By Jennifer Brumfield, B.C.E., & Division Technical Director at Western Pest Services.
Although hotels strive to offer their patrons an unforgettable experience, pest problems can ruin even the most beautiful settings. With various amenities all on one property from spas to gourmet dining—pests are sure to be a potential onsite risk. Here are some measures to check pests out of your property for good.
1. GET REGULAR PEST INSPECTIONS
Scheduling routine pest inspections is crucial for identifying and addressing any issues promptly. Whether it’s ants in the pantry or bed bugs in guestrooms, early detection and treatment are essential to keeping guest experience ratings high and pest sightings low.
2. DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
A trash pileup can not only lead to a strong, deterring odor, but it can also serve as the perfect shelter for pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and flies. Getting rid of trash properly and routinely is important for sanitation. From clearing out trash left in guestrooms to maintaining a pickup schedule for property dumpsters, a resort has a responsibility to its patrons to deal with garbage effectively and efficiently.
3. REMOVE MOISTURE
Not only does moisture generate bacteria and mold, but it also attracts pests. Keeping property spaces dry is critical. Spaces to focus on include restrooms, breakrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms. Restroom floors and kitchen floor drains can be some of the dirtiest places with an increased chance of contamination. If not cleaned properly on a regular basis, they can generate infestations that are deterrents to your business.
4. IDENTIFY AND SEAL ENTRY POINTS
Pests can enter your property through even the tiniest openings. Be sure to identify places that are most vulnerable to pest infiltration and establish clear maintenance protocols. This includes sealing cracks, gaps, and other potential entry points to keep unwanted visitors out. Also, repairing or replacing broken or missing vent covers can help with pest activity in the long run.
5. CHECK LANDSCAPE HOTSPOTS
Be sure to maintain all landscape directly next to the building; unmaintained shrubs and overgrown grass provide the perfect hideout for pests. Keep shrubbery at least a foot away from your building’s foundation and watch out for overgrown tree limbs, as these can quickly create bridges for pests and critters to enter the property.
6. INSPECT GRAB-AND-GO FOOD AREAS
Grab-and-go food stations are often unstaffed and remain stocked with food for many hours of the day. Items that are dropped by patrons will likely go undetected for several hours, providing a food source for cockroaches, rodents, and flies. Add these locations to your monitoring list to help reduce pest issues.
7. ORGANIZE FOOD STORAGE AREA
If there is a restaurant on the property, confirm all food storage is thoroughly assessed for possible stored product pest invasions. Keep storage areas neat and organized to avoid attracting pests. It’s important to use shelves and racks to keep food items on the floor. Look for signs of rodents in stored foods and storage areas including gnaw marks, chewed holes in food packaging, droppings, rub marks, or sightings of the pests themselves.
8. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
Make sanitation a habit by creating – and sticking to – a cleaning schedule with employees. Regular cleaning, trash pickup, and preventative maintenance are key to a hotel’s sanitation. Combining the essential components of proper storage, effective waste management, and pest control best practices can help reduce if not eliminate pests, enhancing the patron experience and ultimately the bottom line. And don’t forget – keeping the lines of communication open with your licensed pest professional will help ensure your overall maintenance program is best suited to your specific property.