Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Every hotel will eventually have to deal with pests. The purpose of this resource page is to assist hotel personnel with its decision on how to best deal with pest management. Without having to worry about dangerous chemicals, there are ways a hotel or any other large facility can maintain a pest-free environment. Integrated Pest Management is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. An IPM program is built around the following components:

  • Inspection
  • monitoring the pest population and other relevant factors;
  • accurate identification of the pest;
  • determining whether action is needed;
  • determining when and where action is needed;
  • which mix of strategies are best to use;
  • Use a multi-tactic approach;
  • Re-inspect
  • Review strategy if needed

Here are some tips to keep in mind when beginning an IPM program in your lodging facility:

General IPM Tips

For outside facility:

  • Design your landscape with native species.
  • Plant a mix of grass species to give greater disease and pest resistance.
  • Keep tree branches well trimmed and away from the house;
  • If your facility has lodging units with wood-burning fireplaces, stack firewood and lumber away from the structure to eliminate harborage for rodents, spiders and centipedes;
  • If your facility has gutters, clean them out thoroughly especially after the fall when a majority of leaves have fallen. Make sure gutters and downspouts are unclogged;
  • Keep windows properly screened;
  • Seal window frames;
  • Keep shrubbery well trimmed and away from the hotel structure;
  • Pull soil or mulch back from the foundation of the hotel and/or lodging units to reduce chances of infestation by termites.
  • Avoid letting trash or recycling pile up in outside bins. Keep bins closed.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Water should be channeled from downspouts away from your facility’s foundation.
  • Repair leaky pipes.
  • Seal up small cracks, holes and crevices in visible areas and in hidden areas such as under kitchen sink.
  • Control dirt, moisture, clutter, foodstuff, harborage, and building penetrations to minimize pests.
  • Use baits and traps rather than pesticide sprays where possible.
  • Fertilizers should be applied several times (e.g.,spring, summer, fall) during the year, rather than one heavy application.
  • If pesticides are necessary, use spot treatments rather than area-wide applications.

IPM for Inside a Facility

  • Vacuum and mop frequently in appropriate areas;
  • Use detergent water;
  • Install door sweeps where possible
  • Inspect all delivered boxes and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking insects from entering the facility;
  • Seal all food containers.
  • Use baits and traps rather than pesticide sprays where possible.
  • Food-contaminated dishes, utensils, surfaces are cleaned by the end of each day.

If you must use pesticides in your facility:

  • Avoid periodic pesticide application for “prevention” of pests.
  • Use pesticides only where pests are located.
  • Use pesticide specifically formulated for the targeted pest.
  • Use pesticides that are the least toxic;
  • Apply pesticides only during unoccupied hours.
  • Ventilate the building with significant quantities of outside air during and after applications.
  • Insure a complete building flush prior to occupancy.
  • Use more than normal outside air ventilation for some period after occupancy.
  • Notify occupants prior to application.
  • If applying outside, keep away from air intake.

Additional Resources:

The Natural Lawn and Garden: Healthy Landscapes for a Healthy Environment Guide

This guide provides thorough information on preparing and maintaining a healthy landscape without the use of chemicals. Here are some basic components of this guide: 1) How to create a healthy garden to prevent bug problems before they start; 2) How to identify pests, 3) Allowing nature time do its work, and 4) Use the least toxic chemicals when spraying is a must.

National Pest Management Association is the official web site of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property. This Web site serves as a comprehensive resource for consumers, media, educators and pest control professionals.

City of San Francisco’s Integrated Pest Management Program

San Francisco’s award-winning IPM Program is a comprehensive resource with loads of pertinent information, including a reduced-risk pesticide list, pest information, and training manual. It can be used by a resident, business or municipality. The Program requires an integrated approach to all pest control operations; establishes posting, recordkeeping, and accountability requirements; and phased out use of the most hazardous pesticides. This is a must-read for all who want to implement a comprehensive integrated pest management program.

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides

This resource contains pesticide alternatives by pest, pesticide fact sheets, articles and reports related to pesticide use, and general tips for pest management.

University of California IPM Online

This online resource can help you solve your pest management problems with UC’s best information, personalize it with interactive tools, or find out about pest management research and extension projects.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Pest Management for Schools: A How-to Manual

Although this manual is meant to address IPM at schools, information contained can still be applied to loading facilities anywhere. The manual provides a full discussion of IPM concepts which will be of particular interest to facility managers in hotels as they work to establish IPM policies, pest control contract guidelines, and other administrative systems designed to institutionalize IPM. It also provides a step-by-step guide for implementing a school IPM program, and includes a discussion of the psychological and institutional barriers to IPM. Additionally, the manual covers IPM strategies for 14 of the most common pests or problem sites in U.S. schools and other large facilities. It is written primarily for pest control personnel and others who may be involved in the day-to-day pest management.