Stop Bed Bugs: How A Small Hotel Can Reduce The Risk Of Infestation

Posted on: 8 May 2018

If you run a small hospitality business, you want to make sure your customers are satisfied and coming back to stay with you again. One of the easiest ways to sign a death sentence for your business is to contract a bed bug infestation in your small hotel. Bed bugs can spread quickly, and they scare off lodgers who don't want to take the critters home with them.

There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of bed bugs in your establishment. 

1. Set up a contract with a commercial pest control company.

Commercial pest extermination services can provide regular inspections for early signs of pest activity, including bed bugs. They can also proactively spray for common pests to deter them from coming to your hotel to begin with. With a contract, you also have an immediate treatment option at the first sign of bed bugs at your business.

2. Train staff to look for signs of bed bugs.

The best defense against a full-blown bed bug problem is to make sure your staff know what to look for. If they see any signs of bugs in even one room or common area, you can call your pest control company to do the rest. Every time a guest leaves, your staff should look for signs of bugs, including:

  1. spots on the sheets. If a guest brought in a bug with them and the bug bit them during sleep, there will be tiny pricks of blood, highly visible on white linens. 
  2. bugs themselves. Bed bugs like to hang out in mattress cracks and crevices. Have your staff look at mattress creases before putting clean linens on the bed. They can also run a vacuum over the cracks in seats and between the mattress and box spring. 
  3. shells. As bed bugs grow, they shed their exterior. These are left behind, usually along walls, under beds, or in the sofa. 

These simple look-out methods can help you find and quarantine an affected room, preventing the spread of bugs to other guest rooms.

3. Be vigilant about prevention.

Always wash linens in hot water, even if it means higher utility bills for your business. Staff should always vacuum under furniture. Once a month, take beds apart and wipe them down with commercial cleanser. 

Bed bugs spread most easily with textile contact. Prevent contamination by separating linens. Have your staff clear away all soiled linens before bringing out a completely different cart with clean linens. If possible, store cleaned sheets and towels in an area separate from where they are washed. Never use a soiled laundry bin to carry clean items. 

4. Provide staff storage.

Guests aren't the only ones who can bring bed bugs onto the premises. Your staff can also expose your hotel to bed bugs. Provide lockers for staff, and do not allow them to leave their personal items in areas accessible by guests. Staff should never keep personal coats and purses where they could come into contact with patrons' linens and luggage. 

5. Always be ready for triage.

Finally, even with your best efforts, you still might have a guest discover or complain about bed bugs in their room. Be prepared to handle the complaint. Seal off the room, offer a new accommodation, and provide dry cleaning and steam cleaning services for the guest's clothing and affected belongings, even if you aren't sure there are bed bugs. Take all complaints seriously and have the room in question and all adjoining rooms checked for bugs as soon as possible. 

For more information about bed bug control for commercial businesses, contact a pest control professional in your area.