Pest Control FAQs
As a food establishment operator you are required to maintain effective pest control measures in your facility. This includes:
- Preventing the entry of pests.
- Eliminating harborage (shelter) and feeding of pests in and around your facility.
- Routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests.
- Using safe and effective methods to eliminate pests if they are found.
Together, these measures are known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a two-part approach that focuses on prevention and control of pests. The goal of IPM is to provide a way to gain the best possible control of pests with the least impact on your staff, customers, and the environment.
There are many pests that can contaminate food and spread disease through food to customers. A few examples of pests and the harm they can cause include:
- Roaches can carry Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, and other disease causing organisms(2).
- Flies can spread Shigella(1).
- Rodents can spread over 35 different diseases(1), cause damage to your facility, and destroy food supplies.
- Birds can spread diseases such as Salmonella infection(1) and can cause significant structural damage to your facility.
Due to public health risk, the presence of pests during an inspection may result in demerits. In addition, a pest infestation may result in the immediate closure of the facility for an Imminent Health Hazard.
A good way to prevent pests is to deny their access to your facility and to deny them food and shelter. Some ways to prevent pest problems include:
- Deny Access
- Keep exterior doors closed when not in use and tightly sealed so no light is visible around or under the door.
- Ensure that windows and openings to the outside are screened.
- Ensure drive-thru or pass through windows are self-closing or have a working air curtain.
- Inspect deliveries for signs of pests and refuse any delivery with evidence of pests.
- Deny Food & Shelter
- Seal food containers.
- Store food at least 6 inches off the floor.
- Repair plumbing leaks and eliminate standing water.
- Maintain the facility in a clean condition.
- Keep dumpsters and grease containers closed and the area around them clean.
- Repair/replace cracked tiles and grout.
- Seal cracks or holes in walls and ceiling.
- Remove unnecessary equipment and other harborage areas.
The health district does not recommend any one pest control company. There are many licensed companies/certified pest control operators that can provide pest control services to your facility and assist you with control of pests.
If you choose to do the work yourself, you must meet the requirements listed in section 7-206.11 of the 2010 Food Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments. In order to use restricted-use pesticides, you must first obtain the proper training and credentials. Application of restricted-use pesticides must be done by a certified pest control operator. Information can be found at the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture website(3).
Any pesticides that are applied must be approved by the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture for use in a food facility. Household pesticides are not approved.
Yes, fly lights should be located in an area that will not cause contamination to food. They must not be located above food, food equipment or food preparation areas.
As specified in section 7.206.13 of the 2010 Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Facilities, the use of tracking powder, whether toxic or nontoxic is not allowed.
Yes, rodent bait must be contained in a covered, tamper-resistant bait station. Uncovered snap style traps are not allowed inside a food establishment.
Maintain records available for review by the health district for two years.
The 2010 Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Facilities address pest control in several places. These include the following sections:
- CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, (accessed Dec. 13, 2013)
- E. Tachbele, et al., “Cockroach-associated food-borne bacterial pathogens from some hospitals and restaurants in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Distribution an antibiograms,” Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health, 2006, 34-41
- Nevada Department of Agriculture, State of Nevada Department of Agriculture, http://agri.nv.gov/Pest-Control/, (accessed Dec. 19, 2013)
Telephone: (702) 759-0588
Updated on: October 10, 2018