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How to deal with pest infestation in a hotel

Hotel is a frequently visited and utilised venue for leisure and business purposes. On average, most guests would spend from three days or even weeks and months for accommodation purposes. For some, they will visit the dining facilities at these hotels and businesses may hold corporate conferences and events. What happens during these activities, and you encounter an unwanted company that is pests? What it takes to maintain a pest-free hotel and what are some implications for poorly managed premise. Rentokil shares more on the pest infestation that is likely to take place in a hotel and integrated pest management solutions to adopt.

Debugged Blog Dealing With Pests In Hotel Challenges In Hospitality

Various challenges encountered in a hotel business

Facility maintenance and overall ambience

Ensuring the facility is in tip-top condition in terms of cleanliness and functionality is one of the top main priorities of a hotel business. Firstly, they have to keep the overall environment clean and tidy with no waste and grime lying around. Secondly, especially for bedrooms where guests spend quite a fair bit of time resting, it should be free from dirt and dust. Thirdly, to spruce the overall ambience with aesthetics and decor. For example, ornaments, comfortable lightings, pleasant scents or paintings. Above all, to cater for facilities well with sufficient resting seats or sheltered area for rainy weather.

Read also: How to run a safe hotel environment in Singapore

Pest control and hygiene standards

Regardless of which sector and industry we are in, pests and hygiene gaps are inevitable. Pest can occur in any environment because of food, water and shelter. They are tiny and flexible enough to enter into any premise due to openings, gaps or underground means. Pest infestation is common and is a matter of a light or heavy infestation, and invaded by how many different types of pests.

Hygiene and sanitation standard is another easy to fail component due to user behaviour, activity taking place and consistency of the hygiene programme taking place. For example, not flushing after using the washroom or water excess flicked onto the floor. Worse of all, used tissues and paper towels lying on surfaces that breed bacteria and viruses and transmission of diseases.

Brand reputation and service experience

There are many hospitality brands and venues in Singapore with competition among the international hotel chains, boutiques and economical players. Differentiation around brand image and offering quality service experience is essential. This relates to customer reviews and word of mouth that can turn positive or negative. Their business is dependent on repeat patronages, full hotel occupancy and high conference engagement.

Operations and housekeeping management

The entire hotel compound is huge and complex, to house various facilities including the guests rooms, event halls, sports corner, dining and F&B, catering and recreation. Having a robust and efficient operation around the respective functions and turning around guest rooms swiftly is key for this business. Any possible disruption can jeopardise the occupancy and customer experience thus, affecting the financials in the long term.

Tenants and recreation activities

For variety and entertainment, most hotels would comprise tenants of a good mix such as F&B, spa and beauty and even hairdressers. Most of these tenants have their fair share of challenges and demands, particularly for considerations around sanitation and pest control that may link to the hotel indirectly. In addition, these units are connected within the hotel compound, and cross contamination and cross-infestation are possible. This means, increasing the operation pressure of the hotel in addition to their current facility requirement.

Debugged Blog Dealing With Pests In Hotel Commonly Found Pests

Commonly found pests in a hotel

Hotels challenged with indoor and outdoor pests

Unlike residential home or medium size commercial space, hotels are not complex in terms of pest presence and their activities. They can occur at any time of the day and at night and indoors and outdoors as well.

Firstly, you can find cockroaches and ants in most environments where food, water and waste is. This is no exception for a hospitality business where daily activities revolve around these elements. Secondly, due to globalisation and interaction, bed bugs are one of the most common pests in hotels. Travellers from all parts around the world could potentially hitchhike a bug along their commute and transfer the bugs to the hotel rooms to breed and spread further. Thirdly, flies are present so long as there are food preparation and consumption. Fourthly, rats can be found in a hotel through its neighbouring tenants such as restaurants that have poor pest control service. They can enter through outdoors such as rat burrows, drains and sewers or above attics into the hotel compound.

Finally, termites attack anywhere so long as there is wood availability for them to feed on. This applies to hotels where structures, flooring and gardens have vast wood finishing. Above all, mosquitoes that travel freely from location to location seeking their host for blood meals.

Read also: What you need to know about indoor and outdoor pest control

Where are the locations with pests’ risks?

In such a huge compound with multiple functions and areas, where can we find these pests? Here is a location checklist to pay more attention to pest infestation signs.

  • Guests rooms
  • Centralised kitchen
  • Dining and serving area
  • Tenants and retail shops
  • Sports recreation
  • Outdoor and garden
  • Reception and lobby
  • Basement and carparks
  • Swimming pool
Debugged Blog Dealing With Pests In Hotel Implications Of Pest Infestation

What happens when pests are found in hotels?

Food contamination and health implications

There are many health risks relating to bacteria caused by pest problems. For example, food is contaminated by the presence of cockroaches, ants and rats that run along surfaces that compromise food safety. They pick up harmful bacteria and microorganisms as they crawl along with unhygienic and poor sanitised spaces. Diseases include Salmonella, E. Coli, Plague and Hantavirus. It is not a pleasant encounter for guests to suffer from food poisoning upon consumption of meals by room service or at its restaurants.

Dengue cases are rising in Singapore and Aedes Mosquitoes could be present attacking guests as they use the hotel facilities. Especially guests engaging in morning swim or sports and exercise activities at high vegetation environments such as garden or at alfresco dining. It is a business hassle to deal with guests down with dengue fever that can be life threatening.

Structure stability and property safety are at risk with presence of rats and termites. Rats chew on wires and cables and exposed wires are hazardous while damaged electrical facilities can cause a short circuit and even fire. Termites can chew off wood and feed on a property 24/7. Weakened structure due to termite infestation can potentially fall off to surrounding guests and harm their safety. Pest eradication is necessary to prevent any health and safety imposed not only to guests but among employees.

Damaged brand reputation and negative reviews

Most serviced centric and public facing businesses treat reputation and image as key business drivers. Particularly the hospitality sector, where customer reviews and satisfaction ratings are often referred for decisions, negativity can affect hotel occupancy rate and function room engagement. Social media can turn these negative reviews viral, and depending on the severity of the case, it can result in a media crisis. Besides suffering from immediate loss business, hotels have to invest in brand recovery that takes time and cost to turnaround.

Financial implications and business disruptions

Not only pest infestations implicate health and safety and business image, the more damaging consequence is around financial impact and operation disruptions. Firstly, there may be refunds or business lost from poor room patronage. Secondly, depending on the infestation, the hotel may be imposed with financial penalties from regulatory. Thirdly, due to investigations and rectification, it may result in operation disruptions such as treating rooms again or blocking off areas for follow-ups. Finally, business cessation or premise may take place depending on severity.

Debugged Blog Dealing With Pests In Hotel Pest Control Solutions

Pest control solutions for hotel business

Integrated pest management is recommended for complex and massive operation business such as running a hotel. There are many coordination and challenges and integrated solutions can alleviate some hassles and pressures.

Integrated pest management designed for hoteliers

Besides delivering the pest treatments, professional pest control specialists will value add and support customers including reporting, pest trend analysis and monitoring and driving awareness and pest education to their employees. In addition, credible and good pest control companies provide expert advice and recommendations beyond pest control. This includes environmental assessment, washroom and hygiene and drainage management. Rentokil Initial offers one-stop service covering pests, hygiene and drainage solutions to enhance customer journey.

Ensure first level of pest defence and mandatory flies control in place

The first and basic coverage is to ensure common pests such as cockroaches and ants are taken care of. This includes applying regularly scheduled residual spraying at strategic locations with high risks or possessing pest activities. Another mandatory coverage as part of regulatory compliance is to ensure food-handling establishments adhere to food safety standards. All hoteliers have to install flies trap at food sensitive locations including the centralised kitchen and front of house. Depending the size of the area, more than one insect light trap is required.

Find out more on Rentokil Initial innovative LED technology flies control

Digitalised rat control for optimal rat control efficacy

Rats are tough cookies that come out at night to hunt for food. As smart as they can get, they are challenging to eradicate as they hide efficiently and do not fall into our lure tricks easily. Especially in a huge and massive compound, manual inspection and rat detection can be challenging and potentially missed out on hot spots. Digitalised rat control can heighten detection for rat presence and their activities and optimise the rat control efficacy.

Adopt integrated mosquito control against dengue

Protecting both guests and employees’ safety especially against dengue is a top business priority. As reported with over 12,000 dengue cases in Singapore, the epidemic could put anyone at health risks at any time. Mosquito control is an on-going pest prevention effort that requires a good combination of fogging, larviciding and placements of mosquito traps for efficacy. This is because there are several factors influencing the ongoing presence of mosquitoes and diligent control is necessary.

  • Weather and climate changes that promote mosquitoes activities
  • Cross infestation reasons from external sources and nearby facilities
  • Mosquitoes’ strong immunity and resistance to pesticides
  • Environmental conditions such as urbanisation and construction works
  • Continue growth of mosquito breeding sites islandwide in Singapore

In2care mosquito trap is a new innovation to get rid of mosquitoes in a safe and green manner. It prevents adult mosquitoes from developing their eggs further while allowing them to carry the active ingredients around them to contaminate new sites they land. In a way, the trap targets both adult mosquitoes and larvae and are effective against the challenge of chemical-resistant mosquitoes. Enquire for the complimentary trial of In2care mosquito trap today.

Long-term protection against termite infestation

Termite is a challenging pest to deal with due to its complex nature in underground or in structures that are out of sight and reach. The colony consists of thousands of subterranean termite members and travel throughout the hotel as they work daily 24/7. Species such as the drywood termite attack furniture, panel beams and build-in structures that cost massive replacement investment. It is essential to take the first step in detecting termite activities if there is any happening around the hotel. Thereafter, to adopt a credible and safe termite control to prevent termite damages on the property.

Taking care of potential bed bug infestation

It can get quite a trouble if bed bug infestation happens in the guest rooms especially if there are bed bugs crawling on guests as they sleep or worse of all, suffering from bed bug bites. In most hotels, where bed linens are usually white, the chances of spotting a bloodstain, shed wings or actual bed bug is high. If there is no proactive action taken against detecting bugs early, chances are, these bed bug identification may be covered in the online forums.

They can hide easily among the big space room, along curtain drapes, slit, corners of the carpet and bed seams. As they reproduce and travel from place to place, adjacent rooms are at risk of cross infestation. Hence, bed bug treatment is an important checklist of commercial pest control. It includes three key aspects:

  • Pest detection and identification of bed bugs around the premise
  • Bed bug control for affected rooms that requires 3 services and steam treatment
  • Bed bug monitoring and monitoring at affected and surrounding rooms
  • Pest awareness and education among housekeeping team on bed bug signs

Call Rentokil Singapore at (65) 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.

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