Pet-Friendly Hotels Can Attract More than Pets
While you’re allowing guests to bring dogs to your hotel, you’re also inviting flies. Flies are a common pest that may be drawn to areas with pets. Because flies reproduce quickly, it is important to take care of an isolated fly incident before it turns into a full-blown infestation.
And flies are more than annoying – they are twice as filthy as cockroaches and carry more disease-causing pathogens. Flies feed on organic waste, thus they collect numerous germs on their legs and mouths. Each time one of these flying pests land, they slough off thousands of microbes and bacteria that can contaminate food and surfaces. These nasty pests not only pose a health risk to your guests, but they can undermine your reputation and pose an even bigger risk to your bottom line.
The amenities you offer to provide pet-friendly accommodations – the food dishes and water bowls, as well as outdoor play areas and dog runs where pet waste is not properly disposed of – could cause a fly infestation. Approximately 200 fly species, categorized as “filth flies,” can thrive in pet-friendly hotels.
Here are the types of flies your guests and staff are most likely to encounter:
House flies are one of the most common types of flies. They are also referred to as garbage flies. House flies often hang out at trash cans, so be sure to dispose of trash frequently and keep lids tight. House flies taste with the highly sensitive sensory receptors on their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue.
Their egg-laying sites typically involve organic material such as food. They can most easily be identified with four lengthwise stripes on the thorax. They spread microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses on surfaces when they land and are associated with more than 100 pathogens including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella.
Females may lay a total of five to six batches of 75 to 100 eggs during her lifetime. In warm weather, eggs hatch in 12 to 24 hours. Because house flies reproduce quickly and in large quantities, a small fly issue can get out of hand quickly and create a huge problem for your business.
Fruit flies (or vinegar flies) live off of a diet of sugary, malty or vinegar-type materials. On the smaller size, these ⅛-inch long pests lay their eggs near fruits and vegetables (and other decaying matter). They have a quick life cycle, as a female may lay as many as 500 eggs during her lifetime. They can also mature from egg to adult in about a week, so it doesn’t take long for an infestation to transpire. Soft drink dispensers, beer taps, over-ripe fruit or fruit wastes, trash containers and vending machines with product residues are often hot spots. You can find them near fermented materials in trashcans and floor drains.
Gnats are known to be extremely annoying to humans. They are attracted to fruit and sweet scents (perfume, hair spray, lotion, etc.) as well as moisture (sweat, mucus) and body heat, so they often fly into eyes, ears and noses. A potted plant can support a gnat through all of its life stages. Gnats have shiny black heads and transparent wings.
Phorid flies are one of the greatest food safety threats, because they are attracted to more diverse foods than other flies. They have humped backs, which makes them easy to recognize. They are about a ¼-inch long, thrive off moisture and breed in decaying matter – so they can often be found in the bottom of trash cans, kitchen equipment and backed up drains. Females lay as many as 750 eggs during their lifetime, which can take more than 20 days to become adults.
Drain flies are common invaders. These distinctive and fuzzy little flies might be confused with moths. Drain flies usually appear in small numbers, typically resting on a wall or surface, and only move a few feet when disturbed. They can live up to a month while surviving dramatic changes in temperature and low-oxygen environments. Drain flies breed in standing water or raw sewage, often under slabs where undetected broken pipes may be located – which is why they are also called sewage flies.
- Keep dog food covered and sealed and dispose of empty water bowls. Flies need food, water and shelter to survive. If these items are left unattended, it’s only a matter of time before they show up.
- Deep clean surfaces. Thoroughly wipe down all outdoor eating areas where pets are welcome and remove any food residue at the end of every shift. Be sure to clean out outdoor kitchen drains with a bristle brush each day to help remove leftover debris from building up and attracting pests.
- Sanitize trash bins. Consider using an organic cleaning solution to sanitize your trash bins, and don’t forget to look around the area for any leakage that may collect and attract pests. Remove garbage and pet waste from your premises. Another helpful practice is to keep trash bins sealed tightly, when possible, and empty them often.
You may have a fly infestation if you see:
- Clusters of flies near spilled sweets or unsealed liquids.
- Clogged drains, which are fly breeding sites.
- Maggots or larvae.
- Additional pests like roaches or ants.
If you spot a fly on the wall, reconsider do-it-yourself pest control techniques. A single intruder can quickly create a full-on infestation. Consider contacting a pest control expert to do the dirty work for you! Western Pest Services® offers thorough fly pest control — from uncovering infestations and identifying their sources to keeping your business pest free all year. Using IPM practices, we not only get rid of flies — we teach you what steps to take to help ensure that they don’t return.
We know how damaging flies can be to your business. That’s why we offer thorough inspections, a service warranty, unparalleled support and the highest level of customer satisfaction.