Rat Prevention: Food Service Establishments

NYC businesses that sell food are especially vulnerable to rats. The best way to keep rats out of a food service establishment is through proper garbage management, maintenance and pest proofing.

Improperly stored food waste will feed and attract rats. Grease stains and odors also attract rodents. Follow these tips to keep rats away from your business:

  • Use heavy-duty plastic garbage bags that are 1.9 millimeters thick.
  • Tie bags tightly at the top to avoid leakage and spills.
  • Put rags soaked with a mild bleach solution (one cup bleach to two gallons water) inside bags. Add one rag to the bottom before trash goes in and one on the top before tying it up.
  • Store garbage prior to pick up in hard plastic or metal cans with tight-fitting lids. You should have enough cans to store up to three days of garbage.
  • Before closing each day, wash the garbage area, front sidewalk and curbs.
  • Clean more often when you see flies.
  • Seal up holes. Rats and mice can enter holes that are, respectively, the size of a quarter and a dime.
  • Get rid of clutter. Throw out old boxes.
  • Follow the "First in, First out" rule — what you buy first, sell first.
  • Inspect all deliveries. Rodents can hide in delivery boxes.

Best Practices for Pest Proofing Food Service Establishments (PDF)

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