Hoteliers' top 10 Pest Management Tips

By Alice Sinia

By Alice Sinia

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1. Be proactive.

The
key to an effective pest management program is preventing pests before they
become a problem. Work with your pest management provider to establish an
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which focuses on proactive sanitation
and facility maintenance measures to keep pests in their place. It is the most
environmentally conscious approach to pest management. If you prevent an
infestation, there’s less need to use or consider chemical treatments.

2. 
Make pest management part of
the daily routine.

Simple
maintenance and cleaning steps can make a big difference in pest management.
Regularly inspect the exterior of your property for cracks and crevices,
unscreened vents and gaps under exterior exit doors due to missing or worn out
door seals. These all serve as entry points for pests. It is also important to:
clean and rotate trash cans and dumpsters; frequently inspect for leaks and
standing water; and regularly check all common areas for food debris and spills. 

3. 
Know what to look for.

Be
on the lookout for droppings, urine stains, gnaw marks and rub markings along
walls and baseboards. These are telltale signs of rodents. Bed bug skins,
reddish-black spots on linens and mattresses, and seeing live or dead bed bugs
are all indications of an infestation. The sooner these signs are spotted, the faster
you and your pest control provider can take action. Quick action is critical.

4. 
Create a deep cleaning
schedule.

A
regular deep clean is important for areas that are not cleaned thoroughly on a
daily basis, such as fitness rooms, laundry facilities, pool areas, and kitchen
or breakfast bars. Create a schedule for cleaning these areas and hard-to-reach
places that are prone to accumulate dirt and grime. Such places provide
habourage and shelter for pests.

5. 
Use organic cleaners.

Organic
cleaners use naturally occurring enzymes and beneficial micro-organisms to break
down dirt and grime that can attract pests. Consider using an organic,
professional cleaning solution (as per label requirements) on floors, around
and in drains, and on sinks and garbage disposals to limit the sludge that can
attract a variety of fly species.

6. 
Work from the outside in.

Pest management starts on the
exterior of your facility and lighting is often overlooked. As florescent lights
are bright and produce heat, they should be placed at least four to five meters
from any entrance. Consider placing them around the perimeter of your building
(at least 75 meters) to draw pests away. Any lighting near building entrances should
be sodium vapor bulbs or other low UV light sources, which produce less heat.

7. 
Stay committed during colder
months.

Pest
management usually slips down the priority list after the summer season, but
when cold weather rolls in pests like rodents, spiders, cluster flies, boxelder
bugs, stink bugs and squash bugs look for warm spots to overwinter. Work with
your pest provider to pest-proof your facility for the winter and keep an eye
out for vulnerabilities that develop over the season, such as cracks in window
frames, damaged door sweeps and leaky pipes.

8. 
Educate and engage staff.

Your
employees are the eyes and ears of your property. Early detection can make all
the difference when it comes to spotting potential pest problems, so make sure
they’re informed on what to look for and what to do if they suspect an issue.
Many pest control providers offer staff training.

9. 
Take advantage of pest
management tools.

Work
with your pest control provider to implement environmentally friendly tools to
help deter pests’ presence at your property. Ultraviolet lights with adhesive
trapping boards can be placed in strategic locations to subtly capture flies. Strategically
located pheromone traps and rodent monitors will not only capture pests, but
help monitor infestations. Sanitation tools like automatic flushers and
fresheners help keep areas free of grime and odours that attract pests.

10. 
Pest management is a process.

To
maintain a green pest management program, you must remember that pest
management is a process, not a one-time event. Keeping pests away from your
facility takes consistent dedication and collaboration among your staff and
with your pest management professional.

Alice Sinia, Ph.D., is a Resident Entomologist –
Regulatory/Lab Services for Orkin Canada.