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Bedbugs in hotels: prevention, detection and treatment

What are bedbugs and why are they a problem for hotels?

Bed bugs are parasitic crawling insects (they don’t jump or fly) that nest in dark, inaccessible spaces at room temperature. While the eggs are only a millimeter long, adult bed bugs, the size of an apple seed, are visible to the naked eye and are generally brown. 

They develop rapidly, which is why it’s important to intervene as soon as they appear, to minimize the extent of the infestation.

Although harmless to the health of your guests (except in special cases), an infestation of bed bugs in your rooms can affect the reputation of your hotel because they are, wrongly, associated with poor hygiene and their stings cause severe itching or even allergic reactions, so it’s vital to take precautions.

Several factors can contribute to a bedbug infestation. Insecticide misuse can make them more resistant and allow them to grow. Travel contributes to the spread of bed bugsIn this respect, places where people pass through and exchange ideas, such as hotels and bed & breakfasts, are ideal. 

A hotel’s cleanliness is not 100% effective in preventing an initial infestation but good hygiene and rapid detection can prevent large-scale development.

How to prevent bedbug infestations in a hotel?

1. Meticulous room cleaning

To prevent an infestation of bed bugs, you need to make sure you carefully clean all the nooks and crannies of your rooms after each new guest.

2. High-temperature bed linen washing

Bed linen must be washed at a temperature above 60°, or machine-dried if the washing instructions do not allow washing at such a high temperature.

3. Steam cleaning of bedding and carpets

We recommend steam cleaning mattresses, armchairs and carpets as regularly as possible. Laurastar’s Izzi Plus steamer eliminates larvae and adult bedbugs in seconds.

4. Use of anti-flea mattress covers

To protect mattresses, you can also use anti-bedbug covers, such as those we offer in our bedding protection range.

5. Provision of luggage racks and closets

It’s also important to provide your guests with luggage racks so that they don’t have to put their suitcases on the beds or on the floor, as well as an open closet for clothes.

6. Creation of an awareness-raising guide for guests

You can accompany this implementation with an in-room advice guide to inform and educate your guests about the fight against bedbugs.

7. Staff training in bedbug detection

Another way to prevent infestation is to train staff to detect the presence of these parasites at the very first sign.

How to detect a bedbug infestation in a hotel?

The most unfortunate thing for your establishment would be to learn of an infestation as a result of customer complaints or testimonials posted on a review platform.

It is therefore essential that you are able toidentify the various visual signs of infestation :

  • It is possible to notice concentrations of droppings in the form of small black dots on mattresses, box springs, baseboards or wall corners.
  • There are also professional detection methods such as detector dogsknown for their effectiveness, or traps positioned under and around the bed. These can be used to detect bedbugs, but do not prevent treatment, which is essential to eradicate contamination.

What treatments are available to eliminate bed bugs in hotels?

Various methods are effective in eradicating bed bugs. Mechanical and chemical treatments require the intervention of professional pest control specialists.

Some of them are common to those used for prevention, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which it’s worth knowing in order to act accordingly.

  1. Mechanical actions These can be carried out by you or your staff, and are therefore easy to implement.
    • First, remove all bed linen, down to the undersheet and undersheets, and machine wash at 60° minimum.
    • If washing instructions do not allow it, tumble dry at temperature for at least 30 minutes.
    • Next, clean mattresses, box springs, armchairs and carpets using a dry vaporizer like the Izzi plus model, which will destroy all bedbugs from egg to adult.
    • Finally, meticulously vacuum the room(s) concerned, paying particular attention to nooks and crannies and small spaces.
  2. Insecticides and chemical treatmentswhich require the intervention of pest control professionals. In fact, they can present significant health and environmental risks when used without due care. And even more specifically, the most powerful insecticides, whose sale is regulated and which can only be handled by rigorously trained technicians.

How to manage communication and customer relations in the event of a bedbug infestation?

If, despite all the precautions you’ve taken to combat bedbugs, you still find yourself contaminated, it’s important to be totally transparent with your customers to preserve the reputation of your hotel or bed & breakfast.

  • Communicate clearly on actions taken to resolve and prevent infestation.
  • Offer your customers a solution by, for example, offering them an upgrade to another room that you have carefully checked beforehand.
  • Offer a refund in case of reluctance.

In all cases, you need to listen and respond personally to each customer’s concerns and level of dissatisfaction, because your reputation is at stake.

Implement best practices now to protect your establishment and your customers from bed bugs and discover our dedicated products here.

Our experts can advise you​

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