Bed Bug Treatment

Hotels

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Six rules to show housekeeping how to spot the signs of bed bugs

There is evidence to suggest that an increase in bed bugs is related to a global increase in international travel (bed bugs are known to travel in luggage or clothing). Hoteliers are at risk of both accumulating and spreading bed bug infestations due to the high volumes of people that pass through their establishments. However, hotels can help protect themselves from bed bug issues through the simple act of education.

Training your housekeeping team on how to spot the early signs of bed bugs allows hotels to act swiftly on any potential pest threats, protecting both your hotel guests and your brand reputation.

1. Inspect the entire room (not just the bed !)

A common misconception about bed bugs is that they are only found on beds and mattresses. Bed bugs will hide in small cracks and crevices close to the bed, in skirting boards, light fittings, sockets, picture frames or bedside cabinets. When checking a hotel room for signs of bed bugs, housekeeping staff should also carefully check:

  • along the seams, inside covers and around the zips of sofas and chairs
  • where furniture, skirting boards and carpets meet the wall
  • along the seals of doors and drawers as well as the joints
  • around ornaments such as lamps and picture frames

2. Investigate customer complaints

Customer complaints, whether they be face-to-face or in online review sites about finding insects bites, can often hint that you might have a bed bug problem. Although it is difficult to identify a bed bug bite as everybody reacts differently to them, any concerns from customers around bites should be investigated immediately. Insect bites could point towards a potential bed bug infestation. However, bear in mind that mosquitoes and fleas might also be the source for insect bites.

3. Check for eggs

Bed bug eggs are a common sign of an infestation. When inspecting a room for bed bugs, housekeeping should look for bed bug eggs as well as nymphs and shed skins.

Bed bug eggs are laid in batches of between 1 and 5 eggs. They are approximately 1 mm in length and are a grain like milky white colour. Bed bug eggs are usually laid singly or in clusters within cracks and crevices such as the joints of furniture and between floors, walls and skirting boards.

4. Inspect adjoining rooms

In hotels, bed bugs can spread easily to adjacent rooms either beside, below or above the original infested room. After identifying the signs of bed bugs, it is highly advised that housekeeping give a thorough inspection for bed bugs in adjacent rooms.

5. Investigate stains

After bed bugs has fed they will often defecate. Their excrement can be found in the form of dark/black stains located on the mattress and surrounding bedding. Housekeeping staff should be on the lookout for any suspicious looking stains around these areas to help spot the first  signs of bed bugs.

6. Follow your nose

The discarded exoskeletons, feces and pheromones emitted by bed bugs produce an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent. Detection of this scent could indicate you have a large bed bug infestation in your hotel.

Housekeeping staff should be aware of this and investigate the problem if they discover an unpleasant, strange odour in your bedroom.

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