If you own a hotel or restaurant, you know how important it is to maintain a reputation of cleanliness. Nothing damages this reputation faster than negative publicity pertaining to infestations of bugs and rodents. In this day of social media, news of this can spread in a matter of hours, resulting in bad reviews and loss of business, replacement stock costs, and possible legal costs.
There are three steps that are essential to creating an effective pest control Dublin plan. The first is maintenance, where you maintain a high standard on cleanliness at all times, even if this means occasionally performing refresher training with employees. The second is adherence, where you enforce robust hygiene and cleanliness policies for your establishment, posting all policies where employees can see them. The third, and most important, is prevention, where you do all you can to make sure pest do not enter and establish a presence.
Any effective pest control plan is going to cost some revenue, however these costs should be thought of as a long term investment that will protect your business and ultimately save you money.
In terms of pest, rats and mice are usually the most serious issue a restaurant or hotel will face. No one wants to be in the same room as a rodent, and the hygiene of food is heavily compromised when they enter kitchens. They can also cause property damage, since they have a tendency to chew through fabrics and wires, and they can introduce ticks and fleas. Common sign of this pest infestation include droppings and urine stains, sounds of scurrying or crawling, and damages to wiring or wood.
Rats and Mice
Since rats and mice multiply rapidly, you will need to deal with the infestation immediately. Any delay is allowing them to multiply in large litters. You can use traps and poison, but be sure to follow to local health and safety guidelines to ensure the safety of your staff and customers. Keep record of where you lay all traps and poisons, and monitor them regularly. It is also recommended that the staff be informed of where everything is, and that you review what they should do with them if they notice a change.
Flies are also a potentially disastrous issue you can run into. Flies are attracted to dirty surfaces and food that has been discarded. Maintaining highly cleaned areas is an obvious first step to preventing them. Here are some specific areas you will want to check:
- Kitchen: Be sure to keep all surfaces clean and free from grease and food deposits. Pay attention to corners and cracks that may have allowed tiny food particles to accumulate.
- Storerooms: Place all food into hygienic, air-tight containers, and keep the storage area itself clean. Make sure no food is rotting, as this is a sure way to attract flies.
- Waste Areas: Garbage attracts flies. Be sure not to allow any trash to accumulate; store all trash in closed containers, and have a regular schedule of cleaning around the area.
- Drains: Keep all drains cleans and clear. Do not allow food deposits to sit in or around the drain.
- Entrances: Utilize screens and barriers to prevent flies from coming into your property. Try to keep windows and doors shut at all times.
To kill any flies that have already made it onto the property, electric fly killers are both hygienic and safe, but be sure to keep them away from food prep areas.
Bed bugs are often the hardest pest infestation to detect. They are hard to see, and many times the first instance you will hear about them will be because your customers have felt them while staying with the hotel. If you do hear complaints about bed bugs, do not only check the bed, but also the entire room for signs. Check the crevices and cracks in the walls, the carpets and underlay, and even picture frames. The most obvious sign is bite marks left on you clients, or spots of blood on the sheets from where some of the bugs may have been squashed. You may also see their shed skin, or you may smell them if the infestation is large enough.
To get rid of the infestation, there are a few things you may want to do all at one time to ensure they have been eradicated. The first step for any infected area is to close it off completely; seal the cracks in the walls, and carry out all infected items, including mattresses. Heat is a common method for curing infected parts of the room; you can use hair dryers, but if it is a large infestation it is recommended that you call a professional service. You can also vacuum them up, but be sure that the bag is secure; otherwise, they will get loose and infect other parts of the room. If you decide to use pesticides, consider getting help from a professional service to prevent the poisoning of your guests.
With any of these infestations, identifying them quickly and coming up with a plan are the two most important steps you can take to maintain your reputation among your community. If you are unsure how large or small the issue is, contact a professional immediately.
F. Aldea is a freelance article writer and foodie whose work has been highlighted in personal blogs, websites, publications, and TV advertisements.