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Common hotel pests and how to spot them

Common hotel pests and how to spot them

When you walk into a hotel room, there are a few things you expect to see - neat beds with clean sheets, clean towels, no crumbs or clutter, and so on. But there are also some things you don’t expect to see and that you really hope you never see - namely, pests.

Hotel owners and managers need to be aware of potential pest problems in their hotels, and they need to teach their staff to be aware of those problems as well. Pest control for hotels can be simple, but it does need to be made of constant and consistent efforts to keep the pests away. And the best way to start is to make sure that you know which pests you need to look for:

One of the top pests to watch out for in hotels is cockroaches. Cockroaches are not only big and gross to most people, they also are connected with certain health issues. Guests may experience allergic reactions or respiratory problems when cockroaches are present. And guests leaving a hotel with health problems caused by pest problems in your hotel is the last thing you want.

Cockroaches can also make your hotel seem particularly dirty. Often, when cockroaches have decided to live in your hotel, you’ll start to smell an unusual musty smell. You might also start seeing brown streaks on the walls. Neither of those things will make guests think that you have a nice, clean hotel.

How to Spot Cockroaches
Unfortunately, cockroaches are not uncommon in hotels. As mentioned, to find cockroaches, start paying attention to musty smells and odd streaks on the wall. But there are other signs of infestations as well.

Cockroaches are attracted to water and damp areas. They also like to hang out where there’s food - and since cockroaches can eat almost any organic material, they can find food almost anywhere. Keep an eye out for them in bathrooms - especially if there’s standing water - and in kitchens where there’s plenty of water and food available.

To prevent cockroaches in your hotel, make sure to prevent water damage and standing water as much as possible. You’ll also want to make sure food is stored well and that the overall environment of the hotel is clean. If you start to see cockroaches more frequently, or if you’re really concerned that cockroaches might become a problem, the best thing to do is to call professional pest control for hotels.

Bed Bugs
One of the most feared pests to find in a hotel room is bed bugs. The biggest reason for this is that people don’t like the idea of an insect sucking their blood while they’re asleep, which is completely understandable. No one wants to feel threatened in their most vulnerable state.

But bed bugs also have a stigma that follows them, and it’s that if bed bugs are present, the building is not clean or safe. Even though this is just a stigma that isn’t necessarily true (bed bugs can show up anywhere) bed bugs and cockroaches are the two pests most likely to give your hotel a bad image and reputation, no matter how nice your hotel actually is.

How to Spot Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not easy creatures to spot. They’re nocturnal, so during the day they hide out in walls or bed frames where they’re invisible, then at night, they crawl out to find people they can feed off of. If bed bugs are in a room that doesn’t have people sleeping in it for a few days, the bed bugs might venture out further to find rooms that do have people sleeping in them.

But you can try some pest control for hotel tips to help you spot bed bugs before they become too much of a problem. First, if a guest has just checked out of a room, do some spot-checking for bed bugs the same day. Guests can inadvertently bring bed bugs into the hotel in their luggage, so careful checking can be some of the best prevention.

Second, regularly check bed frames, nearby furniture, and walls for any gaps that bed bugs might be hiding in. The best time to find bed bugs in these places is during the day when they’re sleeping.

Third, watch for bloodstains on the sheets. These will likely be small bloodstains in areas where a person’s head, arms, or feet might lay. If you see these bloodstains, you will need to find the bed bugs immediately because when bed bugs feed, they can start reproducing in their new environment and spread even further.

The third pest that commonly causes severe problems for hotels is rodents, and they’re just as detrimental to hotel reputations as bed bugs and cockroaches. Rodents like rats and mice show up in hotels for a few reasons, such as plenty of available food and lots of places to hide. But rodents don’t just cause annoying infestation problems.

Rodents are well-known carriers of disease. If they begin to infest your hotel, they can easily spread sickness around to hotel guests. Not only is it unsanitary to have these critters running around, but some of the diseases can be genuinely life-threatening. It’s extremely important to prevent the spread of rodents in your hotel.

How to Spot Rodents
Rodents tend to be a bit easier to spot than cockroaches for one obvious reason - rodents are much bigger than insects are. However, even though rats and mice are big enough to easily see, they are also very good at hiding.

When you’re checking for rodents in your hotel, you’ll want to watch for droppings, food that’s been gnawed on, and so on. You’ll also want to listen in the walls and ceilings for skittering noises and squeaking.

Rodents do leave some obvious signs, so if you suspect that they are in your hotel, the best thing to do is to hire pest control for hotels to take care of the problem safely and quickly. It’s not worth waiting to see if it really is an infestation before working to get rid of them. Instead, err on the side of caution and do everything you can to prevent pests before it turns into a problem with guests.