Mosquitoes flying around

Maintain Food Safety with a Restaurant Pest Control Checklist

February 16, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Keeping your restaurant safe from pests is an ongoing task that requires diligent oversight on a daily basis. In addition to protecting your staff and clientele from illnesses spread by pests who make contact with food and utensils, restaurant managers must also comply with their local food service regulations.

A restaurant’s livelihood and reputation are also at risk if regularly scheduled proactive steps aren’t taken to keep pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and flies from becoming an issue.

It’s essential to maintain your restaurant’s overall cleanliness and to see that strategies are in place to stop pests from entering your establishment. One of the best ways to stay on top of pests in a restaurant is to adhere to a pest prevention checklist. 

rat sniffing a dirty plate on a counter

Restaurant pest control checklist 

In addition to partnering with a professional pest control team for restaurant pest management, following these preventative measures on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis goes a long way toward maintaining the strict sanitary requirements restaurants are held to.

Use this checklist to help control the presence and activity of rodents and insects in your restaurant and remain compliant with health inspection audits. 

Daily things to do

By keeping your restaurant as clean as possible, you lessen the likelihood that certain pests will invade your eatery. Some essential daily chores include:

    • Clean all appliances of oil and grease thoroughly.
    • Empty, clean, and wipe dry sinks, leaving no food behind.
    • Drain any remaining oil out of deep fryers.
    • Clean beverage areas that can attract pests, such as coffee and tea stations and soda machines.
    • Clean and sanitize all counters and cutting boards to ensure they’re not attractive to pests.
    • Vacuum or sweep and mop kitchen floors at the end of the day. 
    • Wipe down and sanitize all tables and chairs after the last customer has gone. Vacuum or thoroughly sweep beneath tables and corners of the room where crumbs collect, particularly in outdoor dining areas.
    • Clean bathrooms daily. These rooms are often hot spots for pests due to unsanitary conditions or plumbing leaks.
    • Keep exterior doors closed when not in use to prevent pests from entering the restaurant.
    • Unpack and throw out all delivered cardboard boxes, as they often harbor unwanted pests.
    • Ensure that floor and sink drains are cleaned daily.

Weekly tasks

  • These chores may not need to be done daily, but checking them off once a week will help with pest control and food safety issues.
  • Take a close look at dry food storage areas, checking items for freshness and checking integrity of storage boxes. 
  • Pay attention to rips, holes, or leaks in food packaging. Tears and chew marks might mean the food has already been contaminated.
  • Check containers and electrical wires for signs of teeth marks, which may indicate rodents. Other signs of rats or mice include droppings, rub marks along walls, new holes around pipes or walls, and shredded materials for building nests.
  • Check bathrooms and kitchens for drippy faucets, leaks, or excess condensation coming from refrigerators. These water sources can attract cockroaches and rodents.
  • Check that trash cans have tightly fitting lids and are as far away as possible from areas where customers dine.
  • Look for evidence of cockroaches, like droppings or dead cockroaches, in areas close to counters, cutting boards, damp spots, storage closets, and trash cans.

Monthly tasks

  • Inspect the exterior of the building for holes or cracks in walls, the foundation, or the roof where rodents and insects could gain entry. If you spot any holes or cracks, seal them immediately.
  • Check that window trims, screens and vents are free of cracks, gaps, and holes.
  • All exterior doors should have barriers to keep out pests, such as sweeps or weather stripping. Replace any worn-out or damaged sweeps and weather stripping.

Yearly tasks

  • A kitchen’s refrigerator drip pans should be emptied and cleaned every six months (twice a year).
  • Have dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers serviced and repaired to prevent leaks that might attract pests like cockroaches.

Restaurant pest control solutions  

The highly trained professional technicians at Hawx are equipped with state-of-the-art tools and techniques in commercial pest management. We have your back when it comes to inspecting your property, targeting nesting areas, and establishing barriers to prevent pest entry.  

Contact us today for safe, affordable management of your current concerns and preventative treatments to keep pests at bay in the future. Our contracts include return service calls between treatments as needed at no extra charge.

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