Hotels and guest houses across South Africa are on high alert as they wait to welcome the thousands of guests arriving in our beautiful country over the next few weeks. In the process, however, they may also be welcoming a few unwanted guests.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; therefore it is of absolute importance that hotels and other hospitality establishments are on high alert with regard to multi-legged guests, ensuring that they prevent these guests from running amuck on their premises and tarnishing their good reputations.

When dealing with unwelcome pests it is important to have a plan of action in order to prevent unnecessary panic and to keep the situation under control. Rentokil offers the following foolproof tips to ensure that you stay in control.

Ants will not harm your guests, but they are an inconvenience. If they are found in food areas they must be dealt with immediately, as they can contaminate food by passive disease transmission. Ensure you thoroughly clean all surfaces with which ants have come into contact.

If cockroaches are spotted, remove all possible sources of food, water and potential shelter or habitat. Try to trap one so that it can be identified by your pest control technician when he arrives to inspect and deal with the infestation. Cockroaches must be dealt with promptly in food preparation areas, as they could contaminate food with either e.coli or salmonella.

If evidence of mice or rats is detected, proceed with proper care and attention. Rodents must be dealt with quickly, since they can transmit diseases such as salmonella and contaminate or damage food or stored goods. Remove all food sources and clutter. Also seal openings that allow these pests to move into or around your building.

Flies are a nuisance and should be caught by an electronic fly killer unit fairly quickly. However, if there is a high degree of fly activity it could be because food debris has been allowed to gather, so thorough cleaning should be carried out. Also ensure that your waste management program is adequate and implemented.

According to Deena Govender, Quality Assurance Manager for Rentokil South Africa, prevention is better than cure and therefore it is of utter importance that an organisation makes use of a registered pest control company.

“By doing so you will have peace of mind that the personal safety and overall hygiene of your hotel or guest house is taken care of. A registered pest control company will also have a good track record, material data sheets and will only use fully-trained pest control operators and pesticides approved by the department of agriculture”, says Govender.

Dealing with pests can be a difficult task to master and it is advisable that a professional pest control company is contacted to assess the situation and to aid in eliminating the problem. For more information please visit