NATIONAL REPORT—Bed bugs. Just hearing the words can send a shudder down the spine of any hotel staff member. Since their comeback in the late 1990s, news reports have been full of bed bug videos, online customer complaints, and lawsuits surrounding the blood-sucking pest.
Nothing can undermine hoteliers’ efforts to ensure a guest’s positive experience at their hotel like an encounter with bed bugs in their room. In fact, a recent Expedia study listed bed bugs as one of hotel guest’s top annoyances. And, bed bugs do not discriminate. Those managing high-end, luxury hotels are not at any advantage to those at a low budget motel, because bed bugs will infest any hotel room where they are introduced.
At the same time, the Internet has truly changed everything for both hoteliers and guests looking for a place to stay. A bed bug tracking site called bedbugregistry.com has emerged to help savvy travelers avoid a run-in with the dreaded pest. And other travel sites, like TripAdvisor.com, often mentions bed bug sightings and infestations encountered in hotels and motels across the country.
A negative online review can have a devastating impact, not only on that hotel’s reputation but on a room’s rental rate as well. And, when that negative online review includes the keywords “bed bugs,” visitors often steer clear of that property.
Besides negative online reviews, hoteliers are becoming increasingly concerned about lawsuits, even class-action lawsuits, related to bed bug incidents. Property managers are now tasked with putting into place proactive measures to prove due diligence should they find themselves in legal peril due to a guest’s experience with bed bugs at their property. Hotel GMs are searching for options.
So, what exactly can a hotelier do to gain peace of mind in offering their guests a pest–free environment? Forward thinking hoteliers are changing their mindset from reactive to proactive when it comes to bed bugs. Having protocols in place to uncover a bed bug introduction before the guest does and then taking steps to remediate the problem can help protect that hotel’s reputation; lower the stress on the hotel staff; reduce downtime for rooms that need to be taken out of rotation for treatment; and even avoid the need for treatment when a bed bug problem is found promptly and addressed.
Smart IoT technology is now available through Delta Five and it is innovating the hospitality industry with automated insect monitoring and detection technology that will alert users of a pest capture along with a photo sent via email or phone. If ensuring that hotel rooms are healthy, pest-free environments for guests is a priority, then consider utilizing the newest innovative technology to monitor hotel rooms.
Find out if Delta Five’s automated insect detection is a good solution for your hotel. Click here to take the short quiz.