Preemptive Strike?

Saturday August 11, 2012


Mr Pest Control


I have a hotel that wants to be proactive with daily inspections of guest rooms for bed bugs. Do you think this is necessary?

Mr Pest Control


I absolutely DO think that hotels and motels had better be proactive about the bed bug problem, and have a clear and enforced policy in place. The liability and bad publicity for hotels and motels that are found to have bed bugs, particularly when guests decide their home became infested because of the place they recently stayed, is too high for hotels to ignore. They could be sued for millions of dollars and their name displayed on the local news papers if they are found to have bed bugs. Plus, this bad publicity could easily result in the loss of income when people decide not to stay there. 

The housekeeping staff should be educated / trained on exactly what to look for each time they make up a room. This would include at least a minimal inspection of the bedding, the mattress and box spring, and other obvious places in the immediate vicinity of the bed. They can look for blood spots, shed skins, and of course bugs themselves in hiding. If they find anything suspicious they can call in a professional like yourself to do a much more thorough inspection to verify or discount what they found. If bugs are found in a room the inspection needs to expand to all adjacent rooms above, below, and to the sides. Bed bugs can spread so rapidly in commercial structures that you just cannot let them get established. 

Now, by "daily" inspections are you suggesting the hotel management wants YOU to perform these inspections, and do they want you to inspect ALL rooms daily? I think that is probably more than is warranted, and you would need to charge a hefty price for all this work. Essentially that would amount to this hotel having a dedicated, full time employee doing nothing but bed bug inspections to be able to do the thorough inspection needed for each and every room. A better start may be to train the staff now so they know what to look for and be sure it is done on a regular basis. The housekeeping staff also should be trained on how to avoid taking bed bugs home themselves! This might include changing out of any clothing they wore while working in the guest rooms and wearing home clothing that was kept in sealed bags in a changing area. They may want to wear disposable shoe covers while in guest rooms. But in some way they deserve to be protected from carrying bed bugs into their own homes, and this could be part of the service you offer to this customer. 

Mr. Pest Control

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