Unfortunately, bed bugs are on their way back. After a reduction in hotel bed bug occurrences in 2020, the pests are expected to return to normal levels or even increase as leisure travel rebounds.
When the topic of tiny creepy crawlies comes up, we immediately shiver, say “Ewww,” and change the topic. In the hospitality industry, however, we can’t shy away from the conversation.
Bed bugs rely on human movement to spread. They are well-known hitchhikers from house to hotel. During the pandemic, with fewer people traveling and fewer guests, bed bugs lost their food source. However, bed bugs can go dormant for up to a year. As guests return, pest control professionals warn that bed bugs will too. A senior director at Terminix recently shared, “Currently, they are just not moving, but they are not dying out. They are not gone, just inactive.”
Most hotels work with a pest management company to develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. An IPM Plan focuses on inspection, prevention, and monitoring of pests.* A few aspects include:
In addition to these recommendations, the EPA also suggests including mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements as part of a hotel’s Integrated Pest Management Plan.
Be sure to select encasements with fabric that bed bugs cannot penetrate. Standard Textile’s AllerEase® Professional is a full line of products designed specifically for hotels to protect your mattress, box spring, and pillow investment. The soft circular knit top fabric is backed with a 100% waterproof, bed bug and dust mite barrier technology layer. The barrier fabric, as well as the secure zipper utilized in the AllerEase® Professional line, completely protects hotel beds from bug infestations.
Some of our customers have integrated AllerEase® into their standard room make up procedures. Both installation and changing encasements have proved easy for their staff. Another customer of ours, The Galt House, has avoided even a single confirmed case of bed bugs since the AllerEase® mattress encasements were placed on the beds.
AllerEase® Platinum Mattress Encasement with DuraFlex™ Base and Zip off Top – 4-sided removable top with Duraflex™ Base was designed hand in hand with executive housekeepers to protect one of the most expensive room assets—the mattress.
AllerEase® Ultimate Box Spring Cover – Keep bed bugs out of your box springs with the easy-to-install AllerEase® Ultimate Box Spring Cover.
AllerEase® Platinum and Ultimate Pillow Protectors – Washing and drying at high temperatures will rid bedding items of bed bugs, but pillows should not be washed at high temperatures. AllerEase® Pillow protectors can keep bed bugs out and the protectors can be washed at high temperatures if exposed.
Hotels spend an average of $6,383 on any given bed bug issue that arises, according to the National Pest management Association. This doesn’t include damage to reputation or lost revenues while the infested room and adjacent rooms are out-of-service for decontamination. Including mattress encasements and pillow protection in your IPM plan will go a long way in avoiding those costs.
Contact our team to learn more about how you can reduce the risk of the return of bed bugs.
*Check out this recent Hotel Business Magazine webinar where Benjamin Hottel, Ph.D., an entomologist with Orkin (and possibly the only person in the world who thoroughly enjoys talking about bed bugs), discussed how hoteliers should consider pest control post-pandemic. It offers a deep dive into considerations to prepare for staff training and pest management.
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