This holiday season is expected to be very busy travel-wise, which provides an ancillary boost in hotel bookings. An analysis from the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 112.7 million people will travel during the winter holidays this year. The study’s estimate represents a potential increase of 3.6 million people compared to last year. Encouragingly, the study states that “2022 is expected to be the third busiest year for holiday travel since AAA began tracking in 2000.” Further, there is an expected 14% increase in air travel compared to last year, with more than 7 million people taking domestic flights in the U.S. This increase in travel and bookings can provide a great way to end the financial year on a high note for many hotels throughout the country.
Unfortunately, this increase in guests walking through your lobby inevitably means more bed bugs dropping off luggage racks and spreading throughout your hotel. According to pest control provider Terminix, a single female bed bug “will lay anywhere from 200 to 250 eggs during her lifetime.” When considering the different family trees that branch off of a single pregnant female bed bug, Terminix writes that “a single pregnant female can cause an infestation of more than 5,000 bed bugs within a six-month period.” (Editor’s note: estimates from other pest professionals indicate levels as high as 30,000 bed bugs from one pregnant female within the same time span.) The financial and reputational impact of a bed bug infestation that large on a hotel can be devastating.
The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is to stop it before it takes hold. A bed bug prevention plan is critical for any hotel. Once a bed bug infestation occurs, reactive treatments may clear your room, but they cannot reverse this event once the “genie out of the bottle”—especially true if a guest encounters the bug before your staff. Your bed bug prevention plan should include:
- Creating a thorough and comprehensive bed bug documentation and reporting procedure
- Incorporating staff training on bed bug identification
- Contracting a licensed pest control provider with their updated contact information at your staff’s fingertips.
Strongly consider conducting an annual bed bug inspection with your service provider to uncover any underlying infestations.
ActiveGuard® Mattress Liners are the centerpiece to any bed bug prevention plan. These breathable polyester fabric liners are the leaders in their class. Nothing else can provide 24/7 protection for a full 24 months after installation. They do not require any maintenance nor repair if inadvertently ripped—the liners keep on working! Your staff is free to continue their workday uninterrupted with no disruptions to hotel operating efficiencies. These liners are discretely working to protect your beds and, more importantly, your guests from bed bug infestations. They appear simply as another piece of your bedding set, with discretion always being top of mind when the ultimate guest hotel experience is at the forefront of your business model.