(Editor’s Note: This is an online-only article attributed to the June/July 2017 issue.)
Running a hospitality business can be highly stressful—while you are consistently striving to delight your customers in every way, the biggest threat facing every restaurant, hotel, nightclub, and cruise line is a pest infestation. Whether your guests are having dinner or staying overnight at your hotel, it is important to ensure a clean, hygienic environment where your customers are comfortable and happy eating and drinking.
Business owners need to focus on bettering their service and expanding their customer base, which leaves little time to focus on pest control. You cannot afford to spend hours identifying infestations and laying traps to get rid of pests. Pest control services are fully-equipped with the latest devices and best industry practices to keep your facility pest-free and prevent future infestations.
Staying Competitive and Compliant
Pest infestations can put both public health and your reputation at risk. They not only contaminate food but also cause significant damage to structures and spread diseases. Their unsightly presence and annoying odor can drive your customers to your competitors and also invite negative reviews that can severely damage your reputation and bring down revenue. Pest control services ensure that your facility adheres to the highest levels of hygiene and sanitation and is fully prepared for all third-party audits.
Common Pests Found in Hospitality
Cockroaches. Cockroaches breed throughout the year, can survive for long periods without food and water, and are found everywhere—from ships and shops to hotels and hostels. They can multiply even under adverse conditions and usually thrive in kitchens and wash areas. Cockroaches consume everything that they can chew and vomit all the undigested food, which is highly infectious. They are also potential carriers of Salmonella and their allergens can trigger asthma in allergic individuals.
Rodents. Rodents have a high reproductive ability and they easily adapt to any environment. They are infected with disease-causing bacteria that can easily spread foodborne and waterborne illnesses. Rodents can also damage furniture, fixtures, electrical equipment, contaminate food with their droppings, and transmit various diseases, including Lyme disease, Salmonellosis, Toxoplasmosis, and Leptospirosis.
Fleas. Fleas come uninvited with guests and pets, carrying a range of bacterial and viral diseases along with tapeworm parasites and protozoan. These wingless, blood-sucking insects pose potential health risks to guests and customers if not controlled.
Stored product insects (SPIs). Popularly known as pantry pests, SPIs typically include moths, mites, beetles, and weevils. SPIs usually infest dried food products such as cereals, spices, seeds, powdered milk, nuts, tea, and dried fruits. They can easily chew the packaging material and crawl through the seams to contaminate large quantities of food through their feces and cocoons.
Common Areas of Concern for Commercial Kitchens
Where food, moisture, and humidity coexist, pests can practically thrive, survive, and proliferate without end. Below are areas of the kitchen that you should inspect thoroughly.
Storage spaces. Roaches, ants, and rodents are often found in cluttered areas like store rooms where all the food supplies are stacked.
Humid areas. Dishwashers, refrigerators, HVAC units, sink, drain pipes, machine lids, and floor mats are a few of the many wet places that make a perfect breeding ground for pests.
Heat sources. All the equipment and machinery that generates heat is sure to be a source of attraction for diseases-causing pests. Inspect all your appliances, pipes, stoves, and freezers especially their motor housing where heat is generated.
Cracks and crevices. Any openings in the building act an entry point for pests. Inspect all the gaps and holes in electrical outlets, wall fixtures, and floor tiles for ants, cockroaches, and insects.