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How you can be proactive during a cockroach invasion.

a cockroach on a pile of rice in a south florida restaurant

Any restaurant owner knows that pests are bad for business. If a customer finds a fly in their soup, other customers are sure to hear about it, especially in this day and age where there are restaurant review sites on the internet. And if your outside area is being plagued with mosquitoes, or perhaps wasps, that is going to hurt your business as well. But there probably isn't another pest that will cause more headaches than cockroaches. People may be able to forgive a fly or a few mosquitoes, but seeing a cockroach scoot across the ceiling isn't something that can be easily forgotten.

  • Roaches are small and compact. Cockroaches, especially the smaller ones, such as the German cockroach, can squeeze through some pretty tiny gaps. In fact, German cockroach nymphs can fit through the hole in an electrical outlet. This means that if there is a way into a restaurant, they will find it. And once inside, they will quickly infiltrate the whole structure if allowed to do so.

  • Roaches spread illness. Cockroaches travel through filthy places. They will crawl around in dumpsters and sewers before heading inside to walk around on silverware and food prep surfaces. Because of this, they can transport harmful bacteria from trash cans, drains, toilets, and other disease-ridden places to areas where food is being prepared and served. Also, once they reach adult size, roaches can chew through food packaging, allowing things to spoil, and possibly contaminating the contents.

  • Employees or customers may become sick. Several bacteria-related illnesses that cockroaches are linked to include gastroenteritis, food poisoning, enteric fever, typhoid fever, diarrhea, giardia, listeriosis, Cholera, E.coli, and dysentery.

  • Roaches shed allergens. Cockroach excrement and shed skins cause an allergic response in many people. Some symptoms include congestion, skin rash, watery eyes, sneezing, and asthma. This issue is especially problematic when roaches get into air ducts and the allergens become airborne.

  • Roaches have pheromones. When cockroach populations grow, the pheromone scent that they put off grows with them. Not only can this smell become quite noticeable, these pheromones can actually cause foods to have a foul taste.

  • Roaches can impact employee morale. Simply seeing cockroaches around in a restaurant kitchen (or anywhere) can have a demoralizing effect on workers and lead to a reduction in productivity. And if illnesses increase due to exposure to cockroach bacteria or allergens, then problems can multiply as employees require more sick days.

  • Roaches certainly impact customers. As mentioned above, if a customer sees a roach in a restaurant, it is fairly certain that that customer will not be back. But in today's world, it is also likely that they will influence other customers to never come in the first place, by way of writing a bad review.

  • Roaches can prompt litigation. Even if an employee or customer does not get sick from cockroaches in your restaurant, they can still bring a lawsuit if a roach problem isn't successfully addressed.

  • Roaches can cause failed inspections. Nothing says failed inspection faster than cockroaches being present. At best, this can cause headaches for the owners and employees. At worse, it could lead to a complete closure of the business. And even if the restaurant manages to reopen, the reputation will be tainted indefinitely.

Fortunately, there is help when it comes to cockroaches invading businesses. While there are things that can be done to discourage roaches from entering and sticking around, once established, these can be nearly impossible to completely eradicate without professional help.

If you need assistance ridding your restaurant of these disease-carrying insects, or you would rather not get them in the first place, reach out to Nozzle Nolen. With over 50 years of commercial pest control experience, we can take care of roaches--or any other pest--that may be plaguing your business.

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