An encounter with a pest in a hotel can ruin a guest’s stay and result in negative comments on social media spreading a bad reputation for the hotel, seriously affecting business. An infestation of pests can also result in authorities taking legal action to ensure public safety, especially if the kitchens, restaurants and bars are affected.
Pests can enter any class of hotel — some are brought in by the guests themselves — so it is essential for every hotel to have effective procedures for preventing, monitoring and controlling pests.
Five of the most common pests that guests encounter in hotels are:
- Bed bugs
Now we will share how to prevent bigbug in your hotel.
In the last two decades bed bugs have become more common with the increase in international travel. Bed bugs are the most difficult pest to prevent from entering a hotel because they are mainly brought onto the premises by guests themselves — even the best hotels can suffer from an infestation.
Bed bugs can survive for several months without feeding so can easily be taken from hotel to hotel in luggage over several trips.
No guest wants to return from a hotel with a set of irritating bites that can last for days. A lingering reminder of a bad experience is far more likely to lead to a complaint on social media.
The key to preventing bed bugs attacking the guests is to identify the problem as early as possible and take steps to eliminate them.
Bed bug feeding
Bed bugs are attracted to a feeding host by warmth, carbon dioxide and various body chemicals. They need to stay near potential hosts to be successful at getting a blood meal. If they are starved, however, they will crawl some distance and spread from room to room, both horizontally and vertically to other floors.
Bed bugs are mainly nocturnal feeders, crawling out of their shelters in the dark and using their sensors to find a warm, breathing body. They crawl on the bedding and feed where bare skin touches the bedding, which is usually face, neck, hands and arms, leaving a distinctive line of bites on the skin. Bed bugs need only 5-10 minutes of undisturbed feeding to be full.
With an adequate supply of blood, a female bed bug can lay 200-500 eggs per month. The eggs hatch and the young mature into adults over about 5 weeks, which can lead to a rapid increase in population if not checked.
Bed bug prevention
Prevention of bed bugs requires an integrated approach to detect and eliminate them economically, with minimal danger to guests and staff, property, and the environment.
An effective bed bug prevention strategy requires a system of:
- inspection, identification and quantification
- implementing control measures
- monitoring the effectiveness of controls
The best strategy is to implement suitable measures to prevent an infestation taking hold:
- good maintenance practices to remove access to harbourage in the building structure and fittings
- use of bed bug traps to detect their presence
- train staff how to detect signs of bed bugs
- include checking for bed bugs in your room cleaning procedures
- set up an effective policy for dealing with a bed bug infestation
- have a procedure in place for handling bed bug complaints from guests