Don't Let Rodents Check-in to Your Hotel

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

Rodents are a problem not only because of the diseases they can carry - salmonella, typhus, plague and Hantavirus, among others - but also because of the damage they can pose to your business. A rodent sighting in a restaurant or bar area, or worse in a guestroom, could severely damage your reputation and result in the loss of customers. Outraged guests can call the media, or in an even worse scenario, a severe infestation could cause the health department to shut down the establishment temporarily or even permanently.

So how can you help ensure that your guests will enjoy a rodent-free stay? By removing the amenities that make your establishment hospitable to rats and mice in the first place, namely food, shelter and water.

Unlike your paying hotel guests, rodents are not picky eaters, and the promise of food is always a strong incentive. In hotels, rodents can find food virtually everywhere - in the garbage, the hotel restaurant, in guestrooms and even on leftover trays in the hall.

Minimizing these food sources should be a core feature of every rodent prevention plan. Floors, especially in rodent hot spots like the kitchen, should be kept clean and free of food debris, and any food left out by guests should be promptly thrown away.

Trashcans and dumpsters outside your hotel are also great sources of food and water for rodents. The odors from these units will attract rodents, and their contents can be a food source for other pests, as well. Outdoor trashcans should have tightly secured lids, and dumpsters should be cleaned and rotated on a regular basis. By making food inaccessible to rodents, you will greatly reduce the likelihood that rodents will come to dine.

Since rats and mice are unable to regulate their body temperature like most mammals, even temperatures as mild as those in the mid-50s can bring them inside, searching for warmth. But careful upkeep of your hotel can go a long way to making sure that rodents won't enter the building.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.