German Cockroach on beige surface.One of the largest complaints we hear from restaurants is that they’ve spotted a cockroach and need someone to take a look right away. In fact, German cockroaches are restaurants #1 problem across the country. Restaurant owners know that cockroaches aren’t only bad news for their brand, but also their customers.

Cockroaches are unsightly for good reason. They carry diseases and parasites that are transmitted onto the food they eat, which is often the same food we eat, putting your customers’ health at risk. Because they are such dirty pests, it makes sense why no one wants to see them anywhere near their plate.

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So, what is it about restaurants?

Cockroaches are looking for food, shelter and water. Restaurants offer an abundance of all these things. From moisture that collects from steam or cleaning habits, to food particles that accumulate in drains, under the counters or behind equipment, cockroaches really have all they need in a restaurant. A common misconception is that dirty restaurants cause cockroach problems. While poor sanitation certainly supports cockroach infestations in restaurants, cockroaches can get into a restaurant in several ways. German cockroaches are almost always introduced from an outside source, but they don’t generally live in the outdoors. German cockroaches are generally carried into a restaurant – this could be through a delivery or even in a customer or employee’s bags. Structural problems can also lead to other cockroaches infiltrating a restaurant, such as American or oriental cockroaches. Common entrances include cracks in walls, underneath doors, through gaps in the foundation and through poorly maintained drains.

Can I use DIY products to get rid of cockroaches?

The short answer to this is, no. Most sprays and repellents won’t reach crevices that cockroaches hide in, such as behind walls and other appliances. Results also don’t last very long because their eggs will likely get missed, meaning your problem will eventually return. For reference, a single female will produce 20-40 eggs per egg case, which hatch in less than one month.

Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to prevent cockroaches from entering and staying.

What can I do to get rid of restaurant cockroaches?

  1. Seal entrances: Add floor sweeps to doors to reduce the chance of cockroaches entering. Avoid leaving doors open for extended periods of times during deliveries. Repair cracks in walls and any gaps in windows and doors.
  2. Eliminate clutter: Cockroaches aren’t often found out and about. They prefer to hide away in storage, behind equipment and they especially love cardboard. By breaking down and throwing away boxes right away and removing clutter, you’ll reduce the chances of cockroaches “settling in”.
  3. Hide and seal food sources: This one is key. If cockroaches don’t have a way to sustain themselves, they won’t want to stay for long. You also will reduce the chances of contamination. Make sure that all food is stored away and removed from places like counters. Use tightly sealed containers to store food.
  4. Sanitize: Make sure you and your staff maintain a regular, rigorous cleaning schedule. Clean all surfaces that food touches throughout the day, sweep and wash floors, quickly wipe up spills and other food messes as soon as they occur.
  5. Partner up: Partnering with a pest control company is by far the most effective way to maintain a strong pest management program. An experienced pest professional will be able to treat common entrances for cockroaches and reduce the risks of cockroaches ever entering your business in the first place.

If your restaurant is suffering from a cockroach infestation, or you just would like to take precautionary measures from ever encountering one, give Holder’s a call to get an appointment scheduled.