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How Do Hotels Prevent Bed Bugs?

Spring break. It sends thousands of individuals and families fleeing their snow covered states in search of warm weather. Palm trees, loads of sunshine and temperatures that make the thermometer soar. Yup, it sounds delightful.

Hotels love Spring Break. Like, they really love it. That’s because it’s a peak travel time and allows them to charge peak prices for rooms. One downside though, bed bugs. Bed bugs have always been a problem for hotels, motels and other commercial lodgings.

That’s because they have a high rate of occupancy turnover which increases the risk for bed bugs. Welcoming visitors through their doors every day while at the same time saying so long to tourists heading home, it is no simple task for hotel owners and managers to keep their rooms and public areas free of these bugs.

In response to this predicament, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) developed guidelines to help the hospitality industry combat bed bugs. While they outline a clear response to bed bugs in hotels and commercial lodgings, we don’t have time to go over the entire list.

Instead we’ve highlighted a few for you.

  • Do not ignore guest complaints of bites or bugs.
  • Don’t take a room out of operation for a few weeks to let the bed bug problem clear up. It won’t. Contact an experienced pest control firm to get rid of bed bugs.
  • Develop a bed bug action plan that gives employees clear direction in regards to bed bugs.
  • Train staff on bed bugs including identification, prevention and control.
  • Respond quickly to a bed bug problem. This includes showing guests empathy, taking the room out of service, and contacting your pest management provider to name a few.
  • Avoid infestations by scheduling routine bed bug inspections with pest control professionals

If you’re one of the lucky ones getting out of town for a brief respite from normal life, make sure you:

  • Check hotel reviews on sites like Yelp and even Bed Bug Registry. Take these recommendations with a grain of salt. Just because a hotel may have had a bed bug incident reported it does not mean they’re currently infested with bed bugs. Bed bug problems are just as likely to occur in five star hotels as they are in budget motels.
  • Pack your belongings in hard shelled suitcases. This makes it harder for bed bugs to latch on. You should also consider packing clothing and other items in sealable plastic bags.
  • Inspect your hotel room upon arrival. Do not bring your suitcase in until you’ve cleared the room. Check the mattress and box spring for blood spots, fecal matter and live bugs. Hint, they are often found along seams and around buttons.
  • Report any suspicious findings to hotel management immediately and do not stay in that room. Hotel management should provide accommodations well away from the infested room. You may also consider finding a different place to stay.
  • Guard against infestations at home. Once you return to reality you should inspect belongings for bugs. Do not do this inside your home but in the garage or even driveway. Wash and dry clothing on the hottest setting the fabric can take and treat suitcases.

Bed bug infestations are not just a problem for hotels in warmer climates. Hotels in Pennsylvania are just as likely to run into these reputation damaging pests. Here at Moyer, we offer bed bug services for hotels. For more information on pest control for hotels or to schedule a bed bug inspection for your business, give us a call at 215.799.2010 or fill out the form below and we will contact you.


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