With the continuing uptick by guests to book their vacations and business-related stays, hoteliers must be aware of the increasing likelihood of bed bug infestations. For most hotels in the country the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dormant period for any stray bed bugs that lurked in mattresses and furniture, and cryptically in walls and other hidden areas. Bed bugs are not an “out of sight, out of mind” problem, especially as occupancy slowly recovers back to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, the overall increase in travel combined with new bugs hitchhiking onto your guests’ clothing and luggage will place additional strain on your hotel.
As hospitality metrics recover closer to pre-pandemic levels, a rise in bed bug–guest encounters will increase in parallel. One of the reasons for the increase is that an adult bed bug can live for up to five months without feeding. Other research suggests even longer survival times for bed bugs without a blood meal. That means a dormant bed bug can withstand almost two entire seasons without detection! This fact combined with bed bugs hitchhiking on excited post-pandemic travelers can turn a few bed bugs into a large infestation in just a couple of weeks.
Reactive treatments may solve your bed bug issue temporarily, but often the damage to your property and your reputation has already occurred. The only effective and proven strategy that stops a few bed bugs from turning into hundreds to thousands (left unchecked) disturbing your guests in the middle of the night is active bed bug prevention. The first step in prevention is to install an active mattress liner on your box spring or mattress that stops bed bugs from laying their eggs. The leader in this product field of active mattress liners is ActiveGuard®. This liner is the only field-proven way to prevent those hitchhiking bed bugs from multiplying quickly in a short window of time. It works continuously 24/7 for two years, with no maintenance required. Additionally, it can be installed by your own housekeeping staff as easily as a fitted sheet. No outside contractors or pest control operators are required to use or install ActiveGuard and result in significant reductions of 80-90% in bed bug infestations. However, even more enhanced results can be achieved when ActiveGuard is featured in a comprehensive program that can be established with your pest control provider.
As we continue to move forward from the pandemic, it is important to keep guests happy and reassure them that their stay will be comfortable. The image of safety and cleanliness is ripped apart if your guest finds a bed bug crawling on their mattress. Implementing bed bug prevention now before occupancy ascends even further is the most effective way to protect your property and your guests.