10 Signs Your Pittsburgh Hotel Has Pest Problems

Hotels strive to be homes away from home and offer respite from every day pressures, and they do the best they can to please the traveler with various amenities and services. They are not however, without their problems.

Even the finest hotels keep a vigilant eye upon the potential invasion of non-paying and unwanted guests from the world of insects and rodents. These pests follow food trails, and once established, are very difficult to eradicate.

This article will feature the most prevalent pests found in Pittsburgh hotels and ten signs hoteliers can watch out for that signal the need for outside help to combat an infestation.

It should be noted that the structural age of hotels buildings can be a contributing factor to pest-related problems. The older a facility, the more likely it is to have gaps, cracks, and other structural issues that may allow ingress to unwanted pests such as: ants, spiders, cockroaches, rodents, and stink bugs.

A good, ongoing relationship with a reliable pest-control and pest maintenance company such as Pestco Professional Services, can be a Pittsburgh hotelier’s best friend, and is always a practical precautionary measure.

A Pittsburgh Hoteliers List Of The 10 Most Unwanted Pests

The following represent a “10 most unwanted list” of invading pests that often target hotels, much to the chagrin of their owners, managers and guests.

Bed Bugs

According to a recent study, Pittsburgh ranked number 12 on a list of the top 20 American cities infested with bed bugs.

A few years ago, a bedbug invasion took hold after a group of high school students visiting Penn State University’s main campus returned home infested with bed bugs after a week-end science competition.

Certainly, our pest-control and pest-management specialists are constantly kept very busy throughout Pittsburgh and Western PA using our knowledge, skill and equipment to track down these critters and eradicate them.

The resurgence of bedbugs

Barely the size of an apple seed, these hard-to-kill-bugs can wreak havoc among hapless travelers seeking only a good night’s sleep. Hotels are a favored milieu because these insects spread easily with human travel, climbing into valises and gear, laying their eggs inside them, and then hitchhiking somewhere new via a heated automobile or airplane.

Even leaving bags outside in the winter when traveling will not necessarily kill bed bugs because they hide inside things which protect them from the wind and cold air.

Statistics indicate that bed bugs impact nearly 20 percent of hotels, resorts and other hospitality properties. If you are a hotel owner or manager, you must have a plan in place and train all staff members about proper protocol should a bedbug crisis arise.

Explore our hotel bed bug control guide!

Bed Bug Prevention Services Pittsburgh Hotel Lodging

Signs of A Bedbug Infestation:

Hotel cleaning staff should be trained to look for blood stains on sheets or pillowcases and dark or rusty colored spots of excrement on sheets, mattresses, bed clothes, and even on the walls of guest rooms.


Rodents were reported as an issue in well over one-third of hotel and hospitality services. Mice and rats, especially during the colder months of the year, have become an enormous threat to the hospitality industry. 

These pests find refuge in warm laundry rooms where they can nest and reproduce and in kitchens where they can munch upon tasty treats.

Norway Rat Winter Pests

A rodent infestation is a synonym for disaster in a hotel because apart from being vectors of dangerous diseases and burrowing into sewer systems, they can also cause extensive damage to property by chewing on exposed wiring.

Rodent Infestations:

Droppings are the most common indication that a hotel has been invaded by rodents. Housekeeping staff should also be mindful of smudge or grease marks along walls, piping and electrical cables and gnaw marks near holes in the building and also on food stuffs and packaging. 

Treating rodent infestations is a job best left to pest management professionals.


Spiders represent the third largest issue of complaints from hotel guests. Lurking in the dark corners of rooms like stalkers ready to pounce on unsuspecting guests, these pests arouse fear in many.

One can only be reminded of the iconic Woody Allen film, Annie Hall, where Allen refers to “a spider the size of a Buck” in a hotel room he shares with Diane Keaton.

Pittsburgh Spider Control For Infestations

Evidence of Spider Infestation:

While an abundance of webs in hotel rooms and other areas are a certain indication that spiders have established a foothold in a hotel, there are other signs that it is time to call our pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pesto Professional Services for help. 

Egg sacs are another factor, as most species of spiders lay hundreds of eggs at once, all wrapped up in a silk ball. Also, a plethora of flying insects like mosquitoes, moths, flies, moths can mark the invasion of spiders to a hotel property because they serve as a food source.

German Cockroaches

These roaches are both disgusting and unhealthy. Their feces and shed skins cause allergies and carry pathogens that cause bacterial diseases such as: food poisoning, salmonella, and shigella, dysentery and diarrhea.

They are also very difficult to eradicate once they infest a hotel and often require the professional assistance. German cockroaches can always be found wherever there is food. They commonly infest kitchens, snack rooms and food storage areas.

German Cockroach Control For Pittsburgh Businesses

Signs of Infestation:

Tell tale signs include: an oily, musty odor, dark droppings that resemble pepper or coffee grounds, and dark fecal stains in the dark corners of guest rooms. Another indication is the presence of dead roaches or the remnants of skin shedding.

Pavement Ants

The name of this ant species is not very imaginative, as it derives from its preferred location; namely near or under sidewalks, asphalt, and hotel foundations. 

With parking lots and walkways close to buildings, these small ants easily enter hotel rooms, attracted to water and food sources, especially during extreme weather conditions.

Pittsburgh Pavement Ant Control

Once established, they reproduce in large numbers, which can be a horror movie for hotel guests seeking peace and quiet. Outside professional help from Pestco is usually necessary to rid a hotel of these pests.

Infestation Indications:

These ants are attracted to hotel rooms because they have areas of high humidity, such as that found in bathrooms. Signs they have invaded involve the presence of their nest material close to hotel foundations as they move dirt from their tunnels and pile it outside their nests. These little mounds reveal where nests are built and often indicate a serious infestation.

House Flies

We are often called upon to eradicate different types of flies from Pittsburgh hotels. Most species thrive in heavily populated metropolitan areas throughout the country. 

House flies are particularly dangerous to human health, as studies indicate that they are vectors of more than 65 diseases, the pathogens of which they transmit via touch or from bodily fluids such as: saliva, feces, vomit, and urine. This disgusting process takes only a few seconds.

House Flies Food Contamination

Contamination occurs as these insects move between clean and tainted food sources, transporting both the filth on their bodies and internal micro-organisms. In a repugnant aside, houseflies are also known to regurgitate digestive juices and defecate while feeding.

Signals of Infestation:

Hotel staff should be on the lookout for small, dark clusters of spots in light areas that are the size of pinhead. Seeing flies buzzing around on regular basis can also mean an infestation had occurred as well as the presence of maggots (conically shaped and often a grey or creamy white color).

Small Flies

Small flies can be a problem in many areas of a hotel. They can be found anywhere there is wet organic material. This includes kitchens and bathrooms and maintenance closets and lobbies. In comparison to other species, small fly problems can be quickly resolved once the source is identified.

Signs of Infestation:

One major sign of a small fly invasion is a sudden swarm of flies in a guest room or  an open area. The is an indication that dozens of eggs have already hatched and developed from a source that must be located. Hoteliers should seek help from the pest-control and pest management experts as soon as possible,

Bottle Flies AKA Blowflies

Bottle flies or blow flies, are large insects known for their metallic blue or green color. They can enter a hotel or other hospitality property via gaps in the exterior where they feed upon any and all decaying matter they can find. 

There are several problems associated with this species. They are vectors of disease and their presence can cause serious sanitation scrutiny among inspectors. Their incessant buzzing turns hotel patrons off and often results in a loss of customers and a decrease in that all-important bottom line.

Infestation Indicators:

The most common sign of bottle flies are the presence of either the adults themselves or their larvae, which the case of an infestation, can usually be spotted resting on surfaces or buzzing around potential food or odor sources.


Ants are attracted to hotel rooms because the provide food in the form of spilled juice or soda, sweets or food crumbs. If the room has a kitchenette, care must be taken not to leave food or dirty dishes on the counter. Spotting an ant problem can be difficult because there are many signs that are easily missed, and they are most active after sundown.

Pittsburgh Ant Control For Businesses

Evidence of Infestation:

Large numbers of live ants milling about is an unmistakable indication that a hotel room or area is infested. Many ant species also leave visible pheromone trails that mark their activity. Lastly, their nests resemble small piles of dirt and are easily detected. Our pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pestco can easily eradicate these pests from any hotel property.


Gnats can be a problem for hotels especially during the warmer months of the year. They are usually found in outdoor lounging or dining areas and they can be a definite nuisance to guests. They also reflect poorly on hotel maintenance and sanitation particularly. While not dangerous to humans, a fungus gnat infestation can be a nuisance indoors, as clouds of these tiny pests swarm and settle repeatedly into eyes, noses and sometimes even unsuspecting mouths. They are attracted to moisture and like mosquitoes, thrive in still, standing water.

Signs of Infestation:

The most obvious indicator that a hotel room is infested with gnats is their presence, as there is never just one gnat. Wherever they are seen, there are always many of them.

How Do You Keep Your Pittsburgh Hotel Pest-Free?

Pest control is vital to the successful operation of any and every Pittsburgh hotel. Failure to manage pests can lead to serious legal consequences including: the closure of the premises, fines; prosecution and disastrous drops in food hygiene rating scores, all of which can lead to an inferior reputation and a loss in visitor traffic and sales.

We are a five-star, family-run business that has been in continuous operation since the mid 1940s, when an enterprising Lithuanian-born, enterprising businessman named Milton Zlotnik operated the world’s first commercial air freshener service route.

A few years later, he added pest-control to his growing list of customer options. Since 1948, our professional pest control specialists have been providing pest-control and pest-management solutions throughout Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the Virginia Panhandle.


Pestco Pittsburgh Professional Hornet Control


Our main selling point concerns the incorporation of a pest exclusion policy because of the fact that it’s much easier and safer for the environment to keep pests out of a hotel or any other commercial space than it is to eradicate an infestation once it takes hold.

Our integrated pest management services are cost-effective and safe for the environment because our products are 100% sustainable and their solutions are based upon both biology and the natural life cycle of pests.

In Conclusion

If you own or manage a hotel anywhere throughout the Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania area, call our teams today for complete peace of mind tomorrow about your pest-free hotel or hospitality property. 

Final thought about pest control:

Keep calm and exterminate, exterminate and exterminate! ~ Pinterest

Photo Credits: Pixabay

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