Working in the hospitality industry, you know that bed bugs are not a rare occurrence. According to recent research, four out of five hotels have treated for bed bugs in the last year alone, and there’s no way to stop these nighttime menaces from hitchhiking through your doors. (Get the analysis of how bed bugs impact hotels when you download our free report, Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs: Hospitality Industry Report.)
To help avoid costly bed bug remediation, it’s important to detect bed bugs early. One crucial thing to understand as you prepare to send bed bugs packing is the difference between a bed bug introduction and a bed bug infestation.
Bed bug introductions occur when one or more bed bugs get inside your hotel. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent introductions. Bed bugs are not a sign of poor sanitation, and they can be brought inside by anyone, including guests and staff, as they catch a ride on clothing or luggage. During an introduction, bed bugs haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon.
Bed bug infestations develop when all bed bug life stages are present. This includes bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults. If you have a bed bug infestation, the bloodsuckers are actively reproducing. Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day, so bed bug populations can grow exponentially if left unaddressed.
What to Look For
To identify a bed bug problem, you and your staff need to know the signs of bed bug activity. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and reddish brown in color. They leave behind ink-like stains, as well as their cast skins. Newly hatched nymphs are about the size of a pinhead and are white or tan before beginning to feed. Bed bug eggs can be harder to spot. Each egg is white and about the size of two grains of salt. They can often be found in tight cracks or crevices.
To find bed bugs or signs of their activity, inspect mattress seams, the corners of box springs, buckling wallpaper, the edge of carpet, behind pictures, under seat cushions and behind headboards.
Even after a staff training, there could be signs of bed bug activity that your staff doesn’t see. A trained bed bug expert can spot evidence that your staff may miss. Discuss proactive bed bug services with your pest management provider to stay one step ahead in the ongoing fight against bed bugs. The extra investment could help catch infestations early, lowering the cost of remediation – and mitigating the damage to your bottom line.
To learn more about the costs and consequences of bed bugs for hotels, download the free report, Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs: Hospitality Industry Report.