Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bed Bugs and Hotels – Bed Bug Hotel Tips

Bed bugs in hotels stories have been popping up with increasing regularity and stirring up plenty of concern. In fact, a little cottage industry has arisen with a handful of bed bug websites eager to spread the shocking news of the latest bed bug sighting at your favorite upscale hotel. Certainly bed bugs at hotels are a real concern, but the increasing awareness of bed bugs at hotels seems to coincide with a general increase in bed bugs in all types of sleeping venues, including hotels, apartments and homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which issued a joint statement in late November 2010, the United States is experiencing a marked increase in reported bed bug infestations. CDC Bed Bug Report.

Bed bugs are small nesting bugs that borrow into clothing and other fabrics. Hotels don’t have bed bugs. They are brought into the hotel by guests either traveling on or in their clothes. Once they make their way into a hotel guest room, bed bugs can burrow into mattresses, sofas and rugs and take up residence, lay eggs and begin to proliferate. Bed bugs have a much better chance of taking up permanent residence in dirty hotels which are not vacuumed and chemically cleaned on a routine basis. But even hotels that are clean can experience bed bug problems on occasions, and sometimes this leads to the popular new reports about upscale hotels having bed bug problems. Really, no hotel is completely safe, but some are safer than others. Luxury hotels and well known hotel chains have a lot to lose by having a bed bug problem, and are motivated to prevent their hotels from becoming the media’s hotel bed bug story.

Bed Bugs Present No Disease Risk for Hotel Guests

Bed bugs are small orange - reddish colored insects about the size of tick. They are biting insects that feed on the blood of humans. They are nesting bugs that are most active at night. Bed Bug bites are not painful and in most cases are not felt, especially while sleeping. Bed bugs are also believed not to transmit diseases. However, Bed Bugs can cause rashes or welts around bite areas, especially for people who have sensitive skin or allegories. In rare cases, Bed Bug bites can result in secondary infections if harmful bacteria enters the small bite wound and the area goes untreated. In most instances, although unsettling and distasteful, a bed bug bite experience is merely a nuisance.  

Bed Bug Picture – Actual Size

Bed Bug Tips for Hotel Guests

The following are a few bed bug tips for hotel guests: 
  1. Avoid hotels that are visibly dirty or unkempt.
  2. Inspect your hotel room and check for evidence of bed bugs. Look for small dead bugs, tiny black dots (which are droppings) and tiny blood spots in your hotel sheets, pillow and headboard areas. If you suspect and there are bed bugs present, call the hotel front desk and let them know there may be bed bugs in your hotel room and ask for assistance. If you don’t feel comfortable, ask for a new hotel room.
  3. Do not place your suit case on the hotel room floor or fabric sofas or chairs. Use the suitcase stand (after you inspect the straps) or place it up off the floor on the desk or a bureau. This will keep bed bugs which may be hiding in the hotel carpet from moving into your suitcase and burrowing into your clothes. 
  4. Do not leave your dirty clothes on the hotel floor or bed. Place dirty clothes back into your suit case. If possible put your dirty clothes in a plastic bag, so they are separated from clean ones. When you return home from your trip, do not place your dirty clothes directly into the laundry basket with others from the household. Instead, leave them in your plastic bag and wash them separately or have them dry cleaned. According to the University of Minnesota, washing your clothes in hot water (at 120 degrees or hotter) and then drying them with high heat will kill any bed bugs which may have managed to find a way home with you. (How to Kill Bed Bugs in Clothes). For suitcases, washing them in your washing machine is not possible. So, your suitcase should be visually inspected (especially around crevices). If bed bugs are found, you may want to dispose of the suitcase, or you may want t try and kill the need bugs by freezing them. If you can place your suitcase in a freezer for 2 weeks, you will kill your unwanted occupants.
  5. Check a Bed Bug List, but beware of the reliability. Checking a bed bug report list may provide some comfort but they are not fool proof, and are not necessarily accurate. First, the presence of reported bed bugs at a hotel does not mean they existed or still exist. In some cases, hotel properties have complained that reports have been made that are untrue, possibly having been submitted by disgruntled guests or competitors. In cases where bed bugs may have been reported as present, any credible hotel would have resolved the problem very quickly with an exterminator and an implemented ongoing monitoring and follow-up program to ensure eradication of the bugs. Below we have listed some popular Bed Bug Reporting sites.
Bed Bug Hotel Lists

The following are popular bed bug registry lists you can find on the internet. We do not endorse them or guarantee their accuracy or reliability.