Websites and apps are no longer a minor part of a hotel customer’s experience – digital touchpoints are the main event! From ease-of-use to guest check-in, there are multiple online factors that can have a positive or negative impact on your customers’ experiences and ultimately, your hotel’s ratings and reviews. Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as a friend’s review. Even more concerning – it takes 12 times the positive reviews for an organization to counteract one negative review.
As travel season begins, it’s important to remember that pests can impact online reviews just as much as other experiences during a guest’s stay, like ease of check-out or the strength of your hotel’s Wi-Fi signal. Bed begs, specifically, can plague online reviews as travelers find signs of bed bugs in their room more troubling than smoke odor, an unclean bathroom or even dirty sheets, and are more likely to switch hotels. And 80% of customers will go elsewhere if they read bad reviews about a business online.
Ninety percent of hotels have treated for bed bugs – four out of five have treated within the past year and almost half of all hotels have treated for bed bugs in the past month. When left undetected or untreated, a bed bug infestation can lead to costly remediation work, customer complaints and negative publicity. Bed bugs move from an infested site to a new home by “hitchhiking” in luggage, bags, boxes, clothing, bedding and furniture. Due to the close nature of hotel rooms, bed bugs are able to infest multiple rooms by traveling through wall voids along electrical conduit and pipe chases. They multiply quickly, and in just six months, a few can turn into a full-on infestation of 13,000. Detection is critical to break the bed bug life cycle before they become a bigger problem.
Because a bed bug infestation has nothing to do with sanitation issues, bed bugs can be found anywhere there is a food source – i.e. people. With high occupancy and more frequent guest turnover, the likelihood of experiencing every business’s worst nightmare increases. The best way to help prevent bed bug infestations requires vigilance from both your hotel staff and your pest management professional.
As you prepare for the upcoming travel season, develop a plan in case bed bug issues arise. Think through your response in advance and make sure your entire team is on board and understands protocol. Train housekeeping staff to look for signs during room cleanings. Develop a relationship with a pest management provider so you know who to call in the event of a pest problem.
Ask Customers to Speak Up
Bed bugs are nocturnal, so by the time one is spotted during the day, your property may have a serious problem. Encourage guests to report any issues they experience with their room immediately and provide clear instructions for who they should contact. Addressing an issue upfront allows you the opportunity to salvage the guest’s experience and can help prevent costly remediation down the road.
Diligence is Key
Require cleaning or maintenance crews to inspect rooms for bed bugs between each guest stay and implement more thorough inspections monthly and at the beginning and end of the travel season. Ask your maintenance or housekeeping staff to keep an eye out for potential hiding places, such as buckling wallpaper or carpet that may house bed bugs. Encourage staff to immediately report any bed bug issues to maintenance/management.
Make it Shine
Stick to a thorough cleaning program to help eliminate hiding places. Staff should clean rooms thoroughly and wash all linens after each guest stay and put them in the dryer on the hottest setting for a full cycle.
Use Proactive Programs
Utilize proactive programs, like canine bed bug detection. Properly trained bed bug scent detection dogs are effective in finding new introductions before they become noticeable infestations.
Botched DIY pest control attempts can prolong the window to resolving the problem and cost your business more money once a licensed provider is called. Immediately quarantine any bed bug-infested units, room(s) and any adjoining rooms for inspection and treatment if needed.
Contact a pest control expert to do the dirty work for you!
- Small bugs
- Cast skins or eggs
- Small, dark stains on sheets, mattresses, bed frames or headboards
- Itchy bite marks on legs and arms
- Musty, sweet smell, mostly associated with heavy infestations
The best way to help prevent bed bug infestations requires vigilance from both your hotel staff and your pest management professional. An educated housekeeping staff is your first line of defense against these little blood suckers. Ongoing training can help prevent an introduction from becoming an infestation.
- Between mattresses, under mattress cover and mattress tags
- Box springs, especially corners
- Bed skirts
- Bed frames and headboards
- Picture frames on walls near bed
- Any other cracks and crevices around the bed and other furniture
After every guest, check:
- Upholstered furniture
- Dresser drawers
- Chair cushions
- Behind hanging frames and wall fixtures
- Baseboards and corners
- Luggage racks
- Drapes and shades
- Electrical outlets and plates
- Remove headboards and check behind them
- Inspect under carpet
- Check behind wallpaper
TOTAL BED BUG SOLUTION:
Early detection and preventative maintenance are critical when it comes to successfully controlling these pests. Western is here to help and provides a full-service bed bug program with discreet solutions.
- Proactive Detection: We employ the region’s largest team of trained canines who can help find bed bugs faster, covering up to 125 rooms a day.
- Targeted Treatment: Experienced technicians apply proven treatments to isolate the issue and help prevent the spread of bed bugs. We’ll conduct a follow-up service 3-5 business days after the initial service. If live bed bug activity is found, we will continue treatment until the problem is resolved.
- Large Scale Remediation: For larger jobs, we are fully equipped with the tools and knowledge not widely available in the marketplace.
We know how damaging bed bugs and other unwanted pests can be to your business. That’s why we offer thorough inspections, a service warranty, unparalleled support, and the highest level of customer satisfaction. Western Pest Services® offers thorough bed bug control — from uncovering infestations and identifying their sources to keeping your business pest free all year.