Mean, Green Pest Control

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | October 28, 2008

With hybrid cars, energy-saving appliances and recycled products on the rise, the environmentally friendly movement has never been more popular. What many people don't know is that the pest control industry, for several years, has been making its own move toward "greener" alternatives to traditional techniques.

But what does this mean for your hotel? It means better pest control results with less risk. Newer techniques and technologies are much more tailored to the biology and behavior of each target pest than treatments in the past. Consequently, they are more effective, virtually unnoticeable to your guests and much less likely to pose health risks. The days of spraying baseboards with pesticides and often malodorous treatments are over.

To maximize the effectiveness of today's environmentally friendly pest control tools and techniques, they must be part of a broader Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. IPM programs recognize that pest management is not about regular treatments to create a chemical "barrier" to infestation. Rather, IPM is an ongoing process of sanitation, housekeeping, facility maintenance and constant monitoring for pest presence - prior to the application of any pest control treatment.

Before discussing these techniques, it is important to emphasize that accurate pest identification is vital to your success. By properly identifying the specific pest in question, your pest management professional can understand that pest's behaviors, as well as the control methods that will best prevent and eliminate an infestation. After all, knowledge is power.

Work with your pest management professional to add one or more of the following "green" pest control techniques to your IPM program:

Airflow - Perhaps the simplest tool in your pest control arsenal is air. Moving air can pose an obstacle to certain flying insects, so you can use it strategically for pest control. For example, with staff and guests coming and going constantly, exterior doors open and close around the clock. Every time one of these doors opens, it presents an opportunity to pests, especially flying insects, to enter. If air flows out of your hotel when the doors open, it will literally push flying insects away. Work with your HVAC professional to make sure your system creates positive air pressure. Also, consider placing fans in areas prone to fly or mosquito problems, including breakfast bars, outdoor dining areas or poolside wet bars. Even a gentle breeze will help deter flying insects.

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