Bed bugs infesting your hotel can be an unmitigated disaster for your establishment’s reputation and bottom line. Unfortunately, customers who unknowingly carry bugs or eggs on their clothing or in their luggage can introduce bed bugs into your hotel.
With an average hotel accommodating thousands of guests each year, keeping every single bed bug off your property is next to impossible. However, hotel owners can take a number of steps to detect and eradicate bed bugs on their property before they become a serious issue. The following steps can safeguard your property and give your hotel the best chance of avoiding a full-blown bed bug infestation.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Bed bugs reproduce incredibly quickly, and dealing with a small colony of bugs will be much faster and easier than eradicating a multi-room infestation. You should have a professional pest control company conduct inspections on a regular basis to give you the best chance of detecting smaller clusters of bugs before they have a chance to breed.
Experienced pest control personnel can conduct visual inspections to look for the telltale signs bed bugs leave behind, which are often easier to spot than the bugs themselves. However, visual inspections can be time-consuming, and uniformed pest control personnel spending long periods on your property won’t exactly put your guests at ease.
For faster, less intrusive inspections, choose a pest control service that offers sniffer dog detection services. With their incredibly sensitive noses, a well-trained dog can detect the presence of a single bug in a matter of minutes.
Services that use sniffer dogs can be on and off your property in a much shorter time, and most guests will not associate the presence of cute dogs with potential bed bug problems. These dogs are also trained to ignore the scent of dead beg bugs, so you won’t have to worry about false positives occurring because of a previous bed bug problem that has already been eradicated.
Passive interception devices are another effective way to detect bed bugs quickly. These simple trapping devices are placed in hidden areas inside hotel rooms, such as under beds and behind furniture, and will capture and contain any bed bugs that fall into them. These traps can be inspected on a daily basis by your maintenance and/or cleaning staff.
Educate Your Staff
Daily professional bed bug inspections would be cripplingly expensive for most hotels, so educating your staff on bed bug detection and prevention will give you a better chance of detecting bed bugs as soon as possible. Many pest control services that work on commercial properties offer employee training services, and can teach your staff how to spot the most common signs of bed bug infestation.
Bear in mind that your staff can transmit bed bugs to your hotel just as easily as your guests. Employee-only areas, such as break rooms, can be a safe haven for bed bugs, especially if they are not cleaned as regularly as guest rooms and public areas. Make sure that your staff are trained to detect bed bug warning signs in these employee-only areas, and reassure them that they will not be reprimanded for reporting problems.
Consider Room Design
Making a few, inexpensive modifications to the design of your hotel’s rooms can also be an effective way to minimize bed bug problems. For example, remove fabric-covered headboards and dust ruffles from the beds to give bed bugs less places to hide.
However, you should also consider other aspects of room design, as bed bugs can hide and breed in almost any crack or crevice. Consider replacing traditional fabric drapes and curtains with plastic or timber blinds, and choose upholstered chairs and couches with fixed, non-removable cushioning.
If your guests carry bed bugs in their luggage, they can spread bugs into your hotel by placing luggage on beds or chairs. Installing additional luggage racks in your rooms can be a surprisingly effective way to keep your upholstered furniture bed bug–free.
if you have any more questions about effective bed bug prevention methods for hotels, contact the bed bug control specialists at A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.