Spotting a mouse scampering across the kitchen floor just as you are about to dish-up the main course can have huge implications. Rodents spread nasty diseases such as Salmonella and Weil’s disease and also leave behind droppings which can easily contaminate food. Mice also gnaw food containers and boxes for bedding to to gain access to food sources.
Mice are attracted to kitchens because of food, warmth and shelter, plus there’s usually plenty of places to hide. To keep rodents away, Deena Govender, Quality Assurance Manager of Rentokil, advises property owners and managers to block any holes which will allow rodents access to their buildings, including small cracks around pipes, which are often just big enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Gutters and overhangs where rodents can build their nests should be cleaned out, and paper and packaging materials should be removed regularly so as not to provide nesting material.
Tips for Keeping Restaurants and Kitchen Areas Vermin Free
- Remove food waste and clean waste bins daily
- Clean properly under tables, behind fridges and freezers and inside cupboards to ensure that no food is left open to attract pests
- Remove all old equipment, paper and packaging materials daily
- Move kitchen appliances and equipment to ensure thorough cleaning.
- Food waste must be discarded only in containers designated for that purpose
- Waste bins should have tight fitting lids and should be deep cleaned regularly
- Kitchen and cleaning staff should not throw food waste down the drain or outside, as this will attract rodents.
“If rodenticides are necessary, then baits should be placed in tamper-resistant plastic bait-stations. The closure mechanisms must be checked regularly and faulty units must be replaced immediately for safety reasons”, Govender said.
Detecting Signs of Rodents
- Damage to food, packaging materials or fabric of the premises
- Rodent droppings
- Nesting material such as cardboard and shredded paper
- Signs of gnawing
- Rub marks
- Tracks and burrows around the property
Rats can multiply very quickly and it is therefore very important that you act quickly to get rid of these pests.