Ever feel peckish around mid-afternoon? It’s too late for a respectable lunch and too early for a hearty dinner. So you might decide to pop into the kitchen and fix yourself a quick snack. Suddenly, you realise you are not alone. There is a pest in the kitchen!
Kitchens can be particularly vulnerable to pest infestations. Consider all the hiding spots in a typical kitchen! Not only are these unpleasant and unsightly visitors, they can pose a serious health risk to your family, customers, and staff. And consider the damage they can cause to your reputation and brand.
So what are the main types of kitchen pests that you are likely to encounter?
Ants can be a tricky pest to control because of their tiny size. They are able to access the kitchen through tiny cracks and openings, in their search for shelter or food. Dealing with ants, like dealing with most pests, is a two-step process: remove the source of the problem and prevent it re-occurring.
If ants are crawling around your kitchen, you need to track them down to their source colony. And you should see where they are gaining access to the kitchen, and seal up vulnerable gaps and crevices. You can also use baits and insecticide to eliminate them.
As when dealing with other pests, you need to implement a strict cleaning process in your kitchen in order to reduce the risks of ant infestation. Discarded food is going to attract ants, for example, and must be removed immediately.
Learn more: How to get rid of ant in the house
The buzzing of flies in a busy kitchen can be particularly annoying for staff, and indeed disconcerting for customers. Apart from the irritating noise, flies can create health problems by spreading pathogens, bacteria and germs on surfaces that they touch. For example, they could spread salmonella, resulting in food poisoning for your customers. Fruit flies are a particular nuisance in premises that serve drinks.
Because of their size, it can be difficult to prevent flies entering your kitchen. Fly screens can help reduce the risk. However, you should also try to reduce the attractions for flies. Don’t leave food and liquids lying around. Clean up any spills and remove rubbish promptly. Aim to maintain a hygienic, clean kitchen at all times. And make sure all surfaces are cleaned if flies come into contact with them.
If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer an infestation, you’ll need to find the source of the problem: the breeding site. Electric fly killers can eliminate flies are they travel into the kitchen. Also, the Fly Box is a unique fly control unit that is designed to effectively control the number of flies around external refuse areas of a premises, before they enter the building and potentially spread disease. You may also use insecticides, but be sure to check that they are safe for kitchen use.
Learn more: How to get rid of flies in the kitchen
Rats and Mice
Kitchens are a favourite target for rats and mice. A kitchen provides them with plenty of food, liquid, warmth and shelter. Once they establish a presence in a kitchen, they can spread many germs, pathogens and bacteria, resulting in sickness or even death for people who come into contact with them. Their droppings are a particular risk, so if you spot rodent droppings in your premises, take action immediately. Unfortunately, evidence of one rodent is usually evidence of many rodents!
Learn more: The difference between rats and mice
Rodents gain access to kitchens through holes, cracks and gaps in floors, walls, windows and ceilings. They may also come in through drains and vents. Examine your kitchen for possible access points, and take necessary precautions, such as sealing up gaps. Also, make sure you don’t accidentally invite rodents inside. Don’t leave discarded food or rubbish lying around. This proves an irresistible temptation to rodents. Cleanliness and tidiness are essential. In particular, make sure you sanitise any surfaces where there has been suspected rodent activity. And remember to close doors and windows. If you find evidence of rodents, set traps and baits to catch them.
Cockroaches are an alarming sight in any kitchen. They come in numerous varieties, such as German, Oriental and American cockroaches. Like other pests, they are looking for food and shelter. Although relatively small pests, they can pose a big health risk. Many people, especially asthma sufferers, are allergic to them. And they can spread bacteria and disease as they travel through the kitchen. Scientists have revealed the secrets to how cockroaches can live in such disgusting conditions – and why they are so hard to kill. There’s been a 69% increase in cockroach infestation in Ireland over the past year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end soon.
A clean, tidy kitchen is less likely to suffer an onslaught from cockroaches. Ensure that rubbish and spillages are removed in a prompt, safe manner. And keep your kitchen in a sanitary condition.
If you notice cockroaches in your kitchen, take immediate action to eliminate them. And ensure you take action to prevent a re-infestation.
Learn more: How to get rid of cockroaches quickly
Stored Product Insects (SPIs)
It’s not just the kitchen that’s vulnerable, of course. Food storage areas can also become a feast for all sorts of pests. Stored product insects, as their name suggests, attack food that’s stored in pantries, cupboards and so on. They may access the storage area through an open door or window. Or they may already have been hiding in food that was delivered to the store.
Once you discover food that has been contaminated by stored product insects, you need to dispose of the food and fastidiously clean the surrounding areas. You should also take steps to eliminate the pests, using insecticides. Also seal up entry points, if feasible.
Pests can pose many threats in a kitchen. As well as being unpleasant to encounter, they can pose health risks. And don’t forget the costs associated with eliminating them and preventing new infestations. And consider the damage they can cause to your reputation and brand.
If you spot pests in your kitchen, take action immediately. If unsure of how to deal with them contact us for immediate assistance.