Bed bugs can come from anywhere. The crevices in electronics, a blanket in a moving truck, and even wheel wells on a suitcase can all harbor bed bugs, and once they get in, they can breed quickly.
If you manage a hotel, you’re probably worried about bed bug prevention. Many guests arrive without even knowing they’re carrying the pests, so it’s hard to monitor.
There are a few ways to prevent infestations in your hotel, despite the looming challenges. Take a look below for our best tips to keep your hotel bed-bug-free.
Bed bugs live for 6 months to a year, depending on the temperature of their environment. That means they’re hard to get rid of once you have them. It’s also hard to tell if they’re gone because eggs may take longer to hatch at cooler temperatures.
If you’re starting from a bed-bug-free environment, it’s easier to take precautions. One of the best tips for how to prevent bed bugs is to use mattress covers. These are safe cases for your mattress that zip on easily, without folds for the bed bugs to hide in.
Mattress covers to prevent bed bugs should be made from a durable fabric to prevent rips or tears in the cover. Remember, this will protect your mattress, but it won’t get rid of bed bugs if a room already has them.
Bed Bug Prevention: Bites
If you’re wondering how to prevent bed bug bites, the answer is you may not be able to. Sometimes you’ll notice they bite you and not your partner, despite sleeping right next to each other. This could indicate you’re more reactive to the bites, and they’re getting bitten, too, just not reacting.
Bed bugs only feed on blood, and they can go months between feedings. They also prefer the blood type they grew up on. If their initial feedings were type O and you have the same type, they’ll bite you before they’ll bite your partner.
Wearing pajamas can help, covering as much skin as possible. Any exposed skin is at greater risk for bed bug bites. You can also wash your bedclothes frequently in hot water, at least 120°F.
Bed Bug Monitors
Use bed bug monitors underneath the legs of the bed frame to keep bed bugs from getting to the bed. These are slippery plastic trays that sit underneath the bedposts and make it hard for bed bugs to infest the bed. Keep in mind they can still hitch a ride on your pajamas, shoes, or other items that may first sit on the floor then get set onto the bed (like a suitcase).
Check bed bug monitors often and clean them out right away. They can help you identify rooms with bed bugs and make sure you’re keeping the bed bugs away after you’ve treated a room.
As a hotel manager, you have a responsibility to keep your guests safe. More and more tourists will be evaluating risk as they begin to travel again after a pandemic, and your hotel needs to be immaculate to stand apart from the competition.
One of the best ways to do that is to conduct regular inspections of your hotel and its rooms, checking for bed bug infestations. Visual inspections should be part of your housekeeping staff’s daily duties, and they should have the training to correctly identify the pests.
Canine inspections are also a good idea. Dogs trained to detect bed bugs only need 2-5 minutes to go through a room and detect any bed bugs. Having canine inspections quarterly can help take care of bed bug problems immediately and prevent infestations.
Trade Insecticide for Cryonite
Getting a professional to help get rid of your bed bug infestation is one course of action. They know where bed bugs like to hide and they can recommend a treatment service that will work.
Many professionals will want to use insecticides or poisons to get rid of the bugs. These are sometimes effective in homes or places with new infestations. In hotels, insecticide isn’t the best bed bug prevention because bugs can build up a resistance to it after frequent treatments.
Instead of poison, try using Cryonite to get rid of hotel bed bugs. Direct contact with the freezing technology kills bed bugs immediately, and they can’t develop an immunity to it. The system is environmentally friendly, using recycled carbon dioxide so it adds no carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Cryonite is good for hotel bed bugs because it doesn’t require a special license to use. When you notice an infestation, don’t wait for a professional to fit you into their busy schedule. Get started eliminating bugs right away.
Seal the Cracks
One of the best ways to prevent bed bugs from coming back is minimizing the spaces they can hide. Bed bugs like to find out-of-the-way spots, underneath fabric seams and in tiny holes or cracks. They can fit in any space as narrow as a toothpick, so that means there are plenty of spots in one hotel room.
Start by installing safety plugs in the outlets. These block the holes where bed bugs may crawl to escape treatment, only to wait and return later.
Make sure you direct your housekeeping staff to vacuum along the edges of the carpet. These edges are places bed bugs like to hide. Vacuums should get emptied right away and taken outside or the bed bugs may crawl out of the receptacles and back into your rooms.
You can also send the maintenance staff in to seal up any cracks or seams in the walls where bed bugs may hide. This includes along the baseboards and anywhere you can slide a toothpick or a credit card. Use a silicone caulking to cover the entire seam.
Worst Hotel Problems: Bed Bugs
One of the worst ways to earn a bad reputation as a hotel is to have a problem with bed bugs. Bed bug prevention can be easy if you follow the methods above, though.
From basic precautions like mattress covers to more drastic measures like Cryonite freezing, you can ensure a safe, comfortable stay for your guests.
Shop for a Cryonite system today and protect your hotel from bed bugs.