Bed bugs certainly do not discriminate. According to a recent study, a five-star luxury resort can be stricken with a bed bug infestation as easily as a roadside stop. It is wise to include weekly bed bug inspections on the ‘to do’ list of your housekeeping staff to uncover a problem before your guests are confronted.
The objective of the inspection is to find bed bugs and/or signs of activity. Remember that bed bugs like to rest in small, tight spaces so don’t forget to inspect those as you probe. The headboard and bed skirt are two highly important areas to inspect because neither of these are disturbed when the room is serviced.
Consider adding the following steps to your housekeeping staff’s duties:
- Use a good flashlight to help you with your inspection.
- Begin with gentle exhales along the top corners and sides of the headboard. Bed bugs are drawn to gently applied carbon dioxide contained within your breath.
- Use the flashlight to look at the edges of the headboard a couple times during the inspection, looking for moving bed bugs. Slide a credit card along the headboard and the attached wall to see if you collect any signs of bed bugs (eggs, fecal matter and shed outer skeletons). REMEMBER…if a credit card can slide through so can a bed bug.
- Pull back the bedding, one piece at a time, from each of the two corners at the head of the bed, once again looking for signs of bed bugs.
- Next, inspect the mattress edges at these two corners focusing on the rolled edges, tufts, and any labels or handles attached to the mattress. Lift the top corners of the mattress and inspect underneath (you usually will see the top of the bed skirt under the mattress).
- Pull up the two top corners of the bed skirt and inspect the inside edge and under the fabric edge. Pay special attention to the creases, as bed bugs frequently will deposit eggs along these edges.
- Repeat steps 4 through 6 at the bottom of the bed; take your time as the size of juvenile bed bugs can make them easy to miss.
- Open the drawers of the end tables next to the bed and inspect the inside and the handle screw heads in each drawer.
- Next, remove and inspect under removable cushions on any chair or couch. Check the zipper and seams of the cushions. Pay special attention if furniture is highly upholstered or tufted. Do similarly for other furniture items in the room.
- If the luggage rack is fabric covered and attached to a wall, push down and inspect the fabric along the wall edge.
- Inspect the underside surface cracks and crevices of the desk chair.
Note that this inspection is focused upon the bed and upholstered furniture, where bed bugs are most likely to find harborage. Any additional inspection areas would offer results that are more reflective of the room’s bed bug status..
Notify management immediately should any sign of bed bugs be found. Immediately take the room out of service and work together with a professional pest management firm to gain control of the infestation so that the room can be returned to service. Ensure that your service professional uses ActiveGuard® Mattress Liners on the mattress and/or box spring to extend the control of your heat or chemical treatment and also to offer prevention against future bed bug outbreaks. To learn more or purchase ActiveGuard®, visit us online!