Bed bugs are some of the most stubborn pests around, which creates certain difficulties for hotel owners. These tiny pests are difficult to get rid of since they can hide in all kinds of places, survive without food for long periods, and are just as likely to infect clean rooms as dirty ones. Hotel owners who want to prevent bed bug infestations and maintain their reputations among guests can find some helpful tips for how to get started below.
1. Consider Redecorating
Bed bugs like to hide during the day in dark, small spaces, such as cracks in furniture and flooring or the seams of mattresses, then come out at night to feed. Removing rugs and purchasing Bed Bug Proof Furniture can go a long way towards stopping the spread. It won’t prevent guests from bringing in unwanted insect guests, but it may stop bed bugs from spreading and make it easier to prevent full-blown infestations.
For hotels that are uniquely prone to bed bugs, it’s worth taking additional preventative action before an infestation occurs. In addition to replacing furniture and choosing sealed flooring, it’s also worth buying mattress and pillow protectors. Hotel owners can also take their prevention strategies one step further and partner with local exterminators to schedule routine inspections so they can catch any problems early.
3. Educate the Staff
A hotel’s staff is its best defense against bed bugs, but only if everyone knows what to look for and what practices to follow to keep the pests at bay. Teach the cleaning staff to look for all the common signs of bedbugs, including:
Rust-colored stains on mattresses or bed sheets
Tiny eggs or eggshells in the bedding
Dark brown or black frass
Live bed bugs
While no hotel owner wants to start getting reports from staff that there are signs of a bed bug infestation in one or more rooms, it’s better to hear this bad news from a cleaning professional than a guest. When educating staff about what to look for, it’s also wise to establish a set reporting procedure so people know who to tell about their findings and what other steps to take.
4. Monitor Moisture Levels
Bed bugs thrive in moist environments, so keeping the rooms dry can help to deter the pests, especially during the humid summer months. Of course, guests won’t want to stay in the hotel if the relative humidity is too low, but the good news is that humidity levels that feel comfortable to humans can feel too dry to bed bugs and discourage them from taking up permanent residence.
Don’t Give Up
Controlling bed bugs can be tough, but don’t give up. If cleaning alone doesn’t do the trick, try changing the furniture. If new chairs, tables, and bed frames don’t keep the bugs at bay, buy mattress protectors. Keep trying until the strategy works, because guests won’t want to keep staying at the hotel if they’re stuck dealing with repeated bed bug problems upon returning home.