What is Pest Control? Type, Methods

  • Post last modified:16 March 2023
  • Reading time:19 mins read
  • Post category:Hotel Management

What is Pest Control?

Pest control is the management or eradication of pests, which are organisms that are considered detrimental to human health, the environment, or economic interests. Pests may include insects, rodents, birds, and other animals that can cause damage to crops, property, or structures, and can transmit diseases to humans or animals.

Insect pests enter buildings for, shelter or surroundings having the right temperature and humidity. The key to successful pest control is eliminating one or more of these conducive factors. It is important to know something about the habits of the pests in order to take proper preventative measures and to select and apply appropriate pest control products correctly.

Using the wrong control product or using the right product but in the wrong manner may result in unsatisfactory control. Keep in mind that different pests may be found in different parts of the building, in different seasons or in different years.

Type of Pests Found in Hotels

Below are mentioned a few common pests found in the hotels:


Many different species of hotel-infesting ants range in size from the tiny to the large queen carpenter ant. Ants can be black, red, brown or yellow in colour, have a pinched waist and elbowed antennae and be either wingless or winged. In most hotels ants are found in such areas as kitchens and bathrooms where there is food and water.


Cockroaches are mainly are species that have become widely distributed through commerce and are now cosmopolitan. They are nocturnal in habit and attack food, paper, clothing, shoes, and dead insects. Consequently, it has become a pest of kitchens, larders and restaurants, where food, warmth and moisture present provide the necessary ecological requirements.

The Oriental Cockroach on the other hand prefers cooler areas. These are therefore found under coverings, in bathrooms, toilets, and sinks, where large numbers congregate around sources of water. The American Cockroach infests all houses, store-rooms, kitchens, cupboards, and libraries. The Brown Banded Cockroach, which can fly, prefers locations high up in the rooms.


Lizards are typically dry land animals loving the sun and its heat. Usually, they are very small and slender creatures. A very interesting protective feature of these lizards is the power to break off their tails automatically. This power of automatically breaking off parts of the body is called autotomy. Lizard control is usually carried out in the warmer periods of the year.

Lizards are cold-blooded animals and hence in the cold season, they remain in the warm corners of the house to restore their body temperature. During the warmer periods, they come out and can be seen crawling up and down the walls.


The common housefly species is probably the most familiar and certainly the most widely distributed of all insects. It is a carrier of the disease brought about by its habit of flying and resting on the human body, human food and animals. The disease organisms of typhoid, dysentery, summer diarrhoea, and probably infantile paralysis are transferred from faecal matter to food by vomit drops in fly excrement or by organisms adhering to the fly’s feet. The eggs of parasitic worms are also transmitted in this way.


The honey bee is man’s oldest insect friend known and it is to this insect that we owe honey, beeswax and proper fertilization of many of our crop plants for bumper yield. The honey bee is a social insect living in colonies of 20,000 to 80,000.

As with man, the honey bee has its periods of depression. On cloudy days when they are unable to forage for nectar, they get “frustrated” and need to “take out their frustration” on others. On these days we need to be cautious.


Wasps appear in the morning and fly all day, retiring early in the evening. These wasps generally do not attack people. In order to control them, the lawn can be sprayed with carbaryl or the grubs controlled with chlorpyrifos or diazinon. These social wasps live in colonies that number in thousands. These beneficial insects would not anger man except that they like to live in close proximity with us.

They usually go outdoors in search of food, but when they are not able to get food, they come into the living area and become a threat to the inhabitants of the house /rooms. They feed in trash cans and enjoy our food and they resent our efforts to keep them away from our food. when this happens they need to be controlled.


There are 35,000 species of spiders in the world. Most spiders that are a cause of concern to the public and which pest control experts are called upon to control are either large or have striking markings. Only a few species of spiders reside in dwellings and a larger number stray or are carried into the houses.

Bed Bug

The bed bug is distributed readily in laundry and on clothes and baggage of individuals who have visited infested areas. Once in the room, they become established in any convenient crack or crevice particularly along the seams or buttons of mattresses, coils of bedsprings, wooden bedsteads, upholstered furniture, the backing of pictures, behind wallpaper, and calendars, behind skirting boards and between floorboards or just about any place it can find to rest and reproduce living there happily ever after surrounded by a colony of kith and kin.


Mosquitoes received very little attention until it was found that they were the cause of malaria and other diseases. These are the most threatening pests nowadays. Not all mosquitoes are bloodsuckers, and most of them are attracted to light. Hence light traps are used in order to obtain information about them. Only the females suck blood. The male feeds on pollen and nectar. The vast majority of them prefer freshwater but some live in salt marshes and brackish water. Still, others are happiest in water contaminated with sewage.


Rats, mice and squirrels are from the same family – the Rodents. This group of animals is distinguished by their teeth – large and chisel-like front teeth. They use these teeth to gnaw through any kind of hard matter – wood and cement walls. Rodents urinate and leave droppings on the food they eat. Their hair also drops in these foodstuffs. Hence humans should not consume food contaminated by these creatures.


This insect is so-called on account of its shining grey colouration, The silverfish is most often seen when uncovered in dampish places like the kitchen and the scullery. It is able to walk up rough vertical surfaces such as wallpaper and plaster, but unable to do the same on smooth surfaces like glass and porcelain. Hence it gets trapped in washbasins and bathrooms.

The silverfish is responsible for little actual damage. It feeds on carbohydrate substances such as starch used for wallpaper paste and is recorded as biting small irregularly shaped holes in linen, cotton and artificial silk.


Termites are insects that cause serious damage to wood and paper. They actually eat wood as food, and like ants, live in colonies.

Methods to Control Pests

These are some methods to control pests:

Control of Ants

Sanitation is an important method in preventing ants. Clean up food and beverage spills from floors and countertops immediately. Plastic or metal bait stations (“ant traps”) are easy to use and are desirable where pets or children are present. Baits should be placed in areas where the most ants have been seen. Other nest spots may be inside hollow core doors and under insulation in an attic. They are treated with an insecticide labelled for ant control.

Control of Cockroaches

Inspection and treatment should go together whether a complaint has been received or not. All the possible hiding places of cockroaches must be thoroughly investigated. These places would probably be dark corners. Other places that need attention and which we tend to overlook are Rubber and gasket lining in the refrigerator and other appliances; Splash plates in walls behind ovens and stoves.

Sprinkle Baygon bait in places where cockroaches congregate, rest or hide, such as dark corners of closets, the base of walls in basements, under sinks, around drain pipes, upon shelves, etc. Baygon sprays are also effective against cockroaches.

Control of Lizards

As the lizards thrive on insects, the most effective way of controlling lizards is to control the insects in the house. Lizards are carnivorous and prey on other insects. Hence they cannot be controlled using bait.

Chemical control of lizards involves the spraying of pesticides directly on the reptiles. Chemicals such as dichlorophos, malathion etc. sprayed on the body kill the lizard instantly.

Control of Flies

Fly sprays and household sprays are synonymous since a spray that controls flies will also control other insects. There are three kinds of sprays in the market.

  • Space Spray: Space sprays are applied as a mist into the air and must be in contact with the insect at the time of spraying. They provide quick knockdown and fast results but temporary.

  • Surface or Residual Spray: In this sprays, the insecticide ingredients are dispersed by means of the vapour pressure of iquefied inert gas rather than the pressure of compressed air. The inert gas is usually chloro-liquefied inert gas rather than the pressure of compressed air. The inert gas is usually chloro-fluorinol which is known to react with the ozone layer in the atmosphere and destroying it. Surface sprays provide relatively slow effect but long lasting control against non-resistant flies and do not have to come in contact with the insect at the time of spraying in order to be effective.

  • Combination: It is combination of space and surface spray. It could be effective due to its instant knock down and residual effect.

Control of Bees

f the bees nest in the voids of a hotel, they should be controlled or they will enter the living area. The removal of a bee colony, once it has entered an attic or a wall void, is extremely difficult and it is difficult to find a beekeeper to attempt it. Hence most bee colonies in wall voids are treated with insecticides.

The dust has the advantage of being widely distributed by the insects as they move around in the nest. Sprays kill only those insects which come in contact with the sprayed area. Usually, one application is sufficient with activity ceasing in one or two days.

Nests should be treated at night to avoid getting stung. Once the bees are killed the walls where they have been nesting should be opened and the comb removed. If not, the untended honey will run down and through the walls and attract insects such as moths, cockroaches, and carpet beetles.

Control of Wasps

If the nest can be found, control of the wasp is simple. Simply spray bendiocarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, or resmethrin into the nest opening of the aerial nesters. Then wet the nest envelope. The nest may be removed in a day or two. For ground nests dust formulation of any of the above insecticides is preferable.

Control of Spiders

Improved storage, use of airtight boxes and bags, the elevation of materials off the ground, discarding unwanted items, and periodically sweeping or vacuuming under furniture and behind mirrors and pictures are all helpful control measures.

Space sprays are useful for spider problems in confined areas when there is no hazard to people using the structures. Residual sprays are usually applied to infested windows, corners, doorframes, roofs, and storage areas.

Control of Bed Bug

DDT which was once considered the best control measure for bugs is today not effective. The bugs have become totally immune to this insecticide. Spray of 1% malathion, 1% fenchlophos, 0.5% DDVP, and 0.5% synergise pyrethrins have given good results.

Mattresses should be treated only at the seams and should not be soaked in spray. Mattresses should be allowed to dry and should be covered when used.

Lindane, malathion, pyrethrin or fenchlophos can be used to spray mattresses.

Several residual sprays used as water emulsions and or oil-based solutions may be used away from beds. Hand spray is usually adequate and spraying should be done early in the day so that the insecticide can dry before the room is used for sleeping.

Control of Mosquitoes

Control consists essentially of destroying the larvae and their breeding places. Tin cans and all objects that hold water should be eliminated and the rain barrels and cisterns are treated periodically. Drainage provides permanent control and is used to eliminate small pools,

swamps and marshy areas ditches, and creeks are cleaned up so that the water flows evenly and does not stagnate or back up. Areas of water that cannot be eliminated by draining or levelling are sprayed or dusted. DDT is used to spray wells and screens, and is effective for long periods, but kills slowly, and should be used carefully.

The Aedes and culex mosquitos remain in dark portions of the building and bite during the day. Spraying will destroy them and prevent the spread of dengue and filariasis.

Control of Rats

Snap traps: Trapping is done when the use of poisons is dangerous. Traps can be used again and again. The bait should be tied securely to the trigger. This prevents the rodent from nibbling the bait without setting off the trigger.

Arsenic, Barium Carbonate, Phosphorous paste, Fluoroacetamide, Strychnine, Zinc phosphide are the chemicals used to kill the rats. Most of these chemicals are spread between two slices of bread in the form of a sandwich and placed in the right place to trap the rats.

Control of Silverfish

Insecticides such as DDT, chlordane, dieldrin, and lindane formerly used for the control of silverfish are no longer registered for use.

Although liquids, dust or baits can be used for the control of silverfish, liquids are preferred in visible or exposed areas of the home where dust or baits may present an undue hazard to children or pets. In controlling silverfish, the insecticide will be most effective when applied where the insect is most commonly seen.

Control of Termites

Any treatment given should be such that it prevents future re-infestation through the foundation. This is achieved by four technical operations.

  • Structural alterations: this includes any structural operation which renders a structure less susceptible to termite attack or which renders the immediate surroundings of a structureless favourable to termites.

  • Soil treatment: chemicals are applied to the soil immediately adjacent to or under a structure for the purpose of eliminating existing infestations and creating an insecticidal barrier.

  • Wood treatment: chemicals are applied to wooden members of the structures to render them resistant to termites.

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