Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Ants in your Restaurant

February 08, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Maintaining a clean, sanitary kitchen and front of the house is vital for the success of your restaurant. Unfortunately, even well-kept restaurants that meet health codes can become sites of ant infestations. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get rid of ants in your restaurant, so you can limit the potential impact on your business.

What attracts ants to a restaurant?

Ants enter buildings for food, water, and protection from harsh weather. In restaurants, they can often find all three. The pests can enter restaurants through worn seals around doors and windows, gas and water lines, and cracks and crevices in the structure of buildings.

After eating dessert, small ants on dessert in the white plate, black ants in the dish with spoon, after eating dessert background, sweet food background.

Signs of an ant infestation in your restaurant 

The most common sign of an ant infestation is seeing the insects themselves. When ants find food or water, they leave behind pheromones to draw more of their colony. Finding one ant could mean many more elsewhere in the restaurant or on their way. You may also notice mounds in the landscaping or see ants in trees and shrubbery.

How to prevent ants from coming into your restaurant

To prevent an ant infestation in your restaurant kitchen or the front of the house, follow these tips:

  • Develop a rigorous cleaning protocol: Ensure that these areas are are kept clean continuously: fryers, grease traps, stove hoods, dishwasher filters, prep stands, chairs, tables, menus, dispensers, meat slicers, faucets, chopping boards, and sinks. Sweep and mop the floors daily.
  • Make trash disposal a top priority: Keep all waste bins closed during the day and empty them at least once a day. Wash out waste bins before placing them back in the restaurant. Ensure you seal bags tightly and that the lids on dumpsters stay closed.
  • Rethink food storage: Don’t store any food packaging directly on the floor. When shipments arrive, inspect the packaging for damage. If holes or tears exist in cartons or boxes, transfer food to new containers. Use airtight containers for food whenever possible, and don’t keep open prep ingredients on stations.
  • Train your staff: Conduct regular pest control training with your staff. Make ant (and rodent) prevention a focus area for employee reviews.
  • Keep the property well-maintained: If you own your building, repair cracks, crevices, and holes promptly. Report them to the landlord if you rent. Keep landscaping at least two feet from the building and trim it regularly.
  • Conduct regular inspections: Inspect the interior and exterior of the restaurant weekly, looking for signs of ant infestations.
  • Call a professional pest control company: Licensed pest control technicians like our team at Hawx know how to deal with ants in a restaurant setting. Calling professionals is the best way to ensure success with restaurant pest control.

Group of black Ants crawling on the empty dish in the kitchen, Hunting for food.

What are the most common types of ants in a restaurant?

In the U.S., little black ants cause many infestations in restaurant kitchens. These insects measure 1.5 to 2 mm in length and are black or dark brown. Grease, fruits, oils, and meats are staples of their diet, so they’re attracted to many things commonly found in restaurants.

Slightly larger Argentine ants are also common pests in restaurants, especially in California. These ants prefer things like egg yolks and sugary substances like juices and syrups. They can also feast on dead insects.

Are ants harmful to humans? 

Argentine and little black ants may bite if they feel threatened, but the insects are so small that bites typically don’t produce symptoms.

How to get rid of ants in your restaurant  

Hawx Pest Control specializes in addressing ant infestations in restaurant kitchens. Our knowledgeable technicians can inspect your entire restaurant, identifying the sites where ants have infiltrated. Then, they will determine what to do about ants in the kitchen and front of the house, selecting the best products and tools to get the job done. You can also count on us to provide customized prevention tips and ongoing maintenance services to reduce the risk of ants returning in the future.

Spread the love

Ready to protect your home or business from pests?

Schedule today and get a service plan tailored to your property. Receive a detailed report with pictures after each service is completed.