Uninvited Dining Guests Bringing Sides Of Salmonella? Signs That Your Restaurant Has A Serious Rat Infestation

Your restaurant is a dream home for rats — it's full of food and nobody's around during the middle of the night, allowing them ample opportunities to feast. While they may not bother your customers during the day, they contribute to food-borne illnesses by tracking feces around your restaurant, damage the interior of your restaurant, and cause a large amount of food waste. Here are some signs that it's time to call commercial pest control services to have your restaurant inspected for a rodent infestation.

Holes in Your Dry Good Containers

Rats will chew through paper bags and plastic sacks in order to gain access to your dry goods. If they're desperate for food, they will even chew through thick plastic containers. Rats leave telltale teeth marks, so you can easily tell when your food is being eaten by rats compared to a manufacturing defect in the container — look for the gnawed surfaces and circular holes that rats cause.

It's important to call a commercial pest control company to remove rats from your restaurant as soon as possible when you notice that they're eating your food. You need to throw out any food that rats have eaten, no matter how much is left in the container — rats track feces around with them on their feet, which can harbor salmonella. If you don't control your rodent infestation, you'll end up throwing out a lot of food.

Rat Markings on Walls or Dining Room Furniture

Male rats produce an oily substance on their bodies that rubs off on your walls and dining room furniture. Rats have poor vision, so they use these greasy markings to signify safe paths to take around your restaurant. To check for a rodent infestation, closely examine your walls, appliances, and dining room furniture near to the ground. Rat markings look like light brown smudges and the surface will be slightly oily to the touch. The markings aren't always signs of an active infestation, as they linger for a long time after rats are gone — they may be the result of an infestation that the previous owner dealt with.

Rats Near Your Restaurant's Dumpster or Garbage Cans

If your employees notice rats around your garbage cans or your dumpster, you may have an active rat infestation inside your restaurant. Rats are lazy and prefer to nest as close to their food sources as possible — they generally nest within 25 feet of their primary food source, making the inside of your restaurant a prime location.

They'll use any weak point to invade your restaurant and begin nesting, even if they have to chew through wood in order to break in. This includes air ducts or flashing on your restaurant's roof. Even if they haven't managed to invade the inside of your restaurant yet, it's important to call a commercial pest control company when you notice rats near your food waste. They'll barricade your restaurant against rodent intrusion and prevent them from taking up residence.

Keep your customers, your food, and your restaurant's reputation safe by hiring a professional pest control company to inspect your restaurant for rats, remove them if necessary, and prevent them from coming back. Your commercial pest control contractor will also teach you how to implement integrative pest control strategies to prevent your restaurant from acting as a magnet for rats in the first place, such as keeping your dumpster and garbage cans inaccessible to pests. This helps prevent your rat problem from recurring.