How to Get Over a Pest Infestation at Your Hotel
By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | December 05, 2010
Holiday season is officially upon us, and your lobbies soon will be swarming with guests visiting family and friends or ringing in the New Year. Amidst the tinsel and holly, your hotel can make a crucial impression on these out-of-towners. A good impression is imperative – not only will these guests spend the next few days sharing stories around the holiday table, but they will take these impressions back home with them. Every nuance will be brought up later at a family reunion and then blogged, tweeted or texted. Their experience will travel and no doubt make an impression on others. In fact, nearly 40 percent of consumers make travel decisions based on the opinions of friends, colleagues or relatives.
So, if a guest’s lasting memories of your hotel are bouts with bed bugs or run-ins with rodents, it’s easy to imagine negative buzz quickly spiraling out of control – not to mention concerns about health risks and costly damage to property stemming from pest infestations. Moreover, because pests can breed and multiply quickly, a pest emergency can rapidly turn into a crisis situation that could be detrimental to your hotel’s reputation and credibility.
Fortunately, if you take the right steps, these pest incursions can be remedied and even prevented. Below are three simple steps to take if a pest is spotted at your hotel, as well as some preventive measures to help avoid a pest situation all together and ensure guests return home happy.
Step One: Confine and Assess the Situation
When you encounter a pest situation, the first step is to confine the issue. If you spot an infestation in one part of the hotel, if possible, restrict access to that area to keep the problem from spreading. If there are employees or guests in the space, move occupants to a new area until the pests are removed and the area is thoroughly cleaned.
Once you’ve identified the problem, attempt to determine how widespread it has become by looking for signs of pest presence in surrounding areas. Then, assess if there are any measures you can put into place immediately to stop the infestation from spreading – whether that means cleaning up a spill that is attracting ants in the kitchen, or moving a dumpster away from the establishment and closing the lid tightly to keep rodents away. Remember, although you should try to contain the problem immediately, do not attempt to treat the pest issue by yourself. The best course of action is always to call a licensed pest management provider who understands pest biology and behavior and can determine the correct treatment for the problem at hand that will not interrupt your guests’ stay.
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