I Don’t Think That’s On the Menu

If you’re a restaurateur in or around Eau Claire, you know the challenges that come with keeping your establishment clear of any unwanted pests. Having the occasional rodent or bug problem in your home can be an inconvenience, but when these pests start to invade your business, it can cost you customers and money. The last thing you want is a nice family sitting down to dinner at your best table, only for them to see a rodent scurrying from table to table like its Remy the rat from Ratatouille. 1st Choice Pest Solutions would like to fill you in on the most common pests that affect kitchens and restaurants, how to spot the warning signs of infestations, and what you can do to help prevent these creatures from wreaking havoc in your business. Remember, no job is too big or too small for 1st Choice Pest Solutions to handle, so please contact us immediately if you are in need of pest control services in or around Eau Claire. That said, let’s take a look at the most common kitchen perpetrators.


There is just no escaping these little buggers. While there is a bit of a brief respite from the annoying buzzing of flies during the colder winter months, it won’t be long before warmer weather brings them back to torment you and your customers. Although they are common and can seem harmless enough, flies actually pose an enormous health risk to your restaurant’s customers and staff. Flies can carry diseases like cholera, salmonella, and typhoid — basically everything that plagued 19th century literature. The reason they are attracted to restaurants is because of the practically unlimited food supply of garbage and food waste. The bacteria that these pests pick up and then spread around as they land on a nicely prepared plate of spaghetti can make your customers sick with food poisoning, digestive distress, and even infections. 

If flies have begun to haunt your kitchen, it is important that you act quickly to control the problem. Flies are notoriously prolific, and in a matter of days, you could be dealing with way more flies than you care to be associated with. 


If cockroaches can survive a nuclear winter, then it’s safe to say that they can survive happy hour. These filthy pests are incredibly resilient and can pose a very serious problem to your restaurant. Because of their persistent, strong-willed nature, many conventional means of pest control can be ineffective against them, necessitating the need for professionals like 1st Choice Pest Solutions. 

While flies will buzz around you all the live-long day, cockroaches are craftier. They will still take advantage of the food and water that restaurants so easily provide, but they’re sneaky about it. Cockroaches will hide in dark corners and small crevices. You may not even know a cockroach is there during the daylight hours. However, if you do happen to see you during the day, you can bet that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. One visible cockroach means it has buddies nearby. Should a cockroach manage to find its way to the dining area, they can potentially spread such lovely sounding diseases like E. coli and Salmonella. Preventative, proactive pest control is the best way to deal with cockroaches, but there are some things you can do to discourage their uninvited appearance, which we’ll discuss later.


Many times, the presence of rodents in your restaurant is indicative of an underlying sanitation problem that may need to be addressed. This isn’t always the case, but it is often the case. An active rodent population in your restaurant can lead to food contamination, failing health inspections, and your establishment’s reputation taking a serious knock. Rodents can carry diseases like these gems — lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Hantavirus, and even the plague. If it can wipe out most of Europe in the Middle Ages, it can wipe out Saturday brunch. Never attempt to capture a rodent with your bare hands, as they are capable of transferring disease directly to people. If a rodent problem gets out of control, then you need to take immediate action by calling 1st Choice Pest Solutions, and we’ll get a safe and effective strategy in place to take care of your rodent problem.

Proactive & Preventative Measures

You and your kitchen or restaurant staff are the first line of defense against pesky invaders that threaten your business and health. There are some practical things that you can implement and practice so that you may never get to the point of having to call in the professionals. Your health and safety is our number one concern, so when a situation is beyond your control, contact us immediately! In the meantime, these tips should help discourage the presence of flies, cockroaches, and rodents:

Practice Cleanliness

  • Don’t wait until the end of a shift to wipe down working surfaces or dining tables. Any spilled liquids or crumbs are like neon lights to critters, and they will take advantage of the free buffet. 
  • Ensure that there is no standing water or leaky pipes and drains in your building. Available water is a hot commodity for pests, and they will set up shop near a dependable water source. 
  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum daily, including hard to reach places. Those nooks and crannies become havens for unwanted pests.
  • If you notice a trash can or container emitting strong smells, either secure the lid properly, or get rid of it altogether. Rest assured that if you smell something pungent, animals can smell it exponentially better, and will be attracted to it. 

Inspect Premises

  • As a restaurant owner, you should regularly inspect the outside of your establishment for faults in the infrastructure. Mice can pass through openings as small as a dime, so keep a sharp eye out for cracks and holes, especially near entrances and plumbing. 
  • Tone down the foliage. Having excess plant life around your restaurant is like building a little critter condo right next to your place of work. 
  • Always keep food storage tightly sealed and stored neatly.

Make This Everyone’s Responsibility

  • Most likely, you employ a restaurant staff. Large or small, make sure everyone is on the same page about pest control and being proactive about cleanliness. Make sure that everyone is informed about what attracts pests, and the best ways to avoid providing pests with resources.
  • Should anyone on your staff see a pest or a potential pest problem, make sure they know to report it immediately. When there is money and reputation on the line, timeliness is key.

When It’s Out Of Your Hands, Put It In Ours

If your restaurant experiences any sort of pest problem, whether it is one mentioned in this blog or not, we encourage you to call us at 1st Choice Pest Solutions. We are available for on-site assessments, and can put a plan in place to safely, quickly, and effectively handle any pest problem. Call us today with your pest control needs!