Debt, falling bookings, rising costs – the real threat to hotels in 2012 ‘Bed Bugs’
Bed Bugs – Threat to hotels success
Not debt, not falling bookings or rising costs match the risk or magnitude of Bed Bugs in a hotel. Bed bug specialist Cliff Eccles stress’s why?Heat and Go
If you suspect that rooms have bed bugs you cannot run the risk of letting them out for fear that at best you will have to give it the room away for free and at worst could cost thousands in compensation as well as your reputation.
People are getting wise, they will take a picture of the insect or put it in a cup to show their solicitor. We all know that publicity will be bad for the whole of the Industry, some cities in US are suffering from reduced visitors revenue due to the risk of being bitten or taking bed bugs home.
Don’t be surprised if you have never had a problem in over the last 10 years and you get bed bugs in the next 12 months, because bed bugs have increased over 400% in the last 4 years from an almost extinct existence.
Bed bugs can leave nasty bite marks and rashes but have never been proven to carry pathogens. They don’t carry the same public health priority as cockroaches or rodents, however the effects of their bites, is as up close and personal as can be. They feed every 3 to 7 days which is why initial reports may be sporadic and ignored. They come out for their 10 minute meal then run to their hiding place.
Nobody wants to admit to bed bugs, however the hotel industry cannot just bury its head in the sand, you need to be proactive.
Staff can be trained to know where to look and find the obvious signs so that you can catch them early.
Qualified pest control Technicians can carry out annual room inspections to verify that the rooms are clear or find undetected activity.
Once you identify a bed bug problem you need a strategy to manage the bed bugs to avoid them spreading. Such as;
• Soluble laundry bags to bag linen in the room
• one vacuum cleaner per floor and dispose of the bag when bed bugs are suspected
• Inspect and change valance sheets
• Check behind headboards
• Get a Treatment to eradicate them
Insecticides are the common choice of treatment primarily due to the initial cost, the downside being that some strains of bed bugs are resistant, the insecticidal treatment has to be very thorough to reach all potential harbourages, the room is likely to be offline for 4 to 7 days and you have to consider the long term risk of Clients lying around in the pesticide or non-toxic dust residues.
Heat is becoming the preferred choice due to the heat killing the eggs as well as the adults, the room can be confidently let out the day of the treatment and there is minimal pesticide usuage. In real terms heat is less expensive due to the lower risk and increased chance to let the rooms out.
Bed bugs love to bite the hand that feeds them!