Know Thy Enemy: Bed Bug Facts Every Hotelier Needs to Know
Bed bugs are becoming the bane of hotels across the country. An infestation can permanently scar a hotel brand when an outraged guest has his or her vacation destroyed by a bed bug encounter and then takes to social media or even the news with their story. Furthermore, potential guests are assessing whether a hotel has reported incidents of bed bugs; if so, they move on and reserve a room in a different facility! In either scenario, the loss of hotel revenue and reputation can be irreparably damaged.
Bed bugs can easily hide evading housekeeping staff inspections and pest control professionals. It takes just one impregnated female bed bug or several missed eggs to be introduced by a hotel guest or your own staff to restart the infestation cycle.
Hotel rooms have regular guest turnover and are constantly challenged with new bed bug introductions; these pests are notorious hitchhikers! Once an infestation establishes, bed bugs are incredibly difficult to control. Hotels throughout the country are protecting their guests, reputation and stakeholder’s equity by educating themselves on this blood-sucking pest.
The following facts can help you better understand what you’re up against when it comes to bed bugs.
1. Bed bugs go through a number of stages from egg to adult (called “instars”). They must have a blood meal in order to advance to the next stage. These insects are VERY efficient and effective at finding their next meal.
3. Adult bed bugs can go for prolonged periods of time between blood meals. Some research has suggested that bed bugs can live for an entire year without a blood meal. A few months with no report of bed bugs DOES NOT mean you’ve necessarily cleared a particular room.
4. Adult females can lay up to five to seven eggs per day and two hundred over their lifetime.
5. Bed bugs are very difficult to remove once they find a new home and infestations can grow quickly. Professional pest control companies often schedule several treatment visits to eradicate an infestation and use multipronged treatment programs to get full control. Low-priced treatments are likely to get low quality results.
6. Having a solid field-proven bed bug prevention program in place can stop a bed bug incident from turning into a full-blow infestation. Savvy hoteliers are taking a preventative approach to the program rather than waiting to react.
7. There is no economic or social preference for bed bugs – they indiscriminately affect people around the country and a roadside motel as easily as they can a luxury resort.
8. People and their luggage are a main mode of transport for bed bugs. Transient facilities such as hotels and motels are under immense pressure from new infestations.