Coronavirus and Bed Bugs: How to Protect Your Guests When You Reopen

Bed Bugs Will Not Die off During Covid-19, but Lay in Wait for When Hotel Guests Return, Finds Smart Pest System Company Spotta

United Kingdom, Cambridge. May 21, 2020

The damage from Covid-19 to hotels may not be over once the Government greenlights a return to travel, according to creator of smart pest systems, Spotta. The UK-based company reveals dormant bed bugs will live around a year without feeding, waiting for hotel guests to return.

"If your hotel had bed bugs before lockdown, you'll find them again when you reopen," says Robert Fryers, CEO at Spotta. "With a life span of more than a year, bed bugs are experts at conserving their energy when there's no food available. And they'll be hungry when your guests return."

Confirming Spotta's warning to hoteliers, Dr Richard Naylor, director and chief entomologist at The Bed Bug Foundation, says: "As we've seen with ski chalets closed for months during their off-season, I expect the first overnight guests in hotels post-Coronavirus closures will be met by hungry bugs."

Naylor advised that while bed bugs are known to dislike light, rarely coming out during the day and hiding in the darkest places of hotel rooms such as under mattresses and in headboards, dormant bed bugs will awake from their slumber with an almost insatiable hunger.

He warned: "If they've been dormant for months, bed bugs will be highly aggressive, particularly when it's dark. If really hungry, they may also lose their phobia of light. This means bed bugs are much more likely to bite when a host returns."

As part of their Coronavirus recovery planning, hotels should allow time for identifying and treating bed bugs before reopening to guests.

But it's not all bad news for hoteliers, according to Naylor: "Bed bugs are unlikely to be transmitted between buildings as people's movement is restricted. Whilst dormant, the bed bugs also won't be moving around your business, so you're likely to find them where they were before shutting your doors. Having known infestations treated by specialists is key to providing your guests a safe environment to return to, whilst monitoring systems are a good way to ensure guests won't get savaged as the bed bugs awake looking for a feed."

Adds Fryers: "Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide their potential host breathes out. They also like heat. To try and trick them into wasting their energy looking for food, you can up the heat in your rooms. However, we don't advise hoteliers to take this route due to the monetary and environmental costs of heating an empty room. Instead, investing in a smart monitoring system and working with your pest controllers to treat any infestations are key."


Bed Pods monitor for the presence of bed bugs 24/7 using Spotta Smart Pest Control System
/ SLIDES
Tags: bed bugs, cleaning, hygiene, health, guest experience, sleep, hotel rooms, housekeeping, pests

About Spotta

Media Contact:

Ryan Haynes
Consultant
Haynes Marcoms
T: 079-195-10051
E: pr@haynesmarcoms.agency
W: http://www.haynesmarcoms.agency

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Guest Service: Health and Safety First

Though expectations are that hotels will return to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, their highest priority must continue to be the health and safety of guests and employees. To that end, hotels are training their guest service personnel in enhanced cleaning routines, which include the following practices - bathrooms, elevator buttons, remote controls and other high-touch items, are disinfected and cleaned with a higher frequency; all tables, chairs and menus in restaurants are cleaned at a much higher frequency, and after each seating; floor markers in public areas to remind guests and team members to maintain physical distance; hand alcohol stations and disposable gloves in lobbies and restaurants; loose items such as pens, note pads and information material removed from rooms and meeting rooms; limiting the number of seats in restaurants and public areas; and revised food & beverage offerings. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will review how guest service personnel are being trained to maintain health and safety protocols in their operations.