NATIONAL REPORT—Last month, Orkin, the Atlanta-based pest control services company, released its annual list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities. Topping the list were Baltimore (for the second year in a row), Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbus, OH. According to Orkin Entomologist Dr. Tim Husen, “The number of bed bug infestations in the United States is still rising.”
Bed bugs are an expensive problem for America’s hospitality industry. In a 2017 research report entitled “Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs: Hospitality Industry Report,” it indicated that hotels spend on average $6,383 per bed bug incident. This cost includes the expense for pest control remediation, the loss of room revenue during the inspection and treatment process, guest compensation and discarding of soft goods. The report continues that over a five-year period, bed bug-related costs to hoteliers could catapult to more than $160,000.
Up until recently, the additional financial impact of bed bugs on hotel brand reputation was considered an unmeasurable metric. However, a University of Kentucky study found that just one negative report of bed bugs on a travelers’ online review site can cost a 300-room hotel catering to business travelers $274,000 per month in revenue. When looking at a similarly sized hotel catering to vacation travelers, the costs approached $166,000 per month.
A single bed bug incident in an otherwise well-run hotel can create a public relations nightmare and have long-term damaging effects on a hotel’s bottom line, brand reputation and stakeholder’s equity in the property. From both cost and reputation perspectives, bed bug prevention is far preferable than post-infestation treatment. There are several proactive steps hospitality professionals can take to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. The goal—to prevent the bed bug-guest encounter.
Start with your hotel room design. The design choices you made for your rooms could be creating an inviting environment for bed bugs. Consider these eight powerful modifications to make your hotel more bed bug resistant.
Ratchet up your bed bug vigilance. Educating your hotel staff is key to uncovering an infestation early, before your guests do. Addressing a bed bug incident soon after the pest is introduced into the room will keep your costs down and your hotel’s reputation protected.
Have a solid bed bug prevention program in place. Stop taking a reactive approach to bed bugs and put preventive measures in place. Prevention is key to keeping your hotel treatment costs down; protecting your hotel reputation from a guest uncovering an infestation; evidencing your due diligence if faced with a bed bug lawsuit; and, maintaining a bed bug-free facility. Learn more about active mattress liners and how they can stop bed bugs in their tracks, turning an infestation into a mere incident.
Create a bed bug-complaint action plan. Preparing your staff to handle a bed bug complaint could be one of the most important steps you take when it comes to bed bugs. If handled correctly a bed bug incident could be a non-event. Handled incorrectly it could land your property on the nightly news creating a public relations nightmare. Ensure your staff has a ‘tried and true’ protocol in place, consider these tips to creating your own bed bug complaint action plan.
Reconsider your mattress protection. When bed bugs made a comeback many hoteliers turned to mattress encasements to protect their mattresses and box springs. Times have changed and so has bed bug prevention. Savvy hoteliers are now choosing more advanced mattress protection with active mattress liners such as ActiveGuard® Mattress Liners. Active mattress liners protect not only the mattress but those sleeping in the bed as well. Active mattress liners kill bed bugs through contact and do so continuously for two years.
Realize the cost savings in preventing bed bugs. Reacting to bed bug infestations can be a costly endeavor. It is typically recommended that you treat not only the infested room but those adjoining rooms on either side and above and beneath as well. Consider how much you can save by implementing a prevention strategy in your hotel versus reacting to the problem with this hotel savings calculator.
The frequency of bed bugs impacting the hotel industry is well documented and expanding daily. It is imprudent to consider the problem will only affect others while sparing your facility. Therefore, continuous vigilance is necessary to protect your facility from an infestation, negative publicity and high treatment costs. Having a solid bed bug prevention plan in place can save a hotel significant money and guard its reputation. To learn more and begin your prevention program today visit www.hotelbedbugprevention.com.
About Allergy Technologies
ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after a short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.
Start your Bed Bug Prevention program today: http://hotelbedbugprevention.com/hotel-prevention/