Hotel rooms are supposed to be clean and comfortable for your guests. Unfortunately, a bed bug infestation can shatter this expected promise of cleanliness. Worst of all, recent studies have shown a link between bed bugs and overall guest health. A study from the National Library of Medicine published in 2021 describes the potential health risks that come from bed bug exposure. The study states that “bed bug infested patients were significantly more likely to undergo chest radiography, be admitted to the hospital and receive albuterol [Editor’s note: albuterol dilates the airways in the lung to assist in breathing].” One of the reasons bed bugs can cause these health complications is through their production of histamine.
Histamine is a naturally occurring chemical compound that may cause allergic reactions, with the most common symptoms being inflammation, rashes and a raft of respiratory problems. A study from 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a connection between excess histamine and health effects such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, irregular heart rate and asthma. The Journal of Medical Entomology published a study in September 2022 that showed that a single bed bug can produce more than 50 micrograms of histamine in one week. The study, conducted by entomologists Sudip Gaire, Simona Principato, Coby Schal and Zach DeVries, found that an infestation of about 1,000 bed bugs could produce up to 40 milligrams of histamine in a week. Left unaddressed, an infestation like that would deposit a large amount of this irritant in a guestroom.
In an article from Entomology Today, Zach DeVries, Ph.D., assistant professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, was interviewed about the study. He said there was so much histamine present that he could physically see the irritant on objects in the room. “When we talk about pesticides, allergens, or any other thing in our home that some invading organism is producing, it’s always on microscopic levels, not something where you could actually hold it in your hand,” says DeVries. A hotel room with 1,000 bed bugs—an easily achievable number in a few weeks once a pregnant bed bug is introduced into a room—can produce enough of the irritant to see with your own eyes.
The best strategy to keep your rooms healthy and safe from bed bug infestations is through prevention. The first step in prevention is to install an active mattress liner on your box spring or mattress that stops introduced 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 hitchhiking bed bugs from multiplying quickly in a short window of time. It works continuously 24/7 for two years, with no maintenance required, and it can be installed by your own housekeeping staff as easily as a fitted sheet.
Protect your guests and keep them healthy. Stop infestations with active bed bug prevention!