Control Flies with Integrated Pest Management

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

Whether it's lounging by the pool, enjoying dinner at a nice restaurant or just relaxing with a good book, your guests' favorite vacation activities can quickly be disrupted with the sound of an annoying "buzz..."

Besides serving as a nuisance, flies also pose serious health risks to your guests and staff. Since flies feed on feces and other decaying matter, they can carry up to a half billion bacteria on the outside of their bodies, including E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus. In fact, flies are the No. 1 transmitters of disease in the world.

As a hotelier, you have to protect your guests and staff from these flying furies without disrupting the ambience of your establishment. Since many patrons are looking for rest and relaxation during their stay, pest control programs have to be discreet. In addition, the incorrect use of pesticides can raise concerns for guests and staff. Hotels also present a particularly challenging environment for pest control due to the constant entering and exiting of guests and the delivery of shipments throughout the day, both which can leave doors open and offer flies the opportunity to fly inside.

An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to fly control can help ensure a positive experience for your guests. IPM targets the reasons that pests infest your facility to help prevent pest infestations before they become visible to guests. In addition, IPM programs utilize non-chemical control options, such as sanitation and exclusion, before relying on chemical treatments. In the event that all other treatment options fail, IPM allows for chemical methods to be used but only in the least volatile formulations and in targeted areas to combat specific pests. This approach helps keep your guests safe and protect the environment.

Identify the Problem

Since IPM focuses on prevention, the initial step in your fly control program should be to determine what attracts flies to your hotel in the first place. Flies flock to areas that offer the elements necessary for their survival, namely food, water, shelter and optimal temperatures. Hotels supply these resources in abundance, especially in various pest "hot spots" such as lobbies, kitchens, receiving docks, and storage and waste areas.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.