In a grocery store, pests like rats and cockroaches are not just an annoyance. They are a threat to the quality of the food and the health of your customers. It is essential that you, as the owner of a grocery store, take pest control seriously. Here are some pest control tips that are particularly useful in a grocery store setting.
1. Store all of the food off the floor.
Make sure you do not store any boxes of food directly on the floor. Even if the food is encased in cardboard and plastic, this makes it far too easy for pests to chew the boxes and gain access to the food. Keep a close eye on your stock of pallets so you can order more when you run low or when a few become damaged. You never want your staff to be tempted to park boxes on the floor because there's no more pallet space.
2. Practice FIFO.
Rotten produce, boxes that have not moved in months, bread that is starting to go stale — these are all attractants to pests. Even if you trust your staff never to allow spoiled food of this sort out onto the floor, you need to make sure food does not spoil in the back room in the first place. Be vigilant about your FIFO (first-in, first-out) policies. Have your workers date each box that comes in and always use the oldest box first. Every couple of weeks, have a manager look through the boxes and ensure no older ones have been overlooked.
3. Keep the dumpsters far from the building.
While it may be convenient to keep the dumpster right by the back of the building, this practice is just inviting pests to come inside. If they find their way into the dumpster, which is quite likely, your back room is only a hop, skip, and a jump away! Park the dumpster across the parking lot, even though this means employees will have to take longer trips out to that dumpster.
4. Have a pest control service come put down baits every month.
Do not wait to see pests to hire a commercial pest control service! Hire one as a preventative measure. They can come put down baits against rodents and bugs, ensuring that the first pests that arrive are killed and don't have a chance to breed. Do not put down baits yourself. Pros know where to place them to minimize the risk of contaminating the food.
In a grocery store, commercial pest management needs to be a top priority. With the tips above, you can make it just that.