Hotels and Bed Bugs: How to Respond
by Faith Dorn
Tuesday, October 03rd, 2017
One bed bug incident can jeopardize a hotel’s reputation, which is why it is important to have a bed bug prevention plan in place. The following tips will help safeguard your hotel’s reputation and lower the risk of litigation on your property.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Your hotel staff should check for signs of bed bugs upon vacancy to find an insect invasion before the guest does. Train staff to look for indicators such as living or dead bugs, small bloodstains from crushed insects or dark spots from droppings. These indicators can be anywhere in the room from furniture joints to baseboards or other nooks and crannies.
Eliminating Bed Bugs
If a staff member or guest finds bed bugs, you should have a licensed pest control professional conduct a thorough inspection and implement treatment as necessary. Work with the pest control professional on the following:
- Verify with the exterminator which insect has invaded.
- Pinpoint the entire affected area.
- Find an effective treatment plan and begin implementing immediately.
- Advise staff to stay clear of the area while treatment occurs.
- Instruct employees to inspect their shoes and other clothing for signs of insects.
Communicating with Customers and Staff
Silence is the last thing you want for your hotel while dealing with a bed bug problem because it leads to speculation. It’s important to have a plan in place to address customers and to avoid mistrust and overreaction. Your plan should contain the following:
- Actions the guest and staff can take to eliminate the pest from clothing and belongings.
- Plans to provide the guest a new room.
- Reassure patrons and staff the bed bugs will be killed by a licensed pest control professional.
- Educate everyone that bed bugs do not transmit disease.
- Avoid using the terms “infestation” or “infested.” One instance of bed bugs or other insects in a confined area is an occurrence, not an infestation.
Document Incidents and Infestations
For liability purposes, it’s important to document any incidents or infestations you have. It’s also important to document your pest mitigation process. This will ensure any bed bug problem is resolved quickly.
For questions regarding insurance and pest problems, contact Professional Solutions.