If you work in the hospitality industry, you’ve probably heard a lot about bed bugs. The problem is that not everything commonly believed about bed bugs is true.
How do you know what’s true and what’s false, and how can you separate the myths from the facts? These tidbits should help:
Myth or Fact: Bed bugs are only found in dirty rooms.
Myth. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website, it’s not dirt and grime that attracts bed bugs, but the warmth, blood and carbon dioxide that sleeping humans provide. So while dirt doesn’t seem to be a factor, clutter can give the pests more places to hide and thrive.
Myth or Fact: Bed bugs only come out at night.
Fact and myth. Bed bugs are nocturnal pests, which is one reason they can be difficult to spot. However, since they can adjust to their hosts’ (humans’) schedules, they have been known to sometimes bite during the day, so don’t completely rule out the possibility.
Myth or Fact: Most people can easily recognize bed bugs.
Myth. Most American travelers don’t know exactly what a bed bug looks like, according to a University of Kentucky 2017 survey. In spite of being unable to identify bed bugs, 60 percent of those travelers surveyed said they would switch hotels if there was evidence of the pests. Most common bed bugs are reddish-brown and have an oval-shaped body about the size of an apple seed. They do not have wings.
Myth or Fact: Bed bugs had largely disappeared at one time but have made a resurgence.
Fact. After largely vanishing a few decades ago, bed bug infestations made a strong recurrence in the late 1990s, likely due to increased international travel.
Myth or Fact: As their name implies, bed bugs only infest beds.
Myth. While most bed bug infestations are associated with the bed, headboard, pictures and baseboards next to the bed, they can also be found in upholstered furniture, nightstands, dressers, window frames, door frames and carpet, as well as cracks, crevices, folds and tucks around these areas.
Myth or Fact: Some people are allergic to bed bugs.
Fact. Bed bugs are not usually a major health concern as they are not known to carry pathogens that can cause disease. However, bed bug bites can affect different people in different ways and some may have an allergic reaction to bed bugs that can possibly require medical attention.
Myth or Fact: Bed bugs can spread easily.
Fact. Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers and can travel from place to place on human belongings like luggage, furniture and other items that are carried from an infested location.
Myth or Fact: Only hotels have to worry about bed bugs.
Myth. In addition to hotel rooms, bed bugs can infest homes, apartments, dorms, schools, healthcare facilities, movie theaters, cars and other locations.
Myth or Fact: You probably need professional pest control help for a bed bug infestation.
Fact. Do-it-yourself bed bug control methods are often ineffective in removing or controlling these pests. One product or treatment alone isn’t likely to stop an infestation. Additionally, some bed bug populations have become resistant to certain pesticides. According to EPA.gov, bed bug control can only be maintained through a treatment strategy that includes a variety of techniques plus careful attention to monitoring.
Professional commercial pest control companies with experience in treating hotels for bed bugs, like Terminix® Commercial, can use a comprehensive, customized approach to help remove the pests and keep them from coming back. Terminix professionals are trained in identifying bed bug infestations early and in treating them quickly with minimal interruption to hotel operations. They can also help educate you and your staff about what to watch for to help prevent future problems.
With Terminix Commercial as your pest control partner, bed bugs won’t be welcome at your hotel. And that’s a fact.