The biggest pests in the food industry are…

Where there is food, there will be pests.

Here are the top 5 pests we are asked to manage for restaurants, cafes, takeaways and businesses within the food industry:


Cockroaches love the warmer temperatures offered inside a building, especially those where there is a food source.  So they will seek out tiny holes and cracks to gain access to your premised and breed quickly.  Sometimes, they will have been present for a while before you detect them, as they explore at night.  When they crawl over your surfaces they can also spread nasty diseases such as, E.coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus.  A notable sign of cockroaches will be round, or oblong droppings that are brown or black. The faeces can also be runny and will appear on your floors or surfaces as smear marks. You may also find some cockroach skin, left behind when they shed.


You could be forgiven for a few flies that have found their way inside on a warm day, but generally larger numbers of flies, where there is food, is bad news.   This includes fruit flies, house flies and drain flies.

Did you know flies have an extremely unpleasant way to feed?  They vomit their saliva onto the food or food surfaces and then suck up the liquid. This can result in food that is contaminated with bacteria.  The bacteria can cause food poisoning, Dysentery, Typhoid or even Cholera in countries where these occur.


Thankfully, ants do not usually pose a public health risk to people. However, a café or restaurant with an ant infestation is unlikely to attract customers. Ants are attracted to sweet foodstuffs and will invade on mass to take food back to the nest to feed to the larvae and queen.  It can be difficult to track their entry points so an off-the-shelf product may be ineffective, and a Protex Pest Control technician may be required instead.


It is important to first accurately detect if you have mice or rats as the two are commonly mixed up, and the approach needed to treat each is different.

Mice and rats can access your premises through small cracks and drains.  They can spread diseases such as Salmonella and Listeria through their urine, droppings and bedding.  Just like cockroaches, they do most of their foraging at night, so it can take a while to realise they are there.  The first signs may be droppings, gnawing marks, or ripped food cartons.


Pigeons will thrive near food outlets.  They will feed on crumbs and discarded food.  Unfortunately, they pose a public health risk.  As well as being unsightly, their acidic droppings can corrode buildings.

What can you do?
  • Excellent hygiene is essential, to help prevent a pest infestation. Food should always be correctly stored in sealed containers. Waste should be carefully bagged and removed from the premises regularly. Ensure all bins have a lid and can be tightly closed.
  • Diligently follow the required standards of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene Regulations 2005.
  • Prevent future pest infestations with a bespoke pest control programme for your premises.
What can Protex Pest Control do?

Protex Pest Control expert will thoroughly assess your premises and if necessary, start treatment immediately.

We will also seek out all the possible entry points to prevent any future infestations.  These will include doors, windows, cupboards, storage rooms and cracks in walls.  And in the case of pigeons, we can access your roof, or windowsills to install the appropriate bird deterrents.

We will develop a preventative pest control plan for your premises.  This could cost as little as £1.60 a day – that’s less than a cup of coffee.

 For more information and to obtain your free quotation:
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