Safely Combating Insect Infestations in Hotels November 9, 2022
An infestation of bedbugs or other similar pests can be damaging to your hotel’s reputation and can represent a liability risk. Bedbugs, spiders, ants, and other pests can be carried in on guests’ clothes and possessions–virtually no hotel is immune, and high-traffic facilities are at an elevated risk of infestation. Although most pests found in hotels, including bedbugs, aren’t known to spread disease, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. It’s important to plan and prepare your staff for insect infestations so you can respond quickly.
In this article, we’ll discuss ways to identify infestations and other pest prevention tips. Let’s get started!
How to Identify Insect Infestations
Staff should conduct regular inspections to discover infestations before a guest does. Instruct staff to inspect all rooms upon vacancy, looking for living or dead bugs, small bloodstains from crushed insects, and dark spots from droppings. These identifiers can be anywhere on the floor boards, walls, and even linens.
Responding to Complaints
It’s crucial to have a plan in place to address patron complaints about bedbugs. Your procedure should effectively educate the guest about bedbugs and take action to confine and eliminate the infestation.
Use these steps to instruct housekeeping on how to react upon receiving the complaint:
- Offer the guest a new room
- Wash the guest’s clothes and the bedding in the hottest water and dry them on the hottest setting (make sure it’s safe for the materials)
- Use a stiff brush to dislodge bedbugs and eggs
- Use a HEPA vacuum on the mattress, bed frame, furniture, floor, and carpet, and discard the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag
- Bag mattresses and box springs for at least one year (never donate an infested mattress)
Conduct a thorough inspection and treatment of the room with a licensed pest control professional. In many instances, several treatments will need to be done to completely rid the area of bedbugs.
Don’t use the room until a professional certifies that it’s free of pests!
Tips for Eliminating Insect Infestations
Cleaning, disinfecting, and eliminating hiding places are the most effective method of ridding your facility of bedbugs and other pests. Many can live for several months without food and water, so it may be advisable to use a pesticide.
To protect your guests’ health, work with your exterminator on the following:
- Choose the least toxic pesticide available that will be effective (stronger-than-necessary chemicals could harm your guests and staff)
- Follow all manufacturer instructions for pesticide use
- Advise hotel staff to stay away from treated areas until the recommended period has elapsed
- Treat furniture and mattresses with pesticide only if necessary and with small amounts on the seams
For liability purposes, it’s important to document your pest mitigation process and swiftly resolve all identified infestations. However, if a guest does discover an infestation and you fear litigation, weigh the cost of settlement against lost business carefully. An infestation can be extremely detrimental to your reputation.
You can’t predict or always prevent an unwanted incident from occurring. But what you can do is prepare for the various risks that could jeopardize your business with the help of hotel owners insurance.
We can also assist you with other necessary insurance coverages for your hotel. Give us a call today!
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