I came across this article from a hotel industry magazine in the UK. It provides hoteliers with some tips on how to deal with a bed bug infestation of their hotel rooms. This is the first time that I have seen a trade magazine for hotels “almost” nail the process and procedures for staying ahead of this menace. Why almost?
They are absolutely right about being pro-active in searching out bed bug infestations. However, the mechanical method they prescribe is completely unproven. Studies have shown that the mechanical “sniffing” devices are easily triggered. Our suggestion is to use a WDDO certified bed bug dog that can differentiate the odors behind the CO2. To date, nothing beats a properly trained dog.
In House Training:
Another piece of advice that I recommend everyone follow. Your cleaning staff is the front line of defense for your hotel. They should be trained to identify the signs of a bed bug infestation and know what procedure to follow when they do. This simple process can save you tens of thousands of dollars by identifying and reacting quickly. You would much rather have your employees identify a bed bug situation than a paying customer.
Another idea that can be useful, but not one I would bet money on. The reason being is that if you encase a mattress that has bed bugs, all you are doing is making a bed bug tomb. Would you like to sleep on a mattress that has live bugs living in it? I sure wouldn’t. Secondly, some of the covers that I have seen on the market are pretty flimsy and tear easily. A miniscule hole is all a bed bug needs to come and go. Once this happens, you have essentially created a bed bug hideout. They can come out to feed and scurry back in when done. What I have found useful with a mattress wrap is that they allow you to easily see the feces and other signs of bed bugs. Because the covers are white, the clues stick out nicely.
Another excellent proactive step a hotelier can take to protect their property from bed bugs. Quarterly canine searches can help you identify any problem rooms and have them heat treated before any customers are affected. Secondly, by keeping a log of all your efforts, you help reduce your legal risk profile. If a customer complains that your management was negligent, you can show proof of your proactive and consistent procedures for dealing with this issue. If a claim ever goes to court, you will be glad you took these steps. Don’t believe me? Talk to your insurer and see what they have to say.
What can I say; they hit the nail squarely on the head. Full room heat treatments are your guarantee that bed bugs will be killed dead. Forget chemicals and box heat etc… Go full room heat and rest assured that your bed bugs are dead!
John, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist