The hotel industry has been battling bed bugs for, well, as long as there have been hotels.
If you traveled back in time to ancient Egypt or medieval England or colonial America, you’d likely find some frazzled property manager wondering how to keep all kinds of insects out of their establishment.
Then we invented pesticides, and for a few decades, we were winning the war. These pests were all but eradicated. The phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite” was a cutesy joke, not a warning.
But in the past few years, they have made an unwelcome comeback, infesting movie theaters, homes, schools and properties.
And this presents properties with a serious problem. When these bugs show up at your establishment, they’re endangering one of your chief selling points: a clean, comfortable place to sleep.
That’s why it’s important to come up with a bed bug action plan to deal with infestations. Here are a few steps to get started from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Spotting bed bugs
Part of crafting a plan is knowing how to spot physical signs of the tiny insects:
- Rusty or reddish stains on sheets or mattresses.
- Dark spots roughly the size of a pen mark, which are bed bug excrement and could seep into the fabric, the way a marker would.
- Eggs/egg shells, and the pale-yellow skins bed bug nymphs shed as they get older.
- Finally, keep an eye out for the little bugs themselves, which are flat and oval-shaped. They are light brown or reddish brown – they get darker after consuming blood – and measure about .16 to .2 inches long.
When they bite, small red welts appear on the skin. These bites can cause swelling or itching, although there are some people who can have a serious allergic reaction, which needs immediate medical attention.
How to Detect Them
- Train your staff to watch for the signs of their presence that we mentioned above. Have them check beds, bedding, baseboards and luggage.
- Make occasional checks behind headboards, and in cracks and crevices in the walls.
- Bag all dirty linens and keep them away from clean linens. Keep the dirty linens in a wheeled tub to prevent bed bugs from traveling from infected linens to other surfaces.
- Have your staff members keep belongings in an area that’s removed from your cleaning/laundry supplies. This will prevent them from bringing the critters into your property.
- InnStyle has another blog with more information on how your hospitality property can avoid bed bugs and what to do if they are found.
What if a guest finds them in their room?
Your bed bug action plan should include steps to take when a guest spots one:
- Provide them with a new room right away, and offer to launder or dry clean their clothing. Clothes that might be infested need to be washed and dried on the hottest possible cycles.
- Any clothing that can be dry cleaned can go in the dryer for 20 minutes before heading to the dry cleaner.
- Give guests plastic bags to hold their luggage until it can be steam-cleaned, or treated by a pest control expert.
- Have a pest control professional inspect the room.
InnStyle has Products that can Help
InnStyle offers mattress encasements and bed bug sprays as a potential solution. They would be happy to answer your questions and offer their own advice on which specific products would work best for your property. Their ultimate goal is to help you find a product that keeps your guests safe and comfortable. InnStyle can be reached at 267-354-6020 or 800-877-4667. Their website is https://www.innstyle.com/.
to confirm bed bugs are present.
If you’re looking for additional ways to win the battle against bed bugs, turn to InnStyle.
Among our various bed bug prevention products is Rest Easy, an all-natural bed bug killer which can be sprayed around the edge of a carpet or mattress.
We also carry bed bug mattress encasements which trap and kill the bugs by cutting them off from food and water.
To learn more about our bed bug protection offerings, contact InnStyle. Our sales team looks forward to helping you find a product that keeps your guests safe and comfortable.