The hospitality sector is hoping to be busier than usual this year with international and national events expected to bring large numbers of tourists through the doors.
This influx of guests can potentially increase pest infestations, so it's essential that businesses have a pest control strategy in place to ensure customers are fully satisfied and to fully capitalise on the revenue and profit opportunities offered.
Therefore, ahead of any major event, hospitality managers should be asking themselves – ‘are we ready?’
What to look out for
An infestation can have a very bad effect on a businesses’ reputation and its Scores on the Doors rating. Therefore, an effective pest prevention strategy is critical.
Pests common to the hospitality industry include bed bugs as well as ants, wasps, rodents, flies and cockroaches, which pose a real threat to hygiene standards in food preparation and storage areas.
How to reduce the risk of pest infestations
If you think bed bugs may be present (tell tale signs to look out for include small blood spots on bed sheets, faecal pellets, and a sweet, sickly smell), a professional treatment will be required to eradicate the infestation. However, methods are available which will cause minimal disruption to your business.
Wasps can alarm customers dining or drinking outside. To deter the insects, encourage staff to clear outside dining areas efficiently to avoid leaving food and drinks exposed. Also, the installation of window screens and door curtains will prevent wasps getting inside and discreet outdoor wasp traps that attract the insects away from customers and staff may prove useful.
Flies can project an unhygienic and unhealthy environment and can cause damage both to foodstuffs and reputation. A serious problem in hospitality businesses could cost a company its Scores on the Doors food hygiene rating. If flies are a problem, consider installing effective fly units to attract flying insects and capture them hygienically.
Rodents are always on the look-out for warm, food-rich environments to nest in and hospitality businesses are a particular favourite. There are simple preventative measures which can be taken, for example, stacking crates and boxes away from the wall to ensure you can check what’s behind them, sealing holes in walls, ensuring refuse on site is kept in closed bins, and looking after and cleaning pipes and drains regularly.
Cockroaches fall into the greater risk category in terms of pest control as an infestation can give rise to the potential closure of your business. Cockroaches are nocturnal so they can be hard to detect. We recommend night-time inspections to better reveal any harborages and suggest setting up regular cockroach control monitoring.
What to do if you have a pest problem
Partner with a professional pest control company to manage pest threats. A technician can regularly visit the premises to look for signs of pest activity and, identify potential risks, leaving you to prepare for one of the busiest summers on record.