Pest control for hotels and hospitality is just one of the many areas of daily operations a hotelier or hotel general manager must account for. Never before has pest control been one of the most concerning and simultaneously challenging issues hotels face. The digital age has brought innovations such as phones with high resolution cameras, instant messaging and a 24/7/365 news cycle that never stops, all made possible by the average guest or passerby. Watch the news stations and take note how the news even have a digital image/video capture hotline. This could be bad news if and when pests are reported to the local news before they’re reported to hotel management.
2011 was called the Year of the Bed Bug by many in the pest control industry. On several occasions some very high profile luxury hotels made the news. But bed bugs are not the end of the story as far as the pest pressures the hotel and hospitality industry face. Take into account the transient nature of these businesses; the fact that goods are transported from warehouses, and that travelers from all over the world stay and are then replaced by the next traveler, and you have a recipe for more than just bed bugs.
While bed bugs have made the news, pests like roaches, mice and rats, the most common pest threats hotels face, are more prevalent. Pest control has evolved from reactive pest elimination to proactive Integrated Pest Management.
So what can a hotelier do to protect their brand and keep their business from being part of the news cycle? I’ve narrowed the list down to three since top ten lists about pest control can get tedious!
- Find a reputable, licensed, professional pest control provider that customizes a solution for your hotel. Most hotels are not built the same, nor do they face the same risks in the same areas. A targeted pest control solution that employs customization ensures your hotel gets exactly the type of program you need; just make sure they also offer comprehensive coverage, emergency calls and rapid response for the unexpected.
- Bed bug inspections should be included in your pest management program. Not every hotel pest control program includes bed bug inspections as part of the regular service. Not every hotel will get bed bugs, not every hotel has had bed bugs, but something tells me most hotels don’t want them. Regular Pest Inspections and Pest Awareness Training for staff go a long way toward finding and eliminating a threat before it gets out of control.
- Procure the services of a company that covers not only the unexpected, but the sometimes overlooked. What if one company could protect your entryways and overhangs from pest birds like pigeons or seagulls, eliminate the threat of rodents on the exterior before they become a problem on the interior, and offer wild animal trapping for the removal of groundhogs or skunks, and give you around the clock coverage?
One vendor covering multiple services trumps many companies providing many services any day of the week. For more information on comprehensive hotel pest control solutions or to download a Hotel Zone Risk Map, which is a crafty little tool that shows the various pest threats and the areas of the hotel where they are likely to threaten, just check out the links.