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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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.