Hotelier’s across the country are preparing for one of the busiest travel seasons. Spring break is certainly one of the most anticipated times of the year for hotels. Peak seasons bring with it the satisfaction of high rentals and, in turn, high revenues but also the stress of ensuring that the hotel staff is able to keep up with guest’s needs so everyone has a great hotel experience. Bed bugs are one not-so-uncommon guest that could make an appearance at your hotel this spring break. Are you prepared?
Bed bugs are an all too familiar problem for most hoteliers. Whether or not you have experienced the pain of an infestation at your hotel, bed bugs should be a part of your spring break preparedness plan. Bed bugs do not discriminate and any of your hotel guests can easily bring along a few bed bugs with them when they arrive at your facility. In fact, according to a 2015 study by the National Pest Management Association, hotels are one of the top three locations pest professionals report finding bed bugs.
Just one single impregnated bed bug could result in a full-blown infestation at your facility in little time. The aftermath of an infestation typically varies. You will undoubtedly have to place the affected hotel room ‘out of order’ and best management practice recommends you treat surrounding rooms as well, since bed bugs can easily infest neighboring units. If the infestation is uncovered by a hotel guest and not handled properly, it could result in a social media firestorm.
While bed bugs are not considered to be a seasonal pest, peak travel times bring with it an increase in bed bug pressure. As the number of visitors to a hotel, motel or resort increase so does the likelihood of bed bugs being introduced. A bed bug introduction can easily be overlooked when the hotel staff is under time constraints to turn a room over to the next incoming guest.
This spring break, don’t take a chance that bed bugs might pay a visit to your hotel. Be prepared with this Hotel Bed Bug Preparation Checklist:
Educate your staff. Ensure that your housekeeping staff that sees the bedding daily knows the signs of a bed bug infestation and is on constant vigil.
Take a proactive stance. Waiting for an infestation to occur so you can react is not a good approach to bed bugs. Ensure your design choices are not inviting a bed bug infestation to occur. Learn more about the powerful modifications you can make in hotel room design to deter bed bugs.
Protect your guests not just the bedding. If you have encasements on your mattress and box spring for the purpose of protecting against a bed bug infestation consider this: encasements only protect the bed. Encasements only trap bed bugs that may have been missed or are otherwise covered inside. They do nothing to prevent newly introduced bed bugs into a room or those bed bugs that escape through a ripped or torn encasement (an unfortunate often event) from establishing a new infestation. An active mattress liner will kill bed bugs, and unlike encasements (ActiveGuard Mattress Liners) are labeled to prevent bed bug introductions from turning into full-fledged infestations.
Have a bed bug action plan in place. Is your hotel staff prepared should a guest be stricken with bed bugs at your hotel? Properly handling a bed bug incident could make the difference between whether or not this incident makes the nightly news. If you don’t already have an action plan in place consider these ten tips for creating one.
Monitor your hotel name online. Ensure that your social media manager or other person responsible for digital marketing monitors your hotel’s reputation online. Should a complaint about bed bugs pop up on Tripadvisor.com or bedbugregistry.com be prepared with an action plan to respond to the complaint.
Take prompt action at the first sign. If your staff does report evidence of a bed bug infestation take immediate action and work closely with your pest professional. Be responsive to your guest in the unfortunate event that they uncover the problem. Bed bugs are prolific breeders. Delaying treatment will allow the infestation to spread and cause treatment to be longer and more complex.
Learn more about how your can protect your hotel at www.hotelbedbugprevention.com.