If you are an avid traveller or simply heading out of town for business or pleasure, there are a few things you should know. Bed bugs are a big problem almost anywhere right now, but especially in Toronto that has been rank number 1 city in Canada for bed bugs. They seem almost immune to the use of conventional sprays and pesticides, which allows them to expand their population and infest more areas.
Despite a hotel chain’s best efforts, travellers will sometimes inadvertently spread bed bugs to a hotel room. When that happens, the next traveller to book the room is at risk of picking up that infestation. If you plan on travelling, you should know how to inspect your room for bed bugs so you do not end up with a hard battle on your hands.
1. Entering the Room
When you first arrive in your room, do not bring your belongings inside. Instead, leave them sitting out in the hallway by the door. If you are worried about your things, you can bring them in, but you should not just set them on the floor or any of the furniture. Instead, place them on a top shelf in the closet or inside the bathtub.
2. Inspect the Bed
Make sure you inspect the room closely for signs of bed bugs. Start with the bed since that is where they primarily like to hide. Pull back the covers and look at them closely. Do you see any stains, eggs, nymphs, or live bed bugs? If not, that is good, but it does not mean you are in the clear.
Remove the linens from the bed one by one and inspect the mattress. Carefully check along the seams and crevices of the mattress. Look for rust coloured or dark brown stains, which indicates a bed bug infestation. If you find nothing, re-dress the bed and continue searching the room.
3. Check the Rest of the Furniture
Move on and check the rest of the furniture. Open drawers and use a flashlight to inspect cracks and crevices in there. Carefully check any other upholstered furniture in the room or even the drapes. Drapes that hang to the floor serve as a great hiding spot for bed bugs. You should also check the corners of the ceiling and along baseboards and trim.
4. Inspect the Carpet
Get down close to the floor and check the carpet. If the carpet has thick enough fibres, bed bugs will hide there to stay safe from predators, such as humans. Look for bed bug eggs, nymphs, or even live adult bed bugs. Chances are, you will not likely see a live adult bed bug. They typically stay very well hidden unless there is a bad infestation of them.
5. What to Do if You Find a Bed Bug
If you notice any signs of bed bugs in your room, immediately remove yourself and your belongings. Contact the appropriate hotel staff immediately to make them aware of the situation. Request that they transfer you to a different room and repeat the inspection process yet again.
What Do Hotels Do to Minimize the Risk of Bed Bugs?
What do hotels do to minimize the risk of bed bugs? This is a common question that many travellers can have. Whether you travel frequently or not, perhaps you have heard of bed bugs picked up from hotel rooms. It is not an uncommon tale. Hotel guests will sometimes inadvertently introduce bed bugs in a hotel, which can allow them to spread to others. While it is unfortunate to pick up bed bugs in a hotel, it is not a common occurrence. Hotels often have steps in place to minimize an infestation.
There is no way for a hotel to prevent guests from introducing bed bugs to the establishment. They cannot spray everyone that walks through the door in an assumption that they are bringing bed bugs with them. They also cannot keep a pesticide pumping through the air to kill them. Eventually, bed bugs adapt to pesticides quite quickly.
Instead, staff members use methods of early detection to stay ahead of the problem. Hotels put their staff through training that allows them to identify a bed bug infestation early on to prevent further spread and infestation. The cleaners that enter the room each day are the hotel’s first line of defence against an infestation.
They are supposed to check the beds thoroughly when the change bedding, towels, and clean the room. They also inspect baseboards and areas surrounding any luggage or clothing. At the first sign of a bed bug infestation, they report the problem to the supervisory staff.
Supervisory staff will remove everything from the room for closer inspection and treatment. They steam treat everything and clean thoroughly to remove an infestation. They treat all furniture and carefully search every crack and crevice of the room for bed bugs, nymphs, or eggs.
Hiring Bed Bug Exterminator
Aside from inspection and removal of everything from the room, the hotel will also call in a professional. The professional does another inspection and provides commercial-grade treatments to rid the room and any other area of the hotel of bed bugs. Professional bed bug exterminators will continue to return and perform proper treatment until there are no more bed bugs.
Then, and only then, the hotel will re-assemble the room and open it back up for availability to the public. In the meantime, guests may check into other available rooms as long as they pass bed bug inspections, too.
Tips for Guests
Guests can help hotel staff stay ahead of a bed bug problem. If you are guest, make sure you inspect your room before unpacking your luggage. Place your luggage in the dry tub or shower so it is not on the floor. If there is a closet, you can place it on the top shelf. Inspect your bed carefully for bed bugs. Make sure you also check dresser drawers, baseboards, and other furniture in the room. If you notice signs of bed bugs, report it to hotel staff immediately. They will likely move you to another room free of charge and get on board with treating the affected area.
What To Do If You Found Bed Bugs in a Hotel
Bed bugs are a nightmare to hotel owners. They will ruin hotel reputation and lower the businesses’ good will. The main concern of most hotel owners is what to do if your guests found beg bugs in your hotel. When this happens, issue an apology to your guests immediately. You can either apologize on paper or visit your affect guests immediately and offer an apology. An apology goes a long way to mitigate the possibility of a public relations nightmare. You do not want angry guests ranting on any form of media about the bed bug incident.
— Rich Ed (@_Rich_Ed) September 16, 2018
Better yet, offer a refund to your affected guests. Most car companies use this trick when their customers find defects in their products. Simply tell all your affected guests that the hotel will handle all their bills. This will quell down the anger felt by your guests. You can also throw in a few treats at your cost. Give your guests coupons for some for some time at the sauna, for a meal, or for any other alternative service. This gesture shows that you put your guests first. It is a way of saying sorry with action.
However, the best way to demonstrate your remorse is to take steps to address the bed bug problem. Bed bugs are very resilient parasites. If you find them in some rooms on a particular floor of your hotel, they have most likely invaded the whole floor. You will have to evacuate all the guests who had booked rooms within that floor. Pay all the costs for inconveniencing your guests. You may choose to use the chemical option to get rid of the bed bugs. This is more effective compared to using either heat or freezing cold to wipe them out. Whatever route you choose, your guests should see you doing something about the problem if you ever want them to come back to your hotel.
How To Treat Bed Bugs in A Hotel
Most people don’t consider going to bed at night and being invaded by bed bugs, but they do exist and are the most active at nighttime when people are asleep. Bed bugs are insects that are small in size and they often feed on human blood. The insects can come from many places such as luggage, clothes, furniture, backpacks, and a host of other places, and can be seen with the human eye. The insects are often a bigger problem in places such as hotels, where they can hide in numerous places such as furniture, in the box springs of the beds, in curtains, and in cracks and holes. Treating bed bugs in a hotel can become expensive for hotel owners, especially if there is a bigger problem with the insects invading the entire place. People that rent hotel rooms and discover the problem, should report it immediately to management.
— Mike Stines (@_Watango_) September 11, 2018
Treating bed bugs in a hotel may not be the easiest thing to do since the insects can be harder to find and kill. Detecting the problem early can help alleviate many problems with the insects. Hotels can eliminate many problems with bugs with regular cleaning and disinfecting. Housekeeping staff at hotels can be trained to be on the lookout for problems of this sort, and know that the best type of cleaning for the problem is with soap and water in the hotel rooms. Soap and water often kill the eggs and the insects themselves. Regular vacuuming of the floors by housekeeping staff and management is another way to get rid of the problem.
Often times, it may be necessary for hotel management to call in a pest control company with certain types of chemicals to alleviate the problem. Keeping the rooms clutter-free, and making sure that all the furniture is cleaned and disinfected will guarantee a bug-free visit.