Why Restaurants and Pubs Suffer from Pest Control Problems

When it comes to pest control, no restaurant, pub or other food service establishment can afford to be complacent.

Infestations can be nothing short of disastrous for pub and restaurant owners. Pest species such as rats, mice and cockroaches are synonymous with filth and disease – for good reason. All are filthy and disease-ridden. As such, it is absolutely untenable to allow these creatures to come into contact with food that is being prepared for human consumption. Not only will an infestation of any of these species present a serious health and safety risk for staff and customers, it can also result in bad publicity and punitive action from environmental health authorities.

All businesses in the food service industry need to have pest control service contracts in place with a reputed local provider to ensure they never face such issues.

Pest Problems for Restaurant and Pub Owners

It goes without saying that pubs and restaurants attract paying customers to their premises by serving food and drinks. However, the abundance of food and food waste that accumulates on site also attracts unwanted visitors – pests.

Mice, rats, and cockroaches are all wild animals and are constantly on the hunt for food and shelter for survival. All can easily find their way into your kitchen, storerooms and public areas if you fail to enlist pest control service professionals to take the correct precautions. In addition, these species can also cause problems outside your establishment – particularly near your refuse areas. Poor food waste management practices – open rubbish bags, spilt crumbs and scraps, etc. – Will attract pests very quickly. If this happens, it is only a matter of time before they find their way inside your building where the situation can grow much worse.

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There are strict food health and safety regulations in the UK, which all pub and restaurant owners must abide by. These include the Food Standards Act 1999, the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations and the EU’s Regulation No. 852/2004 On the Hygiene of Foodstuffs. Public health and regulatory authorities have the power to close down a food service premises temporarily or even permanently, if they find a lack of compliance with any of the legislation. This would be crippling for your reputation and your business.

Not only will you lose revenues and profits during the closure but customer loyalty will suffer even after you reopen. You will likely face fines and be forced to pick up any legal costs associated with the case – not to mention further financial losses associated with replacing any damaged or contaminated products or equipment. In short, without a robust pest control service contract in place, you leave your business, your livelihood and those of your staff in a permanent state of risk.

Signs of Pests

When it comes to pest control, prevention is better than cure. If you spot any of the following signs of pests in your premises, you must call in the pest control service professionals immediately who will take the appropriate action to ensure the situation doesn’t get out of control.

Signs of Rats and Mice

  • Evidence of nesting: Shredded cardboard, paper and other soft materials can indicate an infestation.
  • Droppings: Droppings are a sure sign of pests in your premises. Rat droppings are dark brown in colour and typically larger than mouse droppings, which are black.
  • Damage to hard materials, food stores and bins: Rats and mice need to gnaw at hard materials – such as wood, walls and metals – to wear down their incisor teeth. Any gnawing marks you find on your premises can be a sign of infestation. Any evidence of food being nibbled at is another sign, as well as holes in bin bags as the rodents hunt for food and nesting materials.
  • Squeaks and scratching noises: Squeaking noises should alert you to an infestation. In addition, you may hear scratching sounds as the rodents clamber around under floorboards, inside walls and around lofts and attics.
  • Greasy smear marks and footprints: Rats and mice are dirty and greasy creatures. As they scurry around, they will leave greasy smudge marks along walls and skirting boards. You may also notice footprints and tail marks in dusty areas.

Signs of Cockroaches

As cockroaches are nocturnal creatures and tend to avoid humans, you are far more likely to see the signs of a cockroach infestation rather than spot a live insect.

  • Shed skins: Cockroaches shed their skins several times throughout their lives. These skins are, as you would expect, cockroach-shaped. Seeing one or more is a sure sign of infestation.
  • Droppings: Cockroach droppings take two forms. When there is plenty of water available, their faeces are somewhat runny and will appear as smear marks. Where there is little moisture however, they will produce firm droppings. These are round or oblong and dark brown/black in colour.
  • Dead cockroaches: Though it is unlikely that you will spot a live cockroach, you – or a member of staff or a customer – may come across a dead one. If cockroaches are dying on your property, it means they have been living there a while and the likelihood is that the infestation will already be quite advanced.
  • Lingering, unpleasant odour: You may not notice this with small infestations, but a lingering, unpleasant, musty smell is an indicator of a larger cockroach infestation.

Professional Pest Control Service Contracts

Professional pest control service contracts are essential for all business owners in the pub or restaurant trade that want to keep their reputation, livelihood and profits intact.

With over 30 years’ experience in pest control, we can help you remove any pest species that’s posing a threat to your business. We operate on a contract basis for clients in the food service industry and provide an ongoing pest control service to ensure the correct measures are taken to ensure, once eliminated, infestations do not return.

We pride ourselves in providing a fast and effective service that delivers peace of mind for all of our customers.

Baroque part of Safeguard gives us a great service. Their technicians have a helpful, friendly attitude. Nothing is too much trouble for them!” – Peter Gorton. Celebrity Chef and Owner of Gorton’s, Tavistock.

I have used Baroque part of Safeguard Pest Control for 15 years. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they are only a phone call away for a prompt, reliable service every time.” – Jamie Waugh. Managing Director Dartmouth Golf and Country Club.

We serve all kinds of industries including Bars, Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants, Hotels and B&Bs, as well as Nursing Homes, Factories, Warehouses and Organic Farms.

Contact your local pest control specialist today for a free quotation.

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