiding spots for rodents to take shelter. The house mouse, the Norway rat, and the roof rat are the most common rodent species infesting commercial food supermarkets, and it’s easy to see why. Learn how to get rid of rats and mice in your grocery store and tips to keep them from returning. 

What causes rodent infestations in grocery stores?  

Grocery stores are hotspots for rodents because they provide food, water, and shelter. Depending on your open hours, grocery stores can be quiet and dark late at night, with very few humans disturbing these nocturnal critters as they forage for food in storerooms and even in the aisles. 

produce aisle in a grocery store

How do rats and mice get inside grocery stores? 

Rodents gain entry to grocery stores more easily than you might expect. One of the easiest ways is through the front or back doors or loading areas.

Other means of entry include:

  • The receiving dock: The doors at the receiving dock are often kept open for a long time, providing rats and mice with plenty of opportunities to sneak inside.
  • Dumpster areas: Trash bins and dumpsters are generally located close to receiving docks. Rodents are known for foraging in garbage cans, and when delivery doors are opened, it’s easy enough for the critters to scurry inside the store.
  • Holes, gaps, and cracks: Rodents, especially mice, can easily squeeze through small spaces in a building’s structure. Gaps beneath doors, in the foundation, on walls, in window trim, and along the roof’s eaves give rodents access to your supermarket.
  • Sewers, pipes, and drains: Mice and rats can get inside through pipes and drains, and can be known to nest near these water sources.

Can you prevent rats and mice from coming into a grocery store?

Here are a few ways grocery stores can avoid having rats and mice infest their stores: 

  • Keep doors closed — Keep doors closed, especially near loading docks and dumpsters, for as long as possible.
  • Seal gaps and cracks — Regularly inspect the building for gaps and cracks in structures and pipes that rodents can squeeze through. Immediately seal up any entry points you find. 
  • Clean floors regularly — Floors need to be swept and mopped daily to ensure no crumbs or other food sources are available to rodents. 
  • Bakery and meat areas — Baked goods and meat displays should be closed with a good seal whenever not immediately in use. 
  • Clean drains — The gunk in drains makes them hot spots for flies and cockroaches, but a thorough scrub with hot water and a scrub brush can keep gunk from building up and attracting these pests. 
  • Take out the garbage — Trash cans attract pests if they aren’t cleaned and emptied regularly, so have your employees take out the garbage after every shift. This includes trash cans in the produce and meat departments, break rooms, kitchens, bakeries, and offices.

What are the signs of a rodent infestation?   

The following signs may indicate a rodent infestation:

  • Droppings–about ¼ inch for mice and about ½ to ¾ inch fo rats
  • Smudges or rub marks along the walls or floors that rodents might run along
  • Gnaw marks on food packaging or wires
  • Dead or live rodent sightings
  • Urine stains, which can be seen under a UV light
  • Squeaky or unusual noises
  • Shredded materials like insulation or cardboard, piled up to make nests under eaves, in storage boxes, or in wall cavities

mouse standing on an ear of corn

How do you get rid of rats and mice in a grocery store?

Grocery stores are often large structure with many hiding spots for rats and mice, so handling the issue on your own might not get rid of the problem. If you find you have a rodent infestation on your hands, it’s best to contact Hawx to address the presence of rats or mice before the situation becomes more difficult to manage. 

Commercial pest control solutions 

A rodent infestation can cause food contamination, damage to goods, and the spread of diseases carried by rodents or the fleas they might carry. Rats and mice in a grocery store can also destroy a supermarket’s reputation, leading to economic losses.

At Hawx, we treat your current issues and address potential infestations using preventative measures. Our three-fold process involves thoroughly inspecting your facilities to identify rodent activity and nesting sites, then tailoring a plan to take care of your store’s specific needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly professionals are prepared to assist you throughout the year—even returning between treatments if necessary, at no extra cost.

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