Pest Control For Hotels: Top Tips for Keeping Rooms Pest-Free
Few problems pose a bigger threat to the success of your hotel than pests. Whether it’s rodents in the rafters or bed bugs in the linens, even a single pest-related negative review on your hotel’s website, Facebook page, or Google profile can translate to serious financial loss for you and your staff.
That’s why having a smart, comprehensive, and integrated pest management strategy is more than just a good idea - it might just be critical to your bottom line. By implementing pest management strategies for your hotel, you can help keep your reputation clean and keep guests coming to enjoy all you have to offer - no pests, no problems.
For hotel owners looking to improve their pest management strategies, here are a few of the top tips to keeping your rooms pest-free.
1. Know Which Core Pests You May Be Dealing With
By the very nature of the business, hotels deal with a lot of traffic - from guests, to food and materials vendors, to team members and workers in a variety of positions. That means pests have plenty of opportunities to make their way inside all year long - making it almost a requirement to have a smart, proactive, targeted pest strategy in place.
The first step, obviously, is to identify those top threats to your business. In the case of the hotel industry, that includes the following common pests:
If there is any invading pest that can do the most damage to a hotel’s reputation, it’s bed bugs. Notoriously difficult to spot and, often, even harder to get rid of, bed bugs can easily find their way in on the clothing and luggage of guests, on improperly cleaned laundry, or through a whole host of other entry points.
Hotel owners need to be constantly vigilant against bed bugs, performing regular inspections and rapidly responding to any sightings or complaints long before the word reaches the public. In the event of an infestation, hotel owners have several options for getting rid of bed bugs, any and all of which an experienced pest management professional can help you implement.
Like bed bugs, cockroaches can enter hotels from a number of entry points: carried on the shoes and luggage of guests, slipping in where food is prepared or trash is stored, or even hiding in the walls around bathrooms, storage areas, and other spaces. One thing, however, is consistent - the damage a cockroach sighting can do to your hotel’s business.
Keeping your hotel free from cockroaches requires thorough, robust, and regular inspections, paired with best practices being strictly followed wherever food is prepared, stored, and consumed. Staff should also be sure to keep garbage areas clean and prevent any standing water, both of which can be prime magnets for a cockroach infestation.
Although especially dedicated to finding their way into your hotel when the temperature starts to drop in fall and winter, rodents pose a year-round problem for hotel owners looking to keep their rooms, amenities, and common areas pest-free.
As with many other pests, the key to keeping rodents away is to remove anything that might tempt them to settle in. That means keeping food preparation and trash areas clean, closing up entry points from the outdoors, and performing regular inspections to ensure no nests have sprouted up each season.
The onset of warm weather in spring and summer may bring plenty of outdoor fun for your guests looking to enjoy their visit, but it can also mean one particularly troublesome pest is also out and looking for a place to settle in: ants.
Business owners and homeowners alike know: if one ant has made it inside, that probably means others are hiding somewhere else as well. Guests certainly will pick up on this, and the presence of ants in your hotel could spell ruin for your reputation. If you notice an ant problem in your hotel, it’s time to act quickly: set out traps, clean up any colonies you might find, and work with your pest management specialist to prevent ants from finding their way inside again in the future.
Although it’s unlikely your guests will deal with bird problems within the hotel room itself, your outdoor areas, common areas, and even your parking lot are still susceptible to an invasion by flocks of pigeons, seagulls, or other birds. This can cause distress for your guests - not to mention the possible diseases and pests birds can bring with them.
Whether you take steps to implement bird-proofing to keep birds from gathering or utilize decoy predators to scare birds off in the first place, there are a number of options to help keep your outdoor space bird-free all year long. In some cases, your pest management specialist may need to do a quick sweep to determine your best course of action.
2. Keep On Top Of Your Integrated Pest Management
Rather than reacting to each pest problem as the pop up, many businesses have significantly more success with an Integrated Pest Management strategy. Integrated Pest Management (or IPM) focuses on common-sense preventive measures to mitigate the risk of a pest infestation all year round, utilizing regular inspections, regular monitoring, action thresholds, and control practices for when pest problems exceed acceptable levels.
Apart from helping to prevent major pest issues, a smart IPM strategy can also help you cut costs by reducing the amount of pesticides needed and catching pest problems long before they become emergencies. If you haven’t integrated an IPM strategy already, now is the time talk to a pest management specialist about getting one set up and running.
3. Ensure Food Services and Housekeeping Are Following Best Practices
Although it’s easy for a hotel owner to focus heavily on preventing pests that may be brought in by guests, it’s important to remember that your staff also plays a major role in whether your hotel remains pest-free or not. All the best pest exclusion practices in the world won’t mean a thing if invaders are coming in with your staff through the back door, and any gaps in pest management need to be addressed immediately.
Be sure to engage in regular pest exclusion training with your staff and to make sure all members of your staff, from housekeeping to food service, are maintaining best practices throughout their work to help reduce the likelihood of attracting pest problems in the first place.
4. Respond to Pest Problems Quickly & Effectively
When facing a serious pest problem, it’s extremely tempting for a hotel owner to simple ignore the problem and hope for it to go away on its own, or even try to sweep the problem under the rug and hope nobody notices. But this is a big mistake - the absolute worst thing a hotel owner can do in the face of a pest problem is wait to take action.
By working with an experienced pest management professional to implement Integrated Pest Management and regular inspections, you set yourself up for a much more effective response to even the worst and most sudden pest problems. Aside from that, it’s critical to be honest with your guests and staff that a problem has been identified and that steps are being taken to fix it - that way, nobody can claim you’ve ignored the problem.
Be Hospitable To Your Guests, Not Pests
The last thing a busy hotel owner should have to worry about is what might be living within the walls, but all too often this is a very real problem for hotels all across the world. That’s why many hotels work with experienced pest professionals who can provide year-round protection for the pests you don’t see, and immediate action for those you do.
Rather than waiting for some terrible infestation to strike, plan ahead and be proactive - it might just be the thing that makes the difference between your hotel’s reputation being ruined and your hotel making it through to brighter days unscathed.