Helping Hawaii’s Restaurant Owners to Identify & Prevent Rodent Issues
Rats are an issue for all property owners in Hawaii. They can provide specific challenges for Oahu restaurant owners due to the constant presence of food items and a plethora of hiding spaces in busy commercial kitchens. Rats are not only an annoyance, they carry at least 10 harmful diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
The Roof Rat vs Norway Rat
The roof rat is an expert climber and can crawl from building to building through power lines. The roof rat likes to inhabit roof spaces, attics, and trees.
The Norway Rat, however, typically stays closer to the ground, often digging and burrowing under buildings. Look out for burrows around gardens, foundations, and or yard clutter. The Norway rat is still completely capable of climbing.
How do I identify what kind of rat I’m dealing with?
If you are experiencing a rodent issue, it is important to first identify which kind of rat is infesting your space. These two rats have a few differentiating characteristics:
Roof rats have black fur and pale underbellies and a much longer tail. Norway rats have brownish or gray fur. Roof rats enjoy snacking on fruit, insects, seeds, and nuts. The Norway rat enjoys more sweet human-like food, including chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, etc. At first, is it advisable to set traps for both types of rats so you can increase trapping probabilities and then identify which type of rats you are dealing with.
How can I prevent rodents from infesting my restaurant and property?
If a rat can fit its head through something, it can also squeeze its body through it. Adult rats can easily squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. Juvenile rats can squeeze through holes the size of a nickel, and baby rats can fit through holes the size of a dime.
- Check all access points in your roof space/attic
- Vents, attic fans, screens, etc.
- Check around any plumbing pipes, look for openings they could squeeze through
- Under your sink, drains, fire sprinklers, etc.
- Check your doors and windows for holes in the screen
- Invest in door skirts to keep pests from crawling under!
Rodent teeth are classified as open-root dentition. This means that their teeth continuously grow without stopping throughout their entire life. They are required to chew and grind down their teeth to prevent them from growing too far and puncturing their own brain. They can chew through plumbing, electrical, and even concrete, but don’t fret. There are certain substances and materials that these rats don’t like to chew through. Including Steel Wool, Caulking, Peppermint Oil, etc.
Can’t figure out where the Rats are coming from?
Have you checked your plumbing recently? Many property owners are good about checking their roof, but neglect to check their plumbing. Many commercial kitchens will hose down their floors at the end of the day, flushing all the food scraps and spills down the drain. Avoid cutting holes in the lid and check on older drains that could be rusting. If these drains aren’t properly covered and secured, rats could be crawling up through your drain. Consider investing in quality drain covers that will ensure rodents can’t climb through. Here are our recommendations:
Kilauea Pest Control offers free rodent and pest control consultations. Contact Kilauea Pest today at (808)236-BUGS(2847) for a complimentary consultation.