Don't Let Pests Hitchhike Their Way Into Your Hotel

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | October 28, 2008

As gasoline continues to sell at high prices, humans aren't the only ones seeking alternate ways to travel. While pests may not stick out their thumb and ask for a ride, they can "hitchhike" into hotels in shipments and people's belongings.

Pests flock to hotels for numerous reasons, including food, water and shelter. Some hitchhiking pests such as bed bugs come inside in people's belongings, while crawling pests often hide in supply boxes and shipments. Let's take a closer look at each of these pests, including how you can identify them and prevent them from earning a free night's stay.

Bed Bugs

When turning down the bed at night, guests don't expect to see surprises under the covers or on the pillows, except for maybe a chocolate or mint. The last thing they want to find is a bed bug.

Bed bugs measure about 3/16 of an inch in length and with their oval-shape and reddish-brown color closely resemble apple seeds. While bed bugs have long been thought of as a "pest of the past," their reemergence in recent years can be attributed in part to an increase in international travel and change in pest management treatment methods. These "hitchhikers" often enter hospitality facilities via luggage or guest belongings.

While bed bugs have not been found to transmit diseases, these blood-feeders can leave itchy, red welts on their victims. Not only can an infestation result in a lawsuit or unwelcome media attention, but it also can impact your bottom line since heavily infested furniture often must be discarded.

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