Does More Rain Mean More Pests for Your Hotel?
In many parts of the country, the spring season brings more rain showers than other times of the year. While extra rain can be great for your hotel’s landscaping, did you know that the increase in moisture could attract more pests to your property? You may not be able to control the weather, but there are some things that you can do to help keep pests from flooding your hotel.
Be on Wet Weather Watch
When the rainy season sets in, make sure that you and your staff are on high alert for pest activity. Just like you, many pests seek shelter from rainy weather and may seek dry ground inside your hotel structure. Rain also provides moisture sources that pests need to survive. Many pests can establish large infestations very quickly, so it’s important to notice early signs and take swift action before problems get out of hand.
While pest threats from rainy weather can vary according to region and your specific hotel, here are four insects that are known to become more active during wet weather:
- Pavement and odorous house ants seek shelter in structures as the ground becomes saturated
- Cockroaches, specifically American cockroaches and oriental cockroaches, often seek shelter from the rain to prevent drowning, particularly when sewer systems, where they commonly live, become flooded. In addition to being repugnant to your guests, these pests can be mechanical vectors for bacteria. They can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. Cockroaches can establish large infestations very quickly with populations in the hundreds, so early detection is key.
- Norway rats may move inside as their burrows in the ground become flooded
Pests that can become a problem AFTER a heavy rain include:
- Carpenter ants seek out moisture-damaged wood to nest in. They then excavate tunnels in the wood, which can cause serious damage to structures.
- Termite swarmers emerge from the ground, tree stumps or foundation cracks with the goal of mating and establishing new termite colonies. A wet environment provides the water that helps their chances of survival, and they like the humidity and warm temperatures that can accompany spring rains.
- Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around the standing water and puddles that rain showers leave behind. In addition to inflicting itchy bites, mosquitoes can carry pathogens that may cause disease, like West Nile.
Take Preventive Measures
During rainy seasons, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of maintenance at your hotel to help discourage the conditions that are conducive to pest infestations. Here are some things you can do:
- Have your hotel’s roof inspected after periods of heavy rain for signs of leaks and make any needed repairs a priority.
- Remove any rotten wood from the exterior of your hotel, and avoid storing wood against structures.
- Ensure that your property has adequate drainage, and keep those drains clear to prevent water from backing up onto lawn areas, landscaping, driveways and sidewalks, especially during storms. Add screen drains where possible.
- Inspect outside and inside drains often for signs of pest infestations.
- Clear any areas of standing water as soon as possible, including water that may have gathered in flower pots or planter drain pans.
- Clean gutters and downspouts often, especially after heavy rainfall and high winds.
- Keep landscape mulch under two inches thick and 12 inches away from the hotel’s foundation.
- Seal any cracks around doors, windows, siding and your hotel’s foundation to cut off access for pests.
- Keep outside trash receptacles tightly covered and away from building entrances. Clear any standing water around trash containers.
- Train employees to recognize signs of pest infestations, and have a system in place for timely reporting so that you can address any issues in the early stages.
- Have a commercial pest control plan in place. A dependable pest control provider can treat current infestations as well as suggest effective strategies for avoiding pest problems in the future. Be sure to choose a provider with experience in serving the special requirements of hotels. Terminix® Commercial can help.
With trained technicians who understand the importance of quick and discreet service for hotels, Terminix Commercial offers convenient treatment schedules with after hours and weekend service, as well as pest education for your hotel staff.
Don’t let pests rain on your hotel’s parade this spring. Let Terminix Commercial take care of the pests so you can take care of your guests.