The time between check-out and check-in is very limited for hotel and motel housekeepers. Getting dozens of rooms cleaned in just a few hours is a difficult task and adding in a full room inspection for bed bugs is nearly impossible. However, ensuring your hotel is pest free is easier than you may think. Here are a few simple steps that your housekeeping staff can follow during routine room cleaning to check for bed bugs.
Check the Sheets
Before stripping the bed of its fitted sheet, take a minute to walk around, inspecting the entire surface for small reddish stains. When hotel guests sleep they crush the lingering bed bugs, which are a reddish color, leaving these marks on the white sheets. Keep in mind bed bugs are very small, only about a quarter of an inch in length, so the stains will resemble this size. Bed bugs prefer exposed skin, like the neck, shoulders, and arms. Due to this, pay close attention to the areas of the bed just below where the pillows would be.
Check the Mattress
Mattresses are the most obvious place to spot bed bugs and their remains, but often the most tricky because of all the crevasses. Like sheets, you may see reddish stains from the bugs being squished. Since bed bugs tend to live on the mattress itself, you will probably see black spots that look like marker bleeds. These are droppings that they have left behind.
When examining the mattress, start at the head of the bed and work your way down to the foot of the bed, pulling apart the outer most crevasse. When doing so, housekeeping staff should look for the reddish and black stains as well as for live bed bugs. Bed bugs are brownish in color, relatively flat, and about a quarter of an inch long resembling an apple seed, tick or piece of rice.
Check the Area Surrounding the Bed
Although these pests are called “bed bugs” they rarely stay only on the bed. They travel up to five feet from the bed, just far enough to find a great hiding spot and just close enough to feed off their host – your hotel guests – the next time they are hungry. Check the bed frame, underside of the bed skirt, side tables, electronics and base boards for live bugs, eggs and black droppings. Pay close attention to the back of drawers and corners of furniture. An important piece of information to remember when examining hotel rooms is if a credit card can fit into an opening, so can a bed bug.
Even empowered with this information, bed bugs can be missed by your hotel staff. The best practice is to provide expert training and certification for your property and staff through the National Organization of Bed Bug Education for Lodging (NOBBEL). Their KNOW Bed Bug Program is easy to complete because the certification process can all be done online.
Your Best Defense Against Bed Bugs
Ultimately, you cannot stop hotel guests from bringing bed bugs into your property, but you can prepare your housekeeping staff with the proper tools to identify and treat an infestation. As soon as bed bugs or their remnants are spotted, heat treat the room immediately! PrevSol’s bed bug heaters kill bed bugs and their eggs dead the first time, every time. Although these pests have become resilient to many of the pesticides on the market, heat treating them is still 100% effective because they cannot survive in the extreme temperatures that our heaters raise the ambient air in the hotel room to.
For more help identifying or treating bed bugs, contact the experts at PrevSol today!