Pest Control in Hotels
Pest control is important in all walks of life, but very few industries require good pest control as much as the hotel industry. With guests coming and going on a regular basis, and food being served literally from dusk ‘til dawn (and maybe even more), hotels can be hotspots for pests. In this article, we discuss the importance of pest control in the hotel industry and some methods of pest control in hotels.
The importance of pest control in hotels
Hotels are unique establishments. Unlike other businesses, entertainment venues, or restaurants, hotels never “close”. Guests at a hotel are there at all hours of the day; whether it’s 2pm or 5am, there are staff and members of the public on-site 24/7. Hotels are places where people eat and where they sleep. For this reason, it opens them up to even more liability than other establishments, such as restaurants or offices.
Having a problem with pests can affect the very core of a hotel as a business. The cost of repairing the damage caused can be a financial burden; and once a reputation of having pests has been established, it’s hard to win back customers. Additionally, having pests is a violation of health and safety codes, meaning hotels could face hefty fines and even risk closure. Therefore, pests are no small issue and must be treated incredibly seriously.
Methods of pest control in hotels
Look out for signs of pests
Ensure that all staff are aware of the signs of pests and that they actively look for these signs on a daily basis. Certain signs are fairly obvious, for example, droppings on the floor are a clear sign of mice or rats, but other pests are less obvious to detect. Small holes in rugs, carpets, and towels indicate the existence of moths or carpet beetles, and they’re difficult to detect unless these items are inspected regularly. Furthermore, some pests will often only be detected by sound. For instance, scurrying noises indicate the presence of cockroaches (along with a pungent odour), and buzzing sounds may indicate a wasps’ nest within the roof, walls, or air vents. Such sounds may be overlooked in the general day-to-day operations of a hotel, so it’s important to be on the lookout.
Failure to do so will result in the hotel only becoming aware of a problem when a guest complains – an incredibly embarrassing situation to be in.
Maintain a high standard of cleanliness
As well as looking for signs of pests, it’s equally (if not more) important to prevent a pest infestation. The most effective way to do this is by maintaining high cleaning standards. Of course, hotel cleaners are trained and perform a great job, but it’s imperative to stress the importance of cleaning every room as thoroughly as possible. Pests will be attracted by food crumbs and dark/hidden areas that are left undisturbed for long periods, such as under beds and behind cupboards. Cleaning such areas regularly will mean pests won’t have time to settle and lay eggs.
Pests are a real threat, and it may be worthwhile to include information on pests in the staff handbook so as to keep this issue at the forefront of hotel employees’ minds.
Act on customers complaints
It may sound obvious, but it’s vital that customer complaints are acted upon. Of course, customers reporting a pest sighting is impossible to ignore, but some complaints may not be as concrete. Some customers may simply report a suspicion that there’s a pest problem in the hotel, rather than supplying concrete evidence. They may have noticed one of the signs we mentioned previously, and this must be investigated immediately. Having a pest problem is bad enough, but having a customer say “I told you so” after failing to follow-up on their complaints is ten times worse. Never get complacent.
Limit entry points
Check the structural integrity of the building to ensure there aren’t any gaps or cracks through which pests can enter. The smallest gap in the wall is all that’s needed for rodents, ants, cockroaches and many more pests to enter a hotel. Have pipework assessed and make sure there are no gaps between pipes and the surrounding walls, too. If there are gaps, then call a professional to have them filled immediately – rats tend to enter buildings from the sewer system, so this is imperative. Also, check for leaks and have them repaired as soon as possible; the damp/mould can attract flies.
Use a pest management system
Arguably the most important step you can take towards protecting your hotel from pests is to hire a professional pest controller and set up an ongoing contract. A proper pest management system will ensure that all necessary checks for weaknesses and potential pest entry points will be performed, and the necessary steps will be taken to ensure the hotel is pest-proof. Should any pest problem arise, which unfortunately can be common, since hotels handle food and drink constantly, then having a pest control company on hand is vital. Using the same pest control company, one that knows your hotel inside and out will mean they’ll be able to deal with pest problems more efficiently than a brand new company each time.
Here at Inoculand, we have vast experience in providing hotels with pest control services. With over ten years serving London and the surrounding areas, you’re in safe hands. Get in touch with us to find out more about our pest control and pest management services.