After a surprising peak at over 3,000 reported commercial cases of bed bug infestations in the United States in 2012, the number of national occurrences has decreased steadily over the last few years. This is great news for business owners everywhere that deal with fabrics, linens and the like in their day to day lives. While this downturn is reassuring, it should not be an invitation for laziness. If the numbers are going down, why should I worry about creepy crawlies getting into my hotel, right? Wrong!
The only way to help keep this number going down instead of up is to stay vigilant when it comes to best practices for keeping your hotel free from uninvited guests.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Train your staff to find where bed bugs hide
Each day when your cleaning staff goes through each room to clean and change linens, add a visual bed bug check to their routine. Bed bugs are flat, oval, wingless, red-brown little buggers and are most frequently found in the following places: all the nooks and crannies of the beds (duh), carpeting, rugs, drapes, furniture upholstery, the straps on furniture racks and in any crack or crevice they can possibly fit in. Checking for them as they go through their daily cleaning routines will help you respond to any potential issue before it becomes too widespread.
Always bag dirty linens and separate them from clean ones
Bed bugs can’t fly. Instead, they scurry from place to place, sucking up blood and grossing out people everywhere. Because they get from place to place by crawling, they love the travel opportunities that crumpled linens afford them. If one bed in your hotel happens to have a couple bugs, keeping the dirty linens they’re hiding in separate from clean ones is your best bet for keeping them from spreading further.
Separate employee belongings from laundering areas
Ask employees to keep bags, purses, backpacks, lunchboxes, superhero capes, comic book collections, race cars and other related personal belongings away from the places where laundering and cleaning occur. This will help you in two ways – by lessening the chance of an employee introducing home bed bugs to the hotel at large and vice versa – keeping any potential outbreak as contained as possible.
Move things around so bed bugs have no chance to hide
Bed bugs don’t only hide in fabric and linens. They also like any dark place where they can hide and plan your establishment’s downfall. Rude, right? One way to fight their evildoing is by having your cleaning staff move the furniture in the room at least once a week. Have them pull the headboard away from the wall and check behind dressers and entertainment centers to see if any creatures have taken up lodging in your hotel room’s hidden places.
Educate employees on proper at-home bed bug prevention
Give your employees literature or a training seminar to teach them best practices for keeping bed bugs out of their homes. Remind them to always inspect second hand furniture before bringing it into their home, to wash used clothing in hot water as soon as it’s purchased and to be as vigilant about keeping an eye out for potential infestation at home as they are at work.
And, finally: Know who to contact in case, despite all your best efforts, bed bugs burrow their way into your establishment anyway. Experts like those at Assured Environments are available to answer your calls and ease your pest-related worries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get rid of bed bugs and keep other creepy critters out of your place of business.