The bed bug frenzy, heightened by media headlines, has left both hotel staff and travelers concerned. It has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the hotel and it can happen anywhere to anyone, leaving the recipient itchy and uncomfortable and the property with a hefty pest management bill. But proper awareness and education is your best defense for tackling this growing concern.
You and your staff should do the following:
- Create a formal policy about what to do if there’s an outbreak.
- Get trained on performing daily inspections.
- Visit www.bedbugstoolkit.com for additional resources.
- Monitor www.bedbugregistry.com to see if your property
- is listed.
- In response to guest concerns, encourage them to:
- Wrap luggage in a large plastic bag when traveling.
- Not put their suitcase on the bed.
- Launder all suitcase items upon returning home.
A pest management company can charge anywhere from $800 to $1,200 per room to eliminate bed bugs, and it’s recommended the procedure is done in the rooms next to the infested space, as well as above and below.
The best thing you can do is be prepared to spot them and get rid of them as fast as possible. In-depth resources are available for free download in the members only section of www.ahla.com, and the Educational Institute created a range of training tools in partnership with Ecolab, which can be found at www.ahlei.com.