How To Win the Cockroach War at Your Restaurant

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How To Win the Cockroach War at Your Restaurant

How To Win the Cockroach War at Your Restaurant

Most Effective Products

Supreme IT Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $54.99
Apex Cockroach Gel Bait
Gel Bait
As low as $24.99
D-Fense Dust Insecticide
As low as $12.33
Martin's IG Regulator IGR Insecticide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $9.67
Keith's Pro Tips

"Insecticides like Supreme IT and Apex works great in tandem with Martin's IGR Insecticide. The insecticides take care of the adult roaches while the Martin's IGR Insecticide kills off the eggs that they leave behind so the next generation doesn't grow."

How To Win the Cockroach War at Your Restaurant

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of cockroaches from your restaurant using the products and methods suggested by our experienced pest control specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee that your restaurant will become free of cockroaches.

Restaurants are one of the biggest industries for entrepreneurship. But as much as it is a popular way to start your own business, it is also the most likely business to fail. Often times it can take a few poor reviews to do a restaurant in, especially when the bad reviews mention cockroaches.

While things like bad service, bad food and ambiance can be easy to improve upon with the right approach, pest control complaints are an issue a restaurant might not be able to bounce back from. A bad review which talks about cockroaches at a restaurant or even a report in the news on cockroach infestations appearing at a restaurant can kill your business, which is why it's crucial to take cockroaches seriously and swiftly take action.

In this guide, we’ll explore the threat of cockroaches to a restaurant business and how you can eliminate cockroaches from your restaurant and get back to earning 5 star reviews again.


Restaurant kitchen

Nothing scares off customers more than cockroaches at a restaurant. You can have superb food and excellent customer service, all that won’t matter if it’s learned that there is a roach problem in the kitchen or even worse, spotted by customers while dining.

The cockroach types that most frequently infest restaurants are either German Cockroaches or American Cockroaches. While both differ in size and appearance, they share similar tendencies or liking areas where there is moisture and warmth as well as food and water. Unfortunately, a restaurant provides plenty of all these cockroach attractants.

A review about cockroaches or an inspection that finds cockroaches in your facility gives off the impression that the establishment is unsanitary and filthy, which may not even really be the case. The word will spread like wildfire and soon enough, business will become nonexistent.

The trouble is that cockroach extermination, especially for establishments such as restaurants, can be terribly expensive. When trying to do-it-yourself, restaurants usually also waste money by using inferior products or not being thorough enough.


Inspecting for roaches

Before purchasing professional-grade control products and conducting applications, an effective cockroach control program starts with implementing a detailed preliminary inspection. This step will help give you a basic idea of where the cockroaches are harboring and traveling so that you can determine the main areas of focus when conducting pesticide applications.

Where to Inspect

Inspect trash bins, sinks, floor drains, kitchen equipment, wall voids, electrical outlets, electrical boxes, any hollow tubing on appliance legs and any other crack, crevice or void where cockroaches may have taken up residence.

Place glue boards near areas where you have seen roach activity. This will help monitor suspected problem areas, and reveal to you how bad of an infestation you have as well as identifying the type of cockroach your establishment is dealing with.

What To Look For

Inspect possible harborages or hiding spots for live roaches, droppings, shed skins and egg cases. Roaches are notorious for leaving behind evidence, so make note of where you see a heavy amount of their remnants which indicate they have been active in an area.


When dealing with cockroaches in a restaurant establishment, there has to be some caution taken when applying pesticides in areas in close proximity to where food is handled and where people are dining. Some applications may contain odors which will be a turnoff to guests or make the kitchen smell. 

We recommend starting with a thorough cleanup of the entire restaurant, especially the kitchen area and then applying Apex Cockroach Bait, D-Fense Dust, and a combination of Supreme IT with Martin's IGR Insecticide to successfully eliminate the entire population.

Step 1: Sanitize the Restaurant

Sanitize sink

Sanitation is a vital element in cockroach control or any pest control program. This is especially important for a restaurant as well.  Trash bins, sinks, floors and kitchen equipment should be cleaned regularly and often, especially before closing and leaving overnight. Any one of these areas could potentially lead to a cockroach infestation if left unchecked.

Step 2: Apply Apex Cockroach Gel Bait

Apex application

Baits work great in taking care of large infestations of cockroaches because they create a much-desired domino effect. Apex Cockroach Gel Bait contains multiple cockroach food grade attractants that roaches will not be able to resist while also being a slow killing poison that can transfer to other roaches via ingesting feces or eating the body of a dead roach—both of which cockroaches do when they are hungry and there is no easy access to food.

Apply tiny dots of roach bait all around the kitchen area under appliances, in cabinets, on counters and other areas where you have seen active roaches. The dots of bait should preferably be put on little index cards to make for easy cleanup. We must stress that it is vital to have done a thorough sanitation of the area so cockroaches don’t have any food source to feast on other than what they see: the bait.

They will take this bait, which is slow-acting, and share it amongst their colony, killing them off in large numbers as the poison spreads. Reapply bait as needed every few days and you should see dead roaches and significantly less active cockroaches scurrying around. 

Step 3: Apply Supreme IT Insecticide With Martin's IGR Insecticide

Application of Reclaim indoors

After dusting and baiting, you will want to add an extra level of control with a powerful insecticide concentrate that will both kill cockroaches and deter them from the restaurant. Spraying liquid concentrates should be done after the baiting process because it could conflict with baiting and make it ineffective if applied at the same time or in the same areas. 

Supreme IT is a powerful insecticide concentrate that can be safely applied to cracks and crevices in food handling areas to kill Cockroaches and can work for up to 90 days. While Supreme IT  addresses adult cockroaches, you still need to deal with cockroach eggs and developing nymph. Adding Martin's IGR Insecticide to the Supreme mixture is helpful because it is an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) that sterilizes adult cockroaches, halts eggs from hatching and makes it so nymphs don't develop into reproducing adults.

In a sprayer, add 1 oz. of Supreme IT and 0.67 fl. oz. of Martin's IGR Insecticide to a gallon of water to treat a 1,000 sq. ft. area. Apply the Supreme IT/Martin's IGR Insecticide mixture in cracks and crevices being extremely careful not to splash or allow the product to runoff as this could potentially contaminate food prep surfaces. Supreme IT can also be used to make a protective barrier around the restaurant's exterior perimeter to discourage roaches from entering the premises.


Caulk sealing

Once cockroaches have been eradicated from your restaurant, you will want to make sure they don't make a return. The best preventative measures aside from the routine cleaning of your restaurant are exclusion measures.

Exclusion means to keep pests out of an area so they won’t become a problem. The ways you can do this is by implementing things like placing tight weather seals around doors and windows; using a caulking gun to seal any openings leading to wall voids and making sure never to leave doors or unscreened windows open. Treating for cockroaches right outside your establishment is also a good way to stop them from venturing indoors.

Applying quarterly treatments of Supreme IT around cracks and crevices indoors and around the restaurant perimeter as well as any possible points of entry can keep cockroaches away long-term. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cockroaches in a restaurant can be devastating to a business and will require swift action to address an infestation so it doesn't hurt your restaurant's reputation.
  • Thoroughly clean up your restaurant kitchen area and then apply a combination of Apex Cockroach Bait, D-Fense Dust, Martin's IGR Insecticide and Supreme IT to eliminate cockroaches at all phases of the life cycle.
  • Prevent future infestations of cockroaches in your restaurant with exclusions measures and routine sanitation to keep them out and preventative applications of Supreme IT Insecticide on a quarterly basis.
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