How Social Media Is Helping Bed Bugs Win

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NATIONAL REPORT—A recent study conducted by the University of Kentucky found that bed bug reporting on online review sites and social media has a “…big impact on purchasing decisions.” It’s no surprise that both leisure and business travelers would avoid a bed bug infested hotel. Victims of bed bug infestations exploit the Internet’s vast readership to describe their bed bug experience resulting in physical distress, sleeplessness, nervousness, anxiety and an extreme disruption in their lives.

Many hotel GMs cringe at the mere mention of online review sites like TripAdvisor, Travelocity and Bedbug Reports. They are coming to realize the enormous impact they have on a traveler’s decision to consider staying at a reported property. According to the University of Kentucky study, a single online review that mentions bed bugs lowers hotel room value by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers.

A 2017 research report entitled “Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs: Hospitality Industry Report” details the overall costs to hotels of a single bed bug incident. Hotels spend on average $6,383 per incident including 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.

What exactly is the state of the current hotel-related bed bug problem? Recent studies have found that about 74% of pest management professionals reported problems with bed bugs in hotel rooms—a truly staggering figure. This rise in bed bugs is coupled with changing public perception—43% of people now express the attitude that bed bugs are a concern. A single occurrence of bed bugs can significantly impact a hotel’s business and brand reputation. Exposure to legal action jeopardizes hotel shareholder equity. Recently, a Virginia woman sought $5 million in a lawsuit over bed bugs. A federal judge ruled in her favor and a jury will hear her case.

So, how can a hotelier prevent their property from becoming the latest TripAdvisor bed bug-related casualty? Well, there are a number of things that one can do to win this battle. Let’s take a closer look.

Education is key. Research has proven that two-thirds of travelers surveyed by the University of Kentucky couldn’t identify a bed bug. Hoteliers are encouraged to train their staff to be able to recognize a bed bug in its different life stages as well as signs of bed bugs in and around beds.

Forward-thinking in bed bug prevention includes investigating the root of the problem. Savvy hoteliers are designing hotel rooms to be more bed bug resistant. Many are adopting preventive measures for their mattresses and/or box springs such as an active mattress liner that kills bed bugs. ActiveGuard® Mattress Liners go on like a fitted sheet and can save time, money and energy preventing bed bug infestations from establishing. Sophisticated hoteliers recognize that bed bugs may be difficult to detect at an early stage and are skilled hitchhikers that easily gain access to the bed. Having an active liner in place that starts working within 10 minutes of contact can assist in saving a room from developing a full-blown bed bug infestation.

Consider how much you can save by implementing a prevention strategy in your hotel versus reacting to the problem with this hotel savings calculator.

While recent reports may show that bed bugs are winning, the war is not over. Embracing technology, educating staff and taking a preventive approach to this blood-sucking pest can ensure victory for hoteliers everywhere.

Learn more about how your hotel is being reported to the public regarding bed bug incidents at…


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 proactive 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.

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