After many years of virtual eradication from the hospitality industry, the bed bug is back and showing up in even the most exclusive hotels and resorts. Although no one can pinpoint the exact cause of their resurgence, one thing is for sure – these tiny bugs pose a big threat to your establishment.
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, blood-feeding insects that can hitchhike in a traveler’s suitcase or clothing. While bed bugs aren’t dangerous (they have not been shown to transmit disease), their bites can cause irritating, itchy bumps on guests. More importantly, they can seriously harm your business by upsetting guests, generating bad publicity, damaging your reputation or worse, raising legal concerns.
“While you can’t prevent bed bugs in hotels from being introduced,” says Dr. Joelle Olson, Ecolab Pest Elimination Staff Scientist, “you can stop them from developing into an infestation and spreading throughout your facility by being more proactive.” Dr. Olson recommends hotels teach their housekeeping staff how to inspect for and recognize the telltale signs of an infestation:
• Examine all bed sheets for blood stains.
• Examine the folds and seams of the mattress, mattress cover and box spring for signs of activity.
• Examine headboards closely for bed bugs.
• Examine wallpaper and/or moldings around headboards.
Vigilance is key to preventing bed bug infestations. As Dr. Joelle Olson notes, “Daily inspections of rooms – and quick action if activity is detected – should nip bed bugs before they have a chance to bite you in your bottom line.”