PFE and its members know that a routine schedule of pest control service is the only way to avoid vermin infiltration. Wherever sizeable quantities of food exist, threats such as rodents, cockroaches and flies will be present. Rodents and insects act as mechanical vectors, carrying disease-causing bacteria to humans, often via the commercial kitchen. We believe it’s important to outline the risks that can accompany an improperly maintained facility, so you may make informed choices that keep you and your family safe.

“PFE feels that when it comes to bugs and rodents in restaurants – ignorance is not bliss!” –
PFE Founder, Ruzanna Davtian

Cockroaches: In popular culture, roaches are depicted as the bane of restaurants, and with good reason. Their ability to infiltrate seemingly secure dwellings is impressive. They are sensitive to light, sound, and vibration, and are skilled at squeezing into tiny spaces. Locating and eliminating them can be a challenging task. Additionally, roaches aren’t selective; they’ll eat just about anything or nothing at all. Cockroaches will devour food or books, but can also survive for weeks without eating. Roaches also feed on human fecal matter, then filter and disperse found contaminants such as parasites called Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia on whatever surfaces they choose. They primarily carry collected bacteria on their legs and bodies, though it has also been found in their fecal matter as well. Let loose in a kitchen, cockroaches transmitting bacteria on utensils, plates, food and prep surfaces can lead to gastroenteritis-related illnesses such as food poisoning and dysentery. Roaches also shed their skins, which prompt allergic and asthmatic reactions in many people.


Flies: It’s common knowledge that flies are attracted to food, garbage and moisture; all conditions that are prevalent in the food service environment. With the capacity to carry one million bacteria on their bodies, coupled with their behavior of rapid, sweeping movement, flies are proficient at transmitting disease in widespread fashion. Flies are noted for their propensity to spread Salmonella, but they also carry and distribute Shigella and Escherichia coli (E. coli), the bacteria responsible for illnesses like dysentery and E. coli-based food poisoning.


Rodents: Rats and mice are notorious disease carriers that leave urine, feces and hair throughout their travels, feeding and nesting. Their bodily excretions are able to transmit over 200 different types of germs. When rodents—typically in abundant quantity—gain access to commercial food spaces, disease-causing bacteria and germs are spread everywhere; on food, prep surfaces, appliances, and cookware.

Most people have experienced an unfortunate bout of Salmonella or “food poisoning”. Salmonellosis is just one bacterium that rodents carry and pass along to humans through food contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV) and Rat-Bite Fever (Haverhill fever) as well as other serious illnesses that can result from rodent-to-food-to human transmission, such as the more rare and sometimes fatal Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) and Hantavirus (Pulmonary Syndrome).