When you first start working somewhere, you have no idea how your employer may impact on your life outside the office. Let me give you an example of how working for Rentokil has made me change my habits….
I went to France with a colleague who was doing some research on bed bug treatments as her translator. We went to a youth hostel and a hotel which had both had confirmed infestations – and I have to be honest it was not pleasant. We found, well she found, dead and live specimens, as well as discarded skins following moulting - honestly, it made my stomach turn. The live ones were actually quite big, I was really surprised.
There was “spotting” all over the bed frames, which can look a bit like ink spots to the untrained eye but which I now know to be bed bug excretions of digested blood from a poor unsuspecting victim who only wanted a good nights sleep.
Now, every time I stay in a hotel room – I have to check it for bed bugs. So here are my top tips (something I never thought I would learn whilst at work):
- before unpacking anything, put your case and bags as far away from the bed/furniture as you can – the bathroom floor is best.
- Next, pull the bed away from the wall, 6 inches if you can (they can easily hide behind headboards).
- I also turn up the mattress and do a quick check of the seams and all around any buttons for “spotting”. If you find spotting on the sheets that’s even worse!
To date (touch wood) I haven’t found any, but the day I do I will demand to be moved immediately. And not to a room on the same corridor, or above or below that room as the nasty little bugs can crawl surprisingly far in search of their next meal.
Sweet dreams – don’t let the bed bugs bite!