Prevention of Bed Bugs in Hotels: Help Me!
The prevention of bed bugs in your hotel begins with education. Knowing how to identify the problem and whom to contact when a bed bug situation arises are the smartest choices you can make when it comes to preventing bed bugs at your hotel.
Catching your infestation early is critical. You may not be able to control when a bed bug infestation will happen in your hotel, but you can control how big it gets before it’s eradicated.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs look like flat ladybugs. Sometimes they’ll look somewhat purple and red instead of brown; it just depends on if they’ve fed or not. Their eggs are tiny and not easily detected by the human eye as they’re white. If you know what you’re looking for though, you’ll see them.
Juveniles may be your only sign of bed bugs as well, so look out for bugs that look like poppy seeds.
Sometimes other bugs are confused with bed bugs and concerned customers notify staff. That’s why it’s imperative that you and all your employees know how to correctly identify a wayward insect from a bed bug.
How Do I Prevent Bed Bugs in My Hotel?
Following these steps will help you prevent bed bugs at your hotel:
- Track where infestations keep happening.
- Train your staff to identify bed bugs.
- Perform regular inspections of each room.
- Clean linens properly after every customer.
- Vacuuming needs to be done properly.
Tracking Bed Bug Infestation Locations in Your Hotel
You’ll want to make sure that you’re properly documenting where infestations happen in your hotel. Details like where they were spotted, how bad the infestation was before it was stopped, and if any common areas were affected like sofas or waiting rooms.
This will help ensure that professionals will be able to assist you more efficiently every time a bed bug is noticed.
Your Hotel Cleaning Staff Needs Bed Bug Training
Training the people that are in the room most often is your primary line of defense. Make sure they know what to look for while they’re changing sheets, collecting towels, straightening up, and wiping down surfaces.
It only takes one customer for a bed bug infestation to take hold, so the earlier it’s caught, the earlier you can call a professional crew in to get the job done. Avoiding a loss in revenue in the long term is the goal, so taking the time to train your staff on bed bugs is worth the investment.
Regular Room Inspections for Bed Bugs
All rugs and other tapestries in the room need to be inspected regularly to make sure that there are no signs of bed bugs in the room. Appliances like the phone, lamps, and furniture will need to be moved around during this inspection.
Make sure to check couch cushions, mattresses, box springs, mattress covers, and spare blankets for any signs of bugs. If you suspect an infestation, treat it as an infestation by seeking professional help immediately.
Look in more uncommon places as well like where the carpeting meets the baseboard, curtains, or around electrical outlets.
What To Look for During a Room Inspection for Bed Bugs
Keep a lookout for their tiny white eggs, dark spots, little red stains, and their skins. Rubbing a wet rag over the spots and stains mentioned will smear if the coloration was caused by a bed bug. They smear because their fecal matter is made of clotted blood.
You’ll probably see the above before you spot an actual bug. Putting your eyes on a live bug should always be immediate confirmation that you need to get a professional in there ASAP.
All Linens Need to Be Cleaned Thoroughly Between Hotel Guests
They’re called bed bugs for a reason, and that’s because they like to hang out in the crevices in and around the bed so they can easily feed at night. All linens on the bed and used towels need to be properly washed and dried between every customer.
Washing the laundry in hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes is needed, followed directly by a high heat dry cycle for at least another 30 minutes. You can outsource this task to a professional crew so it can be done right.
Keep the housecleaner’s cart free of bed bugs too by washing the linen bags every day with the same precautions as you do with the laundry. Make sure your staff knows to keep clean fabrics away from those that are soiled to help eliminate cross-contamination.
Proper Vacuuming and Bed Bugs at Your Hotel
Not only do the nooks and crannies in your hotel need an inspection, but they also need a regular thorough vacuum. Seams of chairs and sofas, around the box spring, the headboard, behind the tv, and behind and under all furniture that’s moved for the occasion need vacuuming regularly.
The vacuums need to be quickly inspected between rooms and the bag removed before entering another area of the hotel. Check the bristles for any signs of bugs and quickly dispose of the used vacuum bag outside in its own plastic bag.
Who Can Help Me with a Bed Bug Infestation in My Hotel?
The term fleabag joint is not something you want to apply to your hotel.
Remember, you don’t have to notify your guests of a bed bug infestation. That’s why it’s best to catch it before a customer notices and makes a complaint, which can ruin your reputation. Just because bed bugs don’t spread disease doesn’t mean they aren’t disgusting pests.
While you might be able to save the customer experience with things like room upgrades and free food, calling in trained professionals that know how to eradicate pests from your hotel is paramount to stopping the infestation early.
If your hotel business is dealing with bed bugs, call in a company that knows how to deal with commercial decontamination and extermination. We’ll be there within 3 hours to eliminate your problem with your confidentiality in mind.
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