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Hoteliers should know the difference between basic pest control and integrated pest management because your reputation, income and staff morale depend on it.
Basic pest control is reacting to a pest infestation to eliminate pests when they become a nuisance. A pest controller is then called in to provide a treatment to trap or apply poison to kill the pests. The hotel may even assign staff to conduct some pest control operations to save on costs.
Taking action only when the pest infestation has already occurred can have several negative consequences:
Choosing the right pest control company with trained personnel and experience of the business needs is an important step.
In 2006 a pest control company used by many hotels and restaurants in Connecticut was fined $583,000 by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for pesticide control violations. These included “improper applications of various pesticides at restaurants, retail stores and hotels across the state, failure to oversee the work of employees with properly certified supervisors, and inadequate record keeping.”
An employee in a restaurant had become ill and fainted at work the morning following a pesticide treatment by the company in which more than 20 times the concentration of pesticide was used. Numerous other misapplications by the same company were then discovered. Both staff and customers at these businesses were exposed to dangerous levels of pesticide.
Even for pests in business areas that are not so closely regulated it is important to follow sound procedures. The Environmental Protection Agency compiled a list of pest control practices that are not safe and effective in treating bed bugs, one of the most common pests in hotels. These include:
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach to pest control that aims to achieve sustainable pest management by applying a systematic strategy to prevent pests. IPM only uses pesticide chemicals as a last resort and emphasises the use of materials and methods that minimize the impact on people and the environment.
IPM is implemented as part of the business management plan and involves collaboration of hotel management, staff and the pest control contractor.
There are four high-level components of an IPM program:
IPM is continually evaluated and results fed back to the customer with recommendations for improvements. It also includes thorough documentation of action taken, pest activity and pesticide application, compliant with relevant standards and regulations.
Western Exterminator uses a tailored approach to IPM called ERDM which stands for: Exclusion, Restriction, Destruction and Monitoring.
Exclusion: Preventing pests from gaining access to a business, property or area by sealing areas and proofing buildings
Restriction: Stopping pests from spreading if they have gained access and removing food and harborage
Monitoring: Ensuring that protection measures are working, and that they continue to work even after control has been achieved
Destruction: Innovative, market-leading control measures, including non-toxic solutions
The ERDM approach is supported by a technical team and regulatory experts, as well as R&D programs that develop innovative, technologically advanced non-toxic products. This allows Western Exterminator specialists to offer best-in-class products and solutions that underpin their knowledge and advice.
Western Exterminator’s Integrated Pest Management services are also supported by pest awareness training for employees and staff, to help recognize early pest activity.
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