Summer travel season is in full swing and bed bugs can be a fast-growing problem for premium hotels and boutique guest houses alike. Bed bugs do not discriminate based on how many stars your hotel / guest house of choice has. Bed bugs are not insects of filth…and are hitchhikers…we transport them from place to place! Notorious for negatively impacting brand image and customer satisfaction, bed bugs difficult to eliminate and can result in revenue loss even into vacant rooms if overlooked, or left untreated. The influx of travelers to and from exotic destinations calls for increased efforts in regular, informed inspections and prompt remedial actions.
Bed bugs are now a significant problem all over the world. There has been a sharp increase in bed bug infestations around the globe since the early 2000’s. In 2016 in Ireland, for example, there was an 80% increase, compared to the same period a year earlier. With the increase in travel everywhere this time of the year, the problem becomes more prevalent.
How to Check Hotel Rooms for Bed Bugs
Mattress and bed frame:
- Inspect the headboard, and check between and design patterns. Move the bed away from the wall to check behind and underneath.
- Check all the crevices, corners, joints, carvings and over any small cracks and holes on the bed frame.
- Inspect the bedding itself. This includes checking the inside and outside of the pillow cases, duvet covers, the fitted sheet, paying close attention to the seams. Don’t just look for activity…look for signs (blood stains, etc.)
- look in the drawers, particularly along the joints and the handles
- Inspect behind and underneath the bedside cabinet
- Check ornaments, lamps, and picture frames.
Wardrobe and Skirting Boards:
- Inspect wardrobes, drawers and other pieces of furniture. This includes inspecting behind, on top of, and beneath, if possible
- Check in between joints, handles and any crevices, cracks and dents.
- Inspect the gaps between the skirting boards and walls.
- Usually the foldable suitcase stand is stored in the wardrobe; check this item as well, especially along the crevices. Remember, bed bugs are hitchhikers, and this is one of the first places we place our suitcases!
Sofa, chair and throws:
- Remove the cushions from any seats and check above and below. Look in between joints and crevices.
- Remove the covers off the cushions and check the seams, corners and zips for bed bugs.
- Check where the webbing wraps around the frame
- Inspect along the joints on the stand
What signs of bed bugs should you be looking for?
- Live Bed Bugs – Bedbugs are small, flat and oval shaped. They have six legs and two antennae and are a reddish-brown color. Adult bed bugs are usually around 5-6mm in size.
- Blood smears – This happens when a bed bug has been accidentally crushed after a meal and look like small red stains. This comes from the undigested blood meal in its body.
- Dark/black stains – This comes from the dark liquid bed bugs excrete after a meal.
- Shed skin – A bed bug sheds its skin in order to grow and move on to the next stage of their life cycle. Once they have fully matured they no longer go through this process. Sightings of shed skin usually point towards indications of a large infestation.
- Bed bug eggs – Bed bugs can lay anywhere between 200 and 500 eggs over a two month period, and are usually laid in batches of 10. Bed bug eggs are 1mm long and are a pearly white color.
If you have found yourself with a bed bug problem, the best way to remove bed bugs from your home or business is to enlist the help of a pest control professional, such as S&S Termite and Pest Control.