Rodents like rats and mice are a nightmare for any food business. It doesn’t take them long to spread dangerous germs all over your business through their droppings, urine and saliva. Rats and mice leave droppings in a trail behind them as they scurry about in nooks and crannies, in and out of bins, across work surfaces and through food storage areas.
Often, when food businesses develop a rodent infestation, it is because they have failed to implement effective pest control practices. So, whether you run a restaurant, food retail business or food packing and storage facility, rodent control is a serious business.
How rodents can threaten your business
Despite their size and adorable whiskers, rats and mice are a big deal if they get into a commercial kitchen. A rodent infestation that is left unchecked could be the end of your food business.
Here’s just some of the damage that rodents can cause to your business:
- They can make your customers sick. Rats and mice carry bacteria and harmful germs in their fur, droppings, urine and saliva. Rodents are known to spread diseases such as hantavirus, tularemia, salmonellosis, listeriosis and leptospirosis.
- They will cost you money. A rodent infestation in your food business can result in massive food wastage and operational costs. Once a rat or mouse nibbles on food packaging, the product inside is contaminated and must be destroyed.
- They can become a big problem very quickly. Rodents breed all year round. A single female can have up to ten litters per year, with six to eight babies per litter. A couple of mice can quickly become a big problem.
- They can cause structural damage. Not only do rodents chew the corner of your flour bags, they have also been known to chew on wood, drywall, rubber, plastic pipes, insulation, gas lines and electric wires. They just never stop chewing.
- They can shut your business down. Rodents are a serious threat to food safety. Food Safety Inspectors may stop you from trading if they find signs of rodent activity during a routine inspection.
Preventing rats and mice in your food business
Preventing rats and mice from entering your premises is the first step to keeping your food business rodent-free. Inspect your business premises for holes or cracks in the walls and floors and seal them up. A mouse can squeeze through a hole about the size of a five-cent coin, and rats are known to get through cracks as small as 2.5cm.
Denying rats and mice access to food is another essential measure to make sure they don’t make themselves at home. Ensure all food is stored correctly and that you have good waste management practices.
Everyone has a role to play in preventing a rodent infestation, so train all your staff in rodent prevention. The more staff you train, the less chance there is of a couple of mice becoming a big problem.
How to spot signs of rodents
Droppings are likely to be the first sign of rodents that you’ll notice. . Rats and mice poop a lot - up to 70 times per day! Other clear indicators include nibble marks on food packaging, piles of nesting materials, tracks through dust or dirt on the floor and, of course, the rodents themselves.
We recommend checking your premises regularly for signs of rodents using a torch so you can see in all the hard-to-reach places they like to hide in.
Call the professionals to get rid of rodents
You must take action as soon as you notice signs of rodent activity. Food businesses are required to take a zero-tolerance approach to rodents and pests.
The safest and most effective way to eradicate your rodent problem is by calling in the professionals. We have the skills, knowledge and equipment to deal with rats and mice properly without putting your customers or the general public at risk.
At Spiderman SE, we use rodent baits secured inside lockable containers discreetly placed around your business. While our treatments are not safe for mice and rats, they are perfectly safe to use in food handling and storage areas.
We can come to your business outside of your operating hours so you can keep your pest control activities out of sight of your customers. Once we have installed the rodent stations, we will come back to inspect them and ensure they are working effectively.
Routine pest inspections and management is vital
Proactive pest control and management is your best defence in the food business. Spiderman SE can implement a comprehensive pest management program that is tailored to your food business.
Our pest control programs include regular inspections, general pest control treatments and specialised treatments for rodents, ants, cockroaches or flies as required. You can rely on us to keep your business pest-free and provide the relevant paperwork to keep you compliant with the necessary authorities.