Top 8 Pests Found in Commercial Kitchens

As a restaurant owner, keeping a thoroughly clean and sanitized kitchen area is essential for staying in business. You don’t want to risk getting your patrons sick or losing thousands of dollars in lost food. When you suspect an infestation is on your hands, don’t wait to call commercial pest control in West Palm Beach. 

Why Does My Commercial Kitchen Have a Pest Problem? 

A commercial kitchen is the perfect place to support a thriving colony of rats, roaches, and ants. All the stored food and water is readily available, which makes it a hotspot for pests. One of the leading causes of a pest infestation is the kitchen not being properly cleaned or sanitized. Most pests like rodents and roaches also want to look for warmth and excess moisture, which is easily accessible in a kitchen. 

If you do have an infestation, common areas where you’ll find these pests are behind appliances, under tables, or hiding in cardboard packages. If you see any out in the open, that’s a red flag that your pest problem has gotten out of control and requires the help of a professional pest control specialist. 

Common Pests Found in Commercial Kitchens 

If you own a restaurant or have worked in the food industry, there could be a chance that you’ve come across a selection of pests in the kitchen. Below are some of the common kinds you can expect to see in commercial kitchens. 


Roaches are the most common and problematic pests found in commercial kitchens. Since they’re small, they can easily hide in tight spaces, so you might not be able to see them unless you search the entire kitchenCockroaches like to shelter in dark places during the daytime and search for food and other sites to shelter at night.  

Roaches can be an allergen source and trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Although cockroaches don’t bite, their heavy leg spines may scratch you if one crawls on you. They carry a lot of harmful bacteria, so there’s also a possibility of that scratch becoming infected. Common species are the German cockroach, American cockroach, and Oriental cockroach. 


People commonly find ants in their kitchens. They’re mostly attracted to the readily available food, moisture, and grease commonly found in them. They can enter your restaurant through the tiniest openings since they’re so small. Ants aren’t only annoying, but they can pose a danger to your kitchen and health. All species of ants can bite you, which mainly only cause itching and discomfort. Some people may have more adverse reactions than others, especially if they’re allergic. Common types of ants include odorous house ants, pavement ants, and Argentine ants. 


Flies are attracted to the food odors that come from kitchens, making them another common pest for restaurants. They can access your kitchen through sewage and drain pipes or cracks on your flooring. You’ll mostly find them by garbage or food that’s been left out. Different species of flies are attracted to different food or drink products. Fruit flies enjoy fermenting sugars, and drain flies are attracted to rotting food and other organic waste material. 


Rodents such as mice and rats are attracted to the vast food supplies that commercial kitchens have to offer. They tend to nest in areas with close access to food and can quickly multiply if they’re given access to a lot of food and water. Rodents have likely entered your kitchen due to holes or gaps in your walls, floors, windows, or ceilings. They’re also capable of spreading disease, which can contaminate your food if you aren’t careful. 


Fleas can enter commercial kitchens by other guests or animals that have entered the premises. They are bloodsucking insects that can easily jump around from host to host when brought into a building. They’re one of the worst kinds of pests because they’re difficult to spot and can worsen respiratory illnesses or complications. Fleas mostly feed on animals but can also bite humans and trigger some allergic reactions. 

Stored Product Insects 

Stored product insects, also known as pantry pests, tend to inhabit packets and bags of food. They most likely infest packages that have already been opened but are also capable of chewing through some of them. Stored product insects are likely to contaminate a large amount of food. Common examples of these pests include beetles, weevils, moths, and mites. 


Spiders can be terrifying, especially if there’s an infestation! These pests are often found in kitchens because they have easy access to their prey – insects. Although that might seem beneficial if you don’t want insects in your kitchen, spiders can multiply very quickly. One spider egg sac can produce hundreds of baby spiders. An infestation can be harmful to your health because some are venomous and produce toxins that are hazardous to humans if they get bitten by one. Spider bites can cause diseases, skin damage, or severe wounds if not treated well. 

Nuisance Birds 

Did you know some birds can be pests too? Nuisance birds can cause damage to buildings and can be most common in outdoor restaurants. Most birds can also transmit certain diseases such as cryptococcosis, salmonella, and food poisoning. Common kinds of nuisance birds are pigeons, sparrows, and starlings. 

commercial pest control west palm beach

Most Common Ways Pests Enter Your Food Business 

Have you ever wondered how on earth these bugs and rodents are entering your restaurant? Well, they have numerous ways to come in and infest the food in your kitchen. Being aware of all the possible entryways can help you understand what needs to be done to reduce the number of pests coming into your commercial kitchen and soiling your food. Below are the most common ways these pests can come into your food business. 

Through Dumpster Compactors 

Dumpster compactor chutes can provide entry points for pests of all kinds if they’re poorly designed. Not to mention that the dumpsters themselves can be breeding sites for them. Boxes that are emptied but not cleaned can attract maggots and other insects that will thrive on the residue left behind. 

Through Employees 

Some pests, such as cockroaches and bed bugs, can enter your kitchen because of your employees! They can climb on their belongings and “hitchhike” their way into your restaurant. If you find that one of your workers is the source of certain bugs, you will need to speak with them about the concern. It’s also important to monitor the area where your employees store their belongings and ensure they regularly clean the space. 

Through Incoming Shipments 

Pests can also hop on your inventory shipments and enter your kitchen. Sometimes mice can hide inside pallet stacks and feast on the food that’s available. If you don’t catch them in time, you could risk a critical amount of them inhabiting your restaurant’s kitchen. It’s good practice to thoroughly check your shipments for any signs of pests. 

Through Floor Drains 

Sewer systems are the ideal place for flies, roaches, and rats. Since they roam around, they can end up in your commercial kitchen by climbing through your floor drains. Pests that enter your restaurant through this method are a major hazard, as they’ve been crawling through a slew of dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can ruin your food and harm your patrons. The best way to keep them out is to thoroughly clean your drains and use proper grating. 

Through Cracks in Doors or Windows 

Over time, doors and windows might not function the way they used to. If there are small openings in your restaurant’s walls, windows, or doors, that’s easy access for rodents to get in. It’s a good idea to look for and seal any entryways that may be available in your restaurants or replace any improperly functioning doors and windows. 

Negative Indoor Air Pressure 

Negative indoor air pressure occurs when the inside air pressure is less than the outside. As a result, air starts to leak into the building. Your restaurant might have too much negative air pressure if you notice cold drafts, lingering odors, exterior doors that are hard to open and close, and of course, an infestation of pestsThe negative air pressure can pull insects into your restaurant, and the abundance of light and food odors will make them not want to leave! 

Why are Restaurants at a Higher Risk for Pests? 

Generally, restaurants require the most extensive pest control because of food residue and their cleaning schedules. You may have heard of some restaurants even closing down due to an infestation. Because of this, food service companies will want to take advantage of commercial pest control to keep their establishment in proper condition. Some of the benefits include: 

  • Better reputation 
  • No failed audits 
  • Protected property 
  • Less discomfort 
  • Detailed plans 

commercial pest control west palm beach

Dangers of a Pest Infestation 

Pest infestations in your kitchen can be a dangerous thing. A lot is at stake for you and your restaurant if you have one or fail to get one under control. Below are the dangers restaurant owners face when they have an infestation on their hands. 

  • Risk your business shutting down 
  • Compromise the health of your patrons and employees 
  • Destroy your business’s reputation 
  • Cost money in lost food and property damage 

Factors that Affect Pest Control Frequency 

Your commercial kitchen may require pest control as little as once a year or as often as every two weeks. Different factors can affect how frequently your restaurant may need commercial pest control in West Palm Beach. We always recommend scheduling services at least once a month to maintain the high sanitation standards for the food industry. The factors affecting the frequency of commercial pest control include the following: 

  • Foot traffic 
  • Presence of food 
  • Proximity to the outdoors 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Many people may have questions about commercial pest control in West Palm Beach and how to keep their restaurant as healthy as possible. Not to worry! We’ve provided some of the most commonly asked questions about pest control and how to prevent an infestation from occurring at your restaurant.  

What are Kitchen Pests? 

Many kinds of pests can be found in the kitchen. They can be categorized in two ways: stored food pests and spilled food pests. Stored food pests infest stored food and all feed on the same food. These may include beetles and moths. Spilled food pests feed on food and debris that has made their way into cracks and behind kitchen appliances. The common spilled food pests are ants and roaches. 

What Pests are Commonly Found in Food Premises? 

Many kinds of food pests can enter your establishment. The main types are rats, mice, birds, and insects. The changes in seasons and temperatures can result in different kinds of pests that may enter your commercial kitchen. For example, restaurants may see many rats and mice during the winter months. The summer months can mean you’ll be seeing a lot of mosquitoes, roaches, and ants. 

What Pests are Most Dangerous to Have in a Kitchen Establishment? 

Pests can be more than a nuisance. Some of them can be a significant threat to your restaurant. Flies, roaches, and rodents can carry and spread diseases that can get into the food your guests eat. This can cause a host of issues such as food poisoning, diarrhea, and bloodstream infections. Rodents can also be a fire hazard for your restaurant when they chew on electrical wires. 

How Do Pests Deteriorate Food Quality? 

Most of the pests that entered your kitchen have been living in sewers, garbage cans, and other unsanitary environments. Infestations can impact your restaurant’s food quality by something known as transmission of zoonotic diseases. An example of this is called leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease that comes from pest droppings and urine. By damaging food packaging, pests can also impact restaurant food quality by causing a major loss of food that they eat, contaminate, or spoil. 

What are the Best Methods of Pest Control in the Food Business? 

The approach will vary and be specifically designed for each location’s unique needs. The best and safest way to prevent pests from entering and infesting your food establishment is to keep the area as clean as possible. That includes both the inside and outside of the building. Clean up spills as soon as possible, put all food and scraps in the trash can, and keep all septic tanks clean and sealed. 

There are other, better ways of preventing pests than regular cleaning. Another good method of pest control in a commercial kitchen is biological control methods. This means using natural enemies to exterminate the pests. Many insects can’t swim and will drown in water. Pesticides should always be the last resort if you don’t notice any improvement. 

commercial pest control west palm beach

Are You in Need of Commercial Pest Control in West Palm Beach? 

Are you worried about a pest infestation at your restaurant? Call the experts at O’Hara Pest Control, and we can handle it with care and the most effective methods. We promise to schedule plenty of time to properly complete the job and ensure top quality of service. Call us today if you have any questions or if you’re ready to request our services! 


We hired O’Hara because we were unhappy with our previous pest control company here at St. Paul of the Cross Church in North Palm Beach. We are extremely satisfied with their quality service and lower cost. We have a large property which includes a three story office building with classrooms, a commercial kitchen, large banquet rooms and many bathrooms. They target specific insect problems with bait and kill with diverse effective products. We have had no issues with bugs and if a problems arises they quickly come to address the problem even if it is not .their monthly schedule time. I highly recommend them and thank them for their professional service 

-Mark Hopper 

First off Alex and his guy’s @O’Hara’s are the up most PRO-fessional landscape and pest control company I have ever used in Florida. I have been a Property manager for a very large upscale HOA housing community in WPB for the last 10 Years. O’Hara Landscape has been taking care of us for 9 of those year’s! We have won awards and many compliments from our home owners! These guys pay attention to detail! When I heard Alex and Tom opened a pest control division I was thrilled. We were at the time using rather well known pest control company but we were not getting results…. (White -Fly) was causing so much damage to our ficus hedges. The company we were using was not helping at ALL! Finally I talked to Alex O’Hara about it and he said Yea no problem i could have that all cleared up in no time. They say the the luck of the Irish?!? They do not need luck because the white fly’s are no longer a problem anywhere on our property. you really do get what you pay for with these guys whether it’s landscaping, irrigation, or pest control! It’s really inspiring knowing that there are companies like this around. The way they do business is what America is all about Integrity and a simple handshake knowing you’re in good hands!

Alex also came out to my own house and took care of some pest’s inside and a sick tree. I’m the type of woman who jumps at the sight of bugs and rodents. Thanks Alex and Tom!! I can now breathe knowing that my house is pest free!

P.S. I will set something straight! The Kris guy below that left a nasty review was a employee of O’Hara pest control and he was such a unpleasant person to deal with Alex (the owner) would personally deal with me. Kris was rude and not professional. Glad I or my staff no longer have to deal with him! I normally would keep to myself on such matters but what Kris said about O’Hara Pest control Is slander and completely untrue! These guys put there lives into their work and are as honest as they come!

See you nest week Alex

best, Jules 🙂 

– Julie Cruz 

Request Service

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Need Help? Let Us Help.

Our team is standing by to help you find customized pest and lawn solutions. Call or email us today if you have any questions or if you would like a quote.