5 Expert Suggestions to Keep Rats Out of Your Commercial Kitchen


Finding a rat in the kitchen is every restaurant owner’s worst nightmare! It’s even worse if signs of a rat infestation are found or seen by customers. That said, many business owners who have commercial kitchens go to extensive lengths to ensure that their premises are rodent-free.

Rodents not only cause extensive damage to furniture, wiring and electrical equipment but they are also known to carry pathogens that cause disease. Therefore, one of the top questions local pest controllers are often asked is – how to get rid of rats quickly? Is it even possible?

Easy Ways to Keep Rats Out

Restaurants are not the easiest places to manage rodents’ access. After all, everything they love is right there, under one roof! Food, water, shelter, heat and furnishings to gnaw on. Furthermore, doors and windows are often open all day and late into the night—giving them the perfect opportunity to access the kitchen anytime they want.

Rats may be the number one reason you have your pest control agent’s contact number on speed dial, but did you know there are a few steps you can take to minimise the risk of them showing up in the first place? If you’ve seen a rat, mouse or other rodent slinking around the property, it may be time to read this post!

1. Enforce Garbage Control

It’s no secret that restaurant dustbins are full of leftover foods and peels that rats and mice might find very appealing. To avoid creating a constant food source, it’s important to consider the following guidelines regarding dustbins:

  • Ensure that all dustbins have lids that close tightly—replace bins that have cracks where rodents can squeeze through
  • Empty dustbins several times per day to avoid overflowing and odours that rats may find enticing
  • Place outside garbage cans away from the building and entrances to discourage entry into the building
  • Wash outside dustbins regularly with bleach or a mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to reduce the odours that attract rodents

2. Reduce Food and Water Sources

In a busy restaurant where food is being cooked all day long, it’s almost impossible to remove the potential food and water sources that attract bacteria-carrying rodents.

However, a few basic kitchen disciplines will help you reduce rodent access:

  • Keep all food securely covered until it is due to be served
  • Be strict about keeping the dining hall and the food prep stations clean throughout the day
  • Wipe up spills and crumbs as soon as possible
  • Ensure that food storage areas and cupboards are cleaned out regularly to avoid crumbs attracting rodents
  • All floors and counters should be washed down with bleach at the end of each day
  • Never leave dishes in the sink

3. Maintain the Surrounding Property

If your restaurant is situated in a garden, or with plants and foliage surrounding the perimeter, that might add some ambience to your property. It will also be an invitation for rodents to move in, especially if the area isn’t maintained. Therefore, ensure that the outside area is regularly swept, mowed, trimmed and cleaned out.

Remove any weeds that grow against the structure to lower the chances of rats having hiding spaces while they wait to get into your restaurant. You can also consider adding pots of plants that are known to repel rats around your commercial garden. These include:

  • Catnip
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Mint or peppermint
  • Oregano
  • Basil

4. Do Regular Building Checks

Rats and mice can enter your building through doorways and windows as well as small cracks, holes and crevices. Many people don’t realise that rats can squeeze themselves through spaces as small as 3 cm wide.

To reduce the risk of them getting through the smallest crevices, be sure to seal all exterior cracks. Pay special attention to openings around water and plumbing pipes that lead into the building as these critters can run along the pipes to get inside.

5. Invest in Pest Control Maintenance

One of the easiest ways to keep rodents at bay is by investing in pest control maintenance. This involves annual checks performed by your pest control agent. They will check for signs of rats and mice and will also identify potential risk areas.

The good news is that you can schedule these checks to coincide with the termite control Melbourne commercial business owners perform annually. Your pest control agent will be able to identify the pests that your property is at risk of, so you have peace of mind regarding pests after just one visit.

Final Thoughts

Nobody wants rodents on their commercial business property. It’s especially risky when these critters are near food that is being prepared and served to the general public. Ignoring a potential rat infestation could result in disease and bacteria spreading to food, water and preparation surfaces. By following our tips, you’ll be able to reduce the presence of rodents and regain some peace of mind!