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How Much Should Restaurants Budget for Pest Control Services?

Last Updated: October 25, 2023

Ryan Maguire
Fact Checked By: Ryan Maguire
15 Year Expert in construction, landscape design, home improvement and maintenance.

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Though unwanted in every industry, a pest problem in a restaurant can quickly lead to healthcode violations and closure. A combination of access to food, moist areas, and shelter make restaurants an ideal home for bugs and rodents, so it is important that you do your best to prevent pests and act on an invasion as soon as possible.

What Factors Impact Restaurant Pest Control Costs? #

The main factors that influence the price of restaurant pest control include:

  • Size of the restaurant - Larger restaurants require more treatments and labor, increasing costs. A 5,000 sq ft restaurant may pay $150/month while a 10,000 sq ft one could be $250/month.

  • Service frequency - More frequent visits like weekly or biweekly will cost more than monthly or quarterly services. Weekly can be 2X the monthly cost.

  • Type of pests treated - Rodents/termites require more intensive treatment methods than ants/cockroaches, impacting prices. Rodent control averages $200/month vs $100/month for insects.

  • Treatment method - Fumigation costs more than spray treatments. Fumigation can be $1000+ per treatment while spray is $150-300.

  • Preventative vs infestation - Preventative routine services are cheaper than dealing with a current major infestation, which requires extensive work. Preventative may be $100/month vs $300+/month for an infestation.

  • Location - Pest control in urban areas usually costs more due to higher labor costs. Suburban/rural restaurants may pay 15-20% less.

  • Contract terms - Longer annual contracts can offer 10-20% discounts vs paying per individual treatment.

On average, restaurants may expect to pay $100-$250 per month for routine preventative pest control services, depending on size and pests treated. This translates to $1200-$3000 per year. Initial infestation treatment or fumigations can cost thousands.

Real-World Restaurant Pest Control Costs #

  • A small 2,000 sq ft bakery paid $175 per month for preventative pest control services treating ants, cockroaches, and mice. This came out to $2100 per year.

  • A suburban fast food chain restaurant of 5,000 sq ft paid $140 biweekly for pest control treatments targeting common pests. Their total annual costs were approximately $3640.

  • An upscale 7,500 sq ft Italian restaurant in an urban area paid $390 per month for a package including rodent, insect, and termite treatments. Their annual pest control bill was $4680.

  • A 10,000 sq ft seafood buffet signed an annual contract for $250 monthly routine treatments plus two fumigations per year at $1200 each. Their total pest control costs for the year were $7200.

  • A rural barbecue restaurant of 4,000 sq ft paid $90 monthly for basic pest prevention services. With a multi-year contract, their discounted annual rate was $1000.

  • An urban food court vendor dealing with a roach infestation paid $350 for an intensive initial treatment followed by $150 per month for preventative care afterwards.

As you can see, costs vary widely based on factors like restaurant size, location, pests, and whether it is routine prevention or infestation treatment. But these real-world examples give an idea of typical pest control costs for restaurants.

Common Restaurant Pests #

When it comes to restaurants, just about any pest can make its way in, but there are pests that are more common in the food service industry, such as:

  • Cockroaches: One of the least welcome creatures around, cockroaches are seriously detrimental to the health of your restaurant and its customers. These insects are odorous and known to transmit diseases, with large groups causing upper respiratory issues. In addition, the reputation of cockroaches makes it important that you act before a customer sees even one; a single roach sighting can lead to lost business, healthcode violations, and even closure.
  • Flies: Few insects are more of a nuisance than flies, especially when you're trying to eat. There are several species around the world, almost all of which are attracted to decaying organic materials, feces, food waste, and garbage. More than annoying, these insects are disease carriers and present health risks for your guests and staff.
  • Rodents: Insects are unwelcome at best, but rodents are perhaps even less wanted pests in the restaurant industry. Mice and rats burrow their way into food supplies, walls, and vents, breeding and building nests. These creatures spread disease and contaminate food supplies, costing you in replenishment and repairs. A rodent problem can spell the end for a restaurant.
  • Stored product pests: These pests can be broken into four groups: external feeders, internal feeders, scavengers, and secondary pests. External feeders includes beetles and moths that feed on processed grains. Internal feeders develop larvae inside the kernels of grains and seeds, such as weevils. Scavengers feed on the damaged grains left behind by other pests, with secondary pests mainly causing damage to the food packaging itself.

How Pests Enter Your Restaurant #

Typically, pests are looking for food and shelter, making a restaurant an ideal location for them. However, your restaurant doesn't have to be a pest magnet. Structural issues, such as holes or cracks in the walls, make it easier for insects and rodents to enter the building. If you notice any possible entryways for pests, have a professional seal them. Other pest causes in restaurants include infrequent cleaning and improper storage of food and waste, which create a pest's ideal environment.

Just as in healthcare, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to pest control. It's easier – and cheaper – to prevent pests than it is to get rid of them.

First, make sure that any doors or windows in your restaurant are not open unless they need to be. Otherwise, you've created your own point of entry for pests to get in. Next, repair any holes in your foundation, roof, and walls. These make perfect entrances for pests and should be fixed as soon as they are noticed. It is also important to properly and securely cover and store all food. Also, empty your garbage regularly. Lastly, but most certainly not least, clean regularly. Sweep, mop, vacuum, wipe off counters and cooking surfaces; anything that might be dirty should be cleaned to keep any possible pests away.

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