Tell Pests the Pool Is Closed

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | May 19, 2010

Summertime and the living is easy by the pool - unless guests are forced to swat pests while they tan. As warm weather brings mosquitoes, flies and stinging pests out in numbers, hoteliers need to prepare themselves to fight back and make sure their guests' relaxing poolside experiences aren't ruined by buzzing insects.

Take a Bite Out of Mosquitoes - Not Out of Hotel Guests

Known for their itchy bites, mosquitoes are one of the most familiar summer pests and probably the pest that receives the most attention. Ever since 1999, when West Nile virus first appeared in North America, transmitters of this virus have been kept under close watch - and for good reason. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 3,000 documented human cases of West Nile in the United States in 2005, more than 100 of which resulted in death.

Even though there are other methods of transmitting the virus, scientists believe that mosquitoes that feed on infected birds and then bite humans are the most common agents. Most people who contract West Nile never show any symptoms, but severe cases can result in flu-like symptoms, meningitis or encephalitis.

Mosquitoes will frequent a hotel pool for two reasons - breeding grounds are found close by and it's a buffet (of hotel guests). Mosquitoes can breed in any size of standing water, even as small as a thimble. While a swimming pool usually will not become host to mosquitoes because the water does not remain stagnant for long, any water that collects around the deck could become a breeding spot.

The best way to stop mosquitoes from becoming a problem is to prevent them from breeding. Hotel staffs should sweep away all water around the pool every evening and monitor flowerpots and gutters for standing water. After a female mosquito lays her eggs, it only takes a few days for them to hatch.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.