Product Education   |   August 17, 2023

How to manage cockroaches in commercial kitchens

cockroach problem in kitchen

They reproduce quickly. They’ll eat almost anything. And they hide in the toughest-to-reach cracks and crevices.

German cockroaches remain one of the most challenging pests to manage, even for seasoned pest control professionals. Combined with the chaos and clutter of commercial kitchens, trying to get rid of the pests can feel hopeless.

But with the right methods, it’s possible to keep German cockroaches under control — and your customers happy. Follow these tips to successfully treat your next commercial kitchen.

Manage people, not just pests

Even the best treatments won’t work if they’re getting thrown away by kitchen staff.

Most commercial kitchens are bustling spaces with multiple teams, including management, employees, and cleaning crews. Ask your client to set expectations with their team, keeping everyone on the same page.

Also make sure to work around the staff’s needs. Since kitchens will likely be busy during your normal operating hours, consider servicing them early in the morning, or overnight. Place treatments in hard-to-reach areas, where they’re less likely to be moved or thrown away. And always follow proper guidelines for food contact surfaces.

Embrace the thigmotaxis mindsetgerman cockroaches are positively thigmotactic and cockroach feces effects on cockroach population

“Thigmotaxis” refers to an organism’s response to the stimulus of touch. For German cockroaches, that means hiding in tight spaces where they touch surfaces on both sides of their bodies.

That’s why it’s important to examine every small crack and crevice around German cockroach infestations. Combined with access to food and water, plus limited airflow and disturbances, kitchens can make ideal homes.

When checking cracks and crevices, keep an eye out for cockroach feces. It contains an aggregation pheromone that attracts other cockroaches. As ideal spots become overpopulated, the pests will find nearby hiding places. Even when the roaches are removed from the prime locations, surrounding roaches will simply take their place. By prioritizing key areas, you can avoid simply moving the pests from location to location.e

Keep it clean

Though it might seem obvious, basic sanitation goes a long way in controlling German cockroaches: See where garbage is stored. Check for food sources near doors. Make sure hard-to-reach areas, including floor drains and surfaces under appliances, are kept clean.

As mentioned above, collaboration is key. Work with the management to minimize potential water sources, such as leaking taps. Remind clients to keep a regular cleaning schedule. And encourage the team to store opened food in sealed, airtight containers.

Don’t skip the monitors

When used properly, monitors can help identify infestations and cockroach hot spots. Placement can be difficult in kitchens, but do your best to place monitors against walls or baseboards.

Adding an attractant will further increase catch, while reducing user error. For example, even if a monitor gets moved by your client, it can still capture cockroaches and give you an idea of where — and how many — pests remain.

See quicker results with Transport® Mikron® Insecticide

For severe German cockroach infestations in commercial kitchens, professionals choose Transport Mikron. Thanks to a particle size that’s 100 times smaller than other emulsifiable products, Transport Mikron offers more effective penetration into pests. The result: faster control, plus greater coverage.

The powerful insecticide delivers proven results as a spot or crack and crevice treatment in food areas, including wall voids. Its unique formulation of bifenthrin and acetamiprid is also completely clear, so you can avoid the messy stains and visible residue left behind by other products. And once mixed, Transport Mikron doesn’t require agitation before use — so you can quickly tackle your client’s toughest cockroach challenges.