Complimentary breakfast buffets can attract hotel guests. Unfortunately, food buffets can attract pests, too, particularly if the area isn’t properly maintained. How can hotel managers help keep pests away so that guests can enjoy the most important meal of the day?
First, let’s take a look at what kind of pests might be tempted to join your guests for breakfast. Cockroaches, ants, rodents, flies and stored product pests are some of the most common buffet crashers. Not only can these pests carry pathogens that may cause disease, but they can also turn off customers and turn them away from future stays at your hotel.
Here are 12 hotel pest control tips from the professionals at Terminix® Commercial to help keep buffet pests at bay:
- Give the buffet, dining area and food preparation area continuous cleaning attention. It’s not enough to simply clean the area once a day. Food crumbs and spills should be cleaned immediately from counters, tables, chairs and floors. Pests can be drawn to even tiny morsels of food and small specks of water or grease, so keeping areas wiped down and cleaned up is important.
- When cleaning the buffet, dining and kitchen areas, pay special attention to the corners of counters and floors that can hold crumbs and food particles, as well as to openings that can be found where baseboards meet the floor.
- Don’t leave any unsealed food out — even if it doesn’t need refrigerating. Fruit, in particular, can attract flies. Make sure all food is tightly sealed when it is stored and refrigerated when necessary. Check containers for cracks, damage, loose seals or openings.
- Empty trash daily and ensure that all outside trash receptacles are placed well away from the building, if possible, and are kept securely covered. Trash should be checked during times with high customer use of the area.
- Keep exterior doors and windows closed as much as possible.
- Keep dishes, cooking pans and utensils washed and dried. Pay special attention to grease — it can be tempting to pests and is difficult to completely remove.
- Check the doors and windows leading to the buffet area and kitchen to make sure they are tightly sealed. Also check to make sure that weather stripping and door sweeps are in good working condition.
- Regularly inspect pipes, drains, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers and drink dispensers in the kitchen and buffet areas to make sure there aren’t any leaks that could lead to excess moisture, as that can attract pests. Have any compromised pipes or drains sealed or repaired.
- Examine all deliveries for pests that may be hitchhiking in or on boxes. You should also examine deliveries for packaging that has pest damage. If you notice that the packaging is damaged, it should be returned to the vendor. If a box is suspected to be harboring pests, take it outside immediately before opening.
- If your hotel has an outdoor dining space, be sure to also keep it clean and well maintained to help avoid pest issues.
- Train hotel associates to recognize the early signs of pest invasions and how to help prevent pest problems. Make sure they know to inform hotel management right away if they see any signs of pest activity or suspect that pests may be present. This is where Integrated Pest Management can help.
- Get help from a commercial pest control partner with specific experience in treating hotel properties. Terminix Commercial understands the importance of discreet treatments (including bed bug solutions) that don’t inconvenience guests. Real-time service reports also help hotel management stay updated and informed.
Help make sure your hotel buffet is a good start to the day for your guests by following these pest prevention tips and by requesting a free pest control estimate for your property. With a professional pest control partner at your side, there can be many good mornings ahead for your guests and for you.