Over the decades of being in business in Baltimore, Brody Brothers has tackled multiple mouse infestations in commercial restaurant kitchens. Some of them were so bad, the restaurant had already been shut down by the Baltimore City Health Department by the time we were called in.
Before we get into what restaurant owners can do to prevent a rodent invasion, let’s start with what makes restaurants and kitchens so attractive to mice. Mice do not hibernate, but with the onset of cold weather, their natural food supply of seeds and bugs starts to dry up. Like any good pest, mice then start looking for food inside, and a hot, commercial kitchen with delicious food smells pouring out will attract rodents far and wide.
Too many mice in the kitchen
Because of the incredibly high stakes (you could get customers sick or be shut down by the Health Department to name just two worst-case scenarios), rodents, roaches and other pests are public enemy #1 of restaurants and other commercial kitchens. Since we’re focusing on mice in this post, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent the scampering of mouse feet in your kitchen.
Step One: Seal all gaps, cracks and vents, and make sure all doors close tightly. You may need to install new weather stripping to stop hot air and enticing food odors from attracting every mouse in the city.
Step Two: Sanitize everything. Mice love high-protein foods like grease. Take a look under and around your fryer and other food prep equipment, because based on many of the commercial kitchens we’ve seen, you could probably hide Jimmy Hoffa under all the grease and food debris. Make sure you clean out all the food residue and grease, and start using enzyme cleaner, also known as a microbial cleaner, in your mop solution. Mop all greasy floors with this solution every day and poor the remainder of the solution down the drains each night. This will greatly reduce the grease build-up in the restaurant and, simultaneously, the likelihood of mice.
We also highly recommend hiring a third-party company or person to clean regularly. In a perfect world, your employees would do a fantastic cleaning job every night, but in reality, kitchen staff just want to leave at the end of a long day and tend to do a less-than-stellar job on the cleaning front.
Step Three: Get rid of nesting sites. You need proper shelving for paper goods and dry goods, and keep everything in rodent-proof containers. We know it’s tempting to hold on to things that have sentimental value, but if you’re serious about preventing mice, you need to do a proper clear-out of all your old junk. In our experience, restaurant owners’ offices tend to be loaded with papers and old furniture, so start your clear-out there; this will prevent other pests too.
Many commercial buildings have cinder block or hollow block walls, which are notorious for holding huge populations of mice, but sealing up those holes needs to be done by a professional. If you already have a mouse problem, the Brody Brothers will locate all plumbing and electrical penetrations into these wall structures, and remove ceiling tiles to find all the hidden wires. This is not optional if you’re trying to get control of a commercial kitchen mouse infestation.
Step Four: Call in the pros. Even a residential mouse infestation is not something you can DIY, and a commercial kitchen mouse problem is a whole other ballgame. Get the pest control experts who have dealt with commercial mouse infestations in the Baltimore area for decades and keep your restaurant, café, and diner or bar clean and in business.