As a property owner, a complaint of bedbugs is one of the last things you want to hear. These brown, apple-seed-sized insects colonize in mattresses, box springs, and furniture frames, and they can be easily spread through the transfer of luggage, clothing, and used furniture.
These factors make hotels, motels, apartments, homes, office buildings, and retail stores prime targets for a bedbug infestation.
Because they are transferred through items, bedbugs are generally not a sign of dirtiness. A perfectly bedbug-free hotel could have a guest bring them in on his or her luggage and cause an infestation. Bedbugs are not known to spread disease either. When they bite, they leave the victim with a small red dot that usually becomes itchy. While some people may develop a serious allergic reaction, most people just experience irritation around the bite.
Unfortunately, most people see bedbugs as a big problem. A 2015 University of Kentucky survey asked over 2,100 people how they would respond to various issues with their hotel room, such as signs of smoking or a dirty shower. Of the surveyed problems, respondents claimed that a bedbug sighting was the most concerning, with 60 percent saying they would leave the hotel if they spotted a bedbug in the room. The next closest concern was foreign material (such as blood) in the room at 23 percent. This means that a single bedbug infestation can lead to severe consequences, such as lost time, extra costs, and a harmed reputation.
So what can you do to prevent a bedbug infestation? Having a prevention plan in place and early detection are both important. Regular inspections can catch a small infestation before it grows into a larger one. Here are a few suggestions for what to incorporate in your prevention and detection plan:
In the unfortunate event you encounter an infestation, a response plan addressing the situation quickly and thoroughly can help preserve your resources:
Bedbugs can be a big problem, but with preventative maintenance, early detection, and response plans in place, you can buffer the adverse effects of an infestation.