For many guests a hotel room can feel like an oasis. A great stay can be an escape from the stresses of both work and home. This feeling of safety and comfort is key to rebooking guests and gaining their recommendation to others. Bed bugs, however, represent a challenging threat during a particularly stressful time for millions of people. When travel halted in 2020, bed bugs remained dormant for months, waiting for a blood meal. As the industry recovers to pre-pandemic metrics, bed bugs have also made their return to hotel rooms.
Mental Health America (MHA) published its two-year study on mental health during the pandemic last April. It found a massive increase in people seeking consultation and treatment for mental health. The study states, “In 2021, over 5.4 million (N=5,441,125) people took a mental health screen, representing a nearly 500% increase over the number of people who completed a screening in 2019 and a 103% increase over 2020.” Anxiety was the most frequently cited mental health condition.
Unfortunately for hoteliers, this massive increase in anxiety among the US population does not mix well with rising bed bug numbers. Tens of millions of people are already hyper-sensitive regarding bed bugs, as one out of five Americans has had an experience with a bed bug or knows someone who has experienced an infestation. To further complicate the issue for hoteliers, Orkin reports that staffing shortages that have been plaguing the industry for months now may lead to an increase in bed bug infestations. This higher risk factor for bed bug infestations, combined with an increasingly anxious guest clientele, could lead to disaster, ranging from negative media attention to lawsuits instigated by distraught guests.
The best solution for protecting your property and keeping your guests relaxed is with bed bug prevention. The first tool you should consider for prevention is an active mattress liner. The leading active mattress liner on the market is ActiveGuard®. It works continuously 24/7 for two years, with no maintenance required. Preventive strategies centered on the use of ActiveGuard have resulted in significant reductions of 80-90% in bed bug infestations. ActiveGuard® can also be featured in more comprehensive prevention programs established with your pest control provider to provide even higher levels of protection.
The comfort that guests experience at your property should be considered priceless because if that connection is broken, you will likely lose future bookings. Hotels must consider bed bug prevention as a core part of the overall guest experience. The hotel industry continues to innovate toward improving the guest experience and bed bug prevention is a major step forward in establishing guest comfort.