Commercial Kitchens – Most Common Pests

By Cappstone Inc. |
Commercial Kitchens

Keeping a commercial kitchen clean and free of pests is essential for restaurants and other relevant businesses for several reasons. Those reasons include the requirements of local and state health departments, which routinely inspect commercial kitchens for potential pest issues. Another major reason commercial kitchens need to be well-maintained and free of pests is for customers.

Pests not only pose a risk to the health and safety of customers, the presence of pests may actually deter existing customers from returning. This may lead to a bad reputation and deter new business. Commercial kitchens are, unfortunately for restaurateurs and other professionals in the industry, an ideal environment for a number of different types of pests. Here are 4 of the most common pests found in commercial kitchens, and some info on how to manage them:


Cockroaches are synonymous with pest issues in commercial kitchens. They are notoriously hard to kill, and carry and transmit many different diseases, bacteria, and food-borne illnesses. They thrive in heat and humidity, though they can be found everywhere throughout commercial kitchens. It can be costly to eradicate a cockroach issue, so maintaining a clean kitchen is essential.


Rats and mice arguably present the greatest risks to health and safety in commercial kitchens. Attracted to warmth, food, and water, rats and mice – great climbers that they are – can fit into and access almost every part of a commercial kitchen. By their saliva, urine, and feces, rodents can contaminate food and beverages, and transmit a number of dangerous diseases and food-borne illnesses. Rat traps are usually pretty effective, but spraying peppermint oil in problem areas is a very useful deterrent.


Of the most commonly found pests in commercial kitchens, ants probably present the lowest risk to health and safety, but can be the biggest nuisance. Ant colonies are usually formed near sources of water or other fluids, or near moisture. They also tend to trail to and from wherever food waste is found or disposed of. Routine pest control spraying and strategically placed ant traps effectively prevent ant issues.


Not all flies are the same, though you can say that all flies are pretty small and annoying. The most common flies you’ll find in commercial kitchens include house flies and fruit flies. House flies are commonly drawn to food odors, meaning they’re mostly found around garbage cans, dumpsters, and wherever there’s food waste. Fruit flies are present where there are old (fermenting) fruits and vegetables. Flies potentially carry and spread over 100 different harmful diseases, like salmonella, tuberculosis, and listeria. To reduce and avoid the presence of flies in a commercial kitchen, staff should frequently clear food waste and replace garbage liners that are full, while ensuring all doors and windows (and/or screens) are closed at all times.


Obviously, the stakes are high when it comes to keeping your commercial kitchen clean and free of pests – especially the four discussed above. To learn more about commercial kitchen pest removal services, visit our website!

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