Regular Facility Maintenance Can Discourage Unwanted Guests

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

For many of us, the start of a New Year means another list of New Year's resolutions. We set goals and start over fresh, pledging to improve ourselves over the next 365 days. Many hoteliers will make their own New Year's resolutions, from "increase business" to "raise the value of our service." But one thing that can spoil the chances of your hotel achieving these goals is pests.

During the winter months, pests can pose a threat as they seek refuge from the harsh outside weather. In fact, some mice will gnaw through holes as small as a dime in search of shelter, food and water. In a recent poll Orkin conducted, 85 percent of regular hotel-goers reported they might never return to an establishment if they saw or heard a mouse. In the summer months, rodent pressure can give way to fly and cockroach infestations, which are also very off-putting to hotel guests.

To prevent these unwanted guests from entering your hotel, make one of your New Year's resolutions "to improve facility maintenance to keep pests out." Facility maintenance is one of the hallmarks of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which employs a variety of non-chemical as well as "traditional" techniques to manage pests. To uphold this resolution, work with your pest management professional to implement the following facility maintenance tips:

Seal off all entry points

Maintenance and housekeeping staffs can take quick and easy steps to reduce the likelihood that pests may access a hotel through windows and doors. Make sure the windows in every suite shut completely and remind staff members to keep doors shut as they are coming and going through storage areas, laundry facilities and the hotel basement. Install door sweeps and weather stripping to block entry along the tops, sides and bottoms of doors.

Don't forget that pests also can enter through tiny openings in the exterior of a facility and can even gnaw around tiny cracks and crevices. Seal any unnecessary openings with a weather-resistant sealant and ask your pest management professional to incorporate copper mesh or steel wool into the sealant to prevent rodents from biting their way through.

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