Keys to Environmentally Friendly Pest Management

Repellants and desiccants

Small amounts of repellant dust help keep pests from hiding in hard-to-reach cracks and crevices in and around your hotel. Commonly used to treat crawling insects such as ants and roaches, repellants use a combination of pyrethrins, a product derived from chrysanthemums, and desiccants, like silica gel, to damage insects' exoskeletons by causing their bodies to lose moisture and dry out. Repellants and desiccants are most effective when used in small openings around the exterior of a building. Sealing these voids with caulk after treatment will help reduce pests' hiding spots and the chance of future infestations.

Non-volatile baits

Although baits do contain chemicals, they can be formulated as gels or small bait pucks so the chemicals don't become airborne. This allows you to apply the chemicals in a targeted and contained manner. In many cases, insects will consume the bait and take it back to their nests, which can help eliminate entire colonies. Have your certified pest management professional apply baits in areas that won't put guests or employees at risk.

Organic cleaners

Organic cleaners employ naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes to break down grease and grime that pests can use as a food source. Use these environmentally friendly sanitizers in and around drains, sinks and garbage disposals to eradicate the build-up that serves as a breeding area for drain and fruit flies.

For the most effective results, work with your pest management professional to accurately identify the specific problem pest before executing any of the techniques listed above in your hotel. And, remember that a successful IPM program relies on cooperation and commitment from your staff. Ask your pest management professional to conduct a training session on IPM to equip your employees with the tools and knowledge they need to monitor and report pest activity.

By working together to implement a greener pest management program, you can help ensure a clean and healthy environment for your employees and guests, which may just be the most satisfying amenity of all.

Dr. Ron Harrison, entomologist, is director of technical services for Orkin, Inc. and an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. Contacthim at ronharrison@rollins.com or visit www.orkincommercial.com for more information.

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