Bed bugs are nasty little creatures, and they are getting a lot of attention in the media due to the epidemic that the east coast is having. Our pest control man said that the bed bug problem on the east coast is due to the ban on certain pesticides in that region that kill bed bugs. We don’t have that problem here in the west. I don’t know anyone in the hotel industry that has not had a problem with them. Bed bugs are not a cleanliness issue, which means they can be found in any hotel or motel – from a one-star to five-star hotel. Customers bring them, leave them and we have to clean up the mess. We check when we clean the rooms for evidences of bed bugs and if there are indications we have our pest control verify and take care of the problem if there is one.
Bed bugs are small wingless insects, so they can’t fly, that feed solely upon the blood of warm blooded animals and people. They are most abundant in rooms where people sleep, and they generally hide nearest the bed or other furniture used for sleeping. Bed bugs are most active in the middle of the night, but when hungry, they will venture out during the day to seek a host. Their flattened bodies allow them to conceal themselves in cracks and crevices around the room and within furniture. Favorite hiding places include the bed frame, mattress and box spring. Clutter around the room offers additional sites for these bugs to hide, and increases the difficulty in eliminating bed bugs once they have become established.
Bedbugs have a great worldwide distribution due to human travelers who transport bed bugs on luggage, clothing and bedding. Though they may reside in unusual places, they are also likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or in comforters and bed sheets.
Things you can do to protect yourself and not spread the problem.
- Survey the hotel room for signs of a bed bugs. They leave behind brown or red spots on sheets. While not known to spread disease like many other pests, bed bugs can leave itchy, bloody welts on the skin.
- Lift and look under the mattress. During the day these nocturnal insects disappear in crevices associated with mattresses, box springs, sheets, furniture, upholstery and hollow bedposts, as well as crevices behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper. Make sure to lift and look around all possible hiding spots for bed bugs in the hotel room, not just the mattress.
- Elevate your luggage and other items. Carefully inspect the hotel’s luggage rack. If there are no signs of bed bugs on it, use it to keep your suitcase off the floor and away from the bed. Also pull the luggage rack away from the wall. This will reduce the likelihood of the insect crawling up the wall and getting into your things.
- Examine our luggage and clothes while repacking and once you return home, to ensure you haven’t picked up unwelcome visitors. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, so be sure to check your luggage and clothing for bed bugs before bringing luggage back into the bedroom. If you are unsure about not having bed bugs in your clothes you can wash your clothes. The washing and the drying in a dryer does kill bed bugs.
- If you find anything that you are unsure of let management know of it and they can check it out and if your claim is correct, should either move you to a different room or refund your money.