Cancelling Pest Reservations In Hospitality Facilities

Pests require three things to survive and thrive, all of which are found in a hotel or hotel room – food, water and harborage/shelter or warmth. Denying pests’ access to a hotel and preventing them from becoming a threat or nuisance to guests and employees requires cooperation from both hotel management and their pest management provider.

How do pests “check in” to hotels without a credit card? Guests, hotel employees and service deliveries are the main vehicles of delivering pests into a hotel. Pests also can enter a hotel room from the outside or from a neighboring infested room.


Once inside, pests gain an advantage due to a hotel’s design and construction. Guest rooms share a network of plumbing, electrical, IT and utility lines and cables and these lines travel both vertically and horizontally throughout the building, and from room to room.


Cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, and rodents are just a few of the pests that use these lines to travel up and down throughout the facility, and gain access to sleeping rooms, kitchens and storage areas. One must think three dimensionally when dealing with a pest issue that may impact more than one room, a floor of rooms or even floors of rooms.


The general tenets of integrated pest management (IPM) hold true when approaching any pest issue in a hotel/hospitality facility. The Sprague Pest Experts offer the following recommendations to reduce or eliminate pests within a hospitality facility:


Proper Sanitation/Trash Management

  • Trashcans and recycle bins with tight-fitting lids and linings that can be removed easily.
  • Regularly scheduled pickups of trash.
  • Regularly scheduled cleaning of trash containers.
  • Proper dumpster location (away from the building) with tight fitting lids that are kept closed when not in use.
  • Assigning of vacuums and housekeeping carts to specific floors.

Proper Storage Practices

  • Emptying all cardboard boxes of materials once delivered.
  • Removing all cardboard from the facility – avoiding clutter.
  • Elevating materials off of the floor, away from the wall and onto metal racks with casters that allow for movement to properly inspect and clean behind and beneath them.
  • FIFO (First In First Out) storage practices especially with food stuffs.
  • Storing all food items in air tight containers

Physical Exclusionary Measures

  • Door sweeps on all doors to entry and exit points within the facility. There should be no gaps greater than ¼ inch.
  • Weather stripping and bristle sweeps to meet in the middle where double doors meet.
  • Screens on all doors and windows that are to be opened during good weather.
  • Caulking or sealing of any gaps, joints, or cracks where ants, termites, cockroaches or rodents might enter. Remember that mice only require ¼ inch gap to gain access, while rats require only ½ inch gaps. Insects, of course, can be much smaller and may enter in even smaller openings.
  • Use of escutcheon plates around plumbing lines that enter walls or ceilings.
  • Use of hardware cloth or fine screen mesh over air intake or exhaust vents, louvers, and weep holes. Use caution not to interfere with proper air flow volume for the facility.
  • Repairing structural deficiencies as the building ages and these deficiencies appear.

Landscape Design

  • Proper guttering and soil grading to move water away from building and parking lot.
  • Timing automatic watering systems so as not to create excessive moisture.
  • Use of pea sized gravel (1 to 3 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide) around the perimeter of the hotel to create a pest “unfriendly” zone.
  • Keeping grass mown low and limiting the use of plantings and mulch on the exterior.
  • Planting shrubs and trees at a distance of 3 to 6 feet away from the hotel.
  • Avoiding Pachysandra and juniper plants that promote burrowing and digging by rodents.
  • Avoiding azaleas and other plantings that promote aphids, scales, or other honeydew-producing homopteran insects.
  • Pruning all branches and vines away from the hotel roof and exterior walls.
  • Removing all leaf and limb debris as they drop and accumulate, especially on flat roofs.

Exterior Lighting

  • Performing a “light leak audit.”
  • Use of low pressure sodium vapor (yellow) lights or cellophane shields on lights on the exterior of the hotel and in the parking lots.
  • Angling exterior lights away from the hotel and from all entry points of the hotel.

Employee Behavior Management

  • Keeping all doors shut when not in use.
  • Not propping entryway doors open for breaks or deliveries.
  • Closing all dumpster lids when not in use.
  • Cleaning up locker areas of food and debris.
  • Storing left over food items properly in air tight containers.
  • Inspecting personal belongings before bringing them into work.
  • Not encouraging the feeding of stray animals, birds or wildlife while at work.
  • Performing regular employee locker and refrigerator/break room clean outs.
  • Keeping hotel room furniture and furnishings to a bare minimum.
Commercial Properties