Bed bugs being found on your property can dismantle your reputation as a hotelier and potentially ruin your operational future. In cases where a past problem with bed bugs is publicized, frequent travelers will often cite the history with bed bugs as their reason for deciding not to book a room. These same travelers are also known to use message boards and social media to express their displeasure. Hotels respond to these messages by ramping up bed bug efforts and making their elimination the focal point of the building’s pest management program.
While this approach certainly will help limit bed bug infestations in the rooms, placing such an emphasis on bed bugs can lead to neglecting other areas of the hotel. Your maintenance staff’s approach to pest control should be comprehensive in nature, scrutinizing each component in the same fashion as you do bed bugs. It should also be clearly outlined who your pest management professional is and what issues should trigger a call. In this blog, we discuss a few areas inside your hotel that may be vulnerable to pests.
Food and people: the perfect trigger for a pest infestation. The space below your vending machines can resemble a black hole for crumbs and other spills, remaining unnoticed by your cleaning staff for months. Ants, cockroaches and flies, who all appreciate food and sweet tasting materials, will congregate around any food or soda spilled in these areas. These pests can easily spread to other visitor rooms, as the proximity of vending machines is generally within a few feet of overnight customers. Frequently inspect, vacuum and mop these areas to avoid attracting unwanted pests.
Additionally, your ice machine could produce a favorable environment for cockroaches and other insects. Much like HVAC units, a standard ice machine will have a cooling device that produces moisture and can break down over time, leading to pools of stagnant water. Contact a maintenance professional should you notice any signs of leaking.
Hundreds of people enter and exit your hotel every day, so it’s logical to assume that pests are coming and going as well. Pests of varying shapes and sizes will look to find a way into your building, and the opening of the front door makes it that much easier. Thus, your due diligence is required when evaluating the entrance to the building. Fortify the weather stripping around the edges and confirm that your HVAC unit is focusing air to blow pests out of your doors.
The foliage surrounding your hotel’s entryway must also be maintained. Trees and shrubbery can act as insect and rodent harborages, so you should consult with a pest management professional on how to best maintain the plants near your main doors. Trimming overhanging branches or overgrowing bushes can help contain certain pests such as flies, mice, ants, and even mosquitoes. Furthermore, look to install a gravel strip between your plants and the building, which will help contain pests where they belong – outside.
Loading Bay Doors
Much like your front entrance, loading bay doors are also an easy opening for pests to infiltrate. Those accepting shipments interact with trucking crews who are shipping items across the country, some of which may have picked up a hitchhiking pest along the way. Rodents will hide in pallets and boxes, so it’s prudent to perform a thorough search of the vehicle shipping the materials and the items you accept.
The actual doors must also receive some attention in your pest management tactics. Weather stripping around the doors will eventually crack over time and provide openings to pests around that area. Your dumpsters may be in the vicinity as well, so make sure to move those to safe distances away from the shipment access points.