Evidence suggests that the rise in global travel has led to the increase of bed bugs. Hotel operators are at risk of both accumulating and spreading bed bug infestations due to the high amount of human traffic they receive. Did you know that bed bug infestation is on a rise in Ireland? How can your business remain vigilant and protect your brand reputation as the travel season kicks off?
Training your housekeeping team on how to spot the early signs of bed bugs or where bed bugs come from is an essential step that allows hotels to act early on any potential pest threats, protecting hotel guests and brand reputation.
1. Inspect the entire room
A common misconception about bed bugs is that they are only found on bed frames and mattresses. Bed bugs will hide in small cracks and crevices near the bed, in skirting boards or bedside cabinets.
When checking a hotel room for bed bugs, housekeeping staff should also 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. Check for eggs
Bed bug eggs are a common sign of an infestation. Did you know that bed bug eggs are laid in batches of between 1 and 5 eggs each day? 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.
When inspecting a room for bed bugs, housekeeping should look for bed bug eggs. If you found any bed bug eggs, you should contact a professional bed bug control expert immediately.
3. Inspect adjoining rooms
In hotels, bed bugs can spread easily to adjacent rooms either beside, below or above.
After identifying the signs of bed bugs, it is highly advised that housekeeping give a thorough inspection for bed bugs in adjacent rooms.
4. Investigate stains
After a bed bug has fed they will often defecate. Their excrement can be found in the form of dark/black stains located on the mattress and surrounding area.
Housekeeping staff should be on the lookout for any suspicious looking stains around these areas to help spot the signs of bed bugs.
5. 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 the smell and investigate the problem if they discover an unpleasant, strange odour in your bedroom.
6. 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’s not easy to identify a bed bug bite as everybody reacts differently to them, any concerns or complaint from customers around bites should be investigated immediately. This is to avoid damaging the hotel’s reputation.
Insect bites could point towards a potential bed bug infestation. Bear in mind that mosquitoes and fleas might also be the source for insect bites.
Do you have a bed bug problem in your hotel? Contact us today to speak to a local bed bug control expert near you.