If you were paying attention over the last couple of weeks, you probably noticed that bed bugs are still a hot topic for news headlines across the country. Thankfully for the hotel industry AND it's guests, the focus has shifted from the lodging industry and headlines are now discussing the growing bed bug problem in our nation's schools. Even in the nation's capital, a school had to be closed for bed bug and rodent issues.At the same time, as Spring approaches and we start to make plans for our Summer vacations, focus will undoubtedly shift back to bed bugs in hotels, motels and resorts. They may already be a factor in your travel decisions. The concerned traveler may be familiar with Orkin's annual list of the 'Top 50 Bed Bug Cities', and may try to avoid destinations on the list. The pest control company based the ranking on treatment data collected from the areas it performed the most bed bug treatments between December 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016. Before you go changing travel plans, however, remember that this list includes residential as well as commercial treatments. You might want to ask yourself this question instead: Where do the people who live in the cities on this list travel? Where do they take their vacations? Are they taking bed bugs with them?
I am not about to list every vacation spot from all 50 cities. I am certain that each city listed has a couple of "go-to" spots for weekend and family vacations. However, being located in the Mid-Atlantic, I can speak for my area directly. Resort areas from the New Jersey Shore through the Delmarva Beaches (Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach), Ocean City, MD and down to VA Beach are on high alert. 4 of the top 10 cities on the list (Baltimore, Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia) are right on their backdoor, and these cities provide a LARGE amount of the tourism to these resort areas. Will they bring bed bugs with them? Undoubtedly, some will, and guests and hotels alike need to be prepared.
For the hotels, this means getting their staff better trained on bed bug detection as well as guest interactions over bed bug incidents. According to a University of Kentucky study in 2015 "a single report of bed bugs in recent traveler reviews lowers the value of a hotel room by $38 and $23 per room per night for business and leisure travelers respectively." Literally, bed bugs are hitting hotel owner's wallets and affecting the hotel's bottom line. Hotels can save themselves from a listing on the bed bug registry, and save reputation and money in the process. KnowBedBugs can help. If you own or manage a hotel or resort property, contact us to get started.
For the guest/traveler, this means educating yourself on bed bugs and the signs of bed bug infestations. After you familiarize yourself with the signs, DO YOUR OWN HOTEL ROOM INSPECTION prior to unpacking. Here are 2 good links to help the traveler identify bed bugs:
1. Learn the Signs of Bed Bug Infestations
2. Use This Inspection Checklist to Perform your Own Room Inspection
We believe that cooperation between the guest and the hotel is the BEST way to help stop the spread of the bed bug epidemic.
Hotels need to adopt a standard operating procedure to deal with bed bugs, including advanced training of their housekeeping and front desk staff.
Guests should conduct their own hotel inspection BEFORE checking in. Guests need to report what they find TO THE HOTEL.
At KnowBedBugs.com we train hotel housekeeping and front desk staff on the identification of bed bugs AND in dealing with their guests should an event occur. After training, each employee is tested. Finally, the hotel is awarded a certification based on the percentage of full-time staff that has trained and passed the testing.
For their part, guests can learn how to identify bed bugs, conduct their own in-room inspections, and even book rooms with certified locations, all from our site at KnowBedBugs.com
We are trying to get out in front of the issue, and understand that it takes cooperation between the hotels and their guests. We are trying to start the conversation.
Check With Us Before You Check In...We Have A Plan!