Beware the Mega Bedbugs!

They’re small, they’re gross, and they’re the root of so many complaints on TripAdvisor–you’re right, they’re bed bugs. It’s sad that one tiny insect can so adversely affect the reputation of a hotel and a customer experience. In fact, a University of Kentucky study says that a single recent review that mentions them lowers hotel room values by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers. Yikes!

Do you know what a bedbug looks like? According to the aforementioned research study, almost two-thirds of the people surveyed do not. For your reference, the menacing insects are red and about the size of an apple seed; they like to hang out in mattresses, pillows, and box springs.

Here’s how to check for them in your hotel room:

  • Look around mattresses, pillows, and bedspreads for small, dark marks roughly the size of a bold pen point. We won’t mention what that is.
  • Take a whiff! A strong, coriander-like odor can signal bedbug territory.
  • Rusty or reddish stains from crushed (ew!) bedbug.


What most people don’t know:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but recent studies have shown that they’re totally indiscriminate when it comes to hotel chain. You’re as likely to spot them at the leading luxury resorts as a roadside motel, and we’re just now finding out that they’re resistant to most of the chemicals we’re using to “kill” them.

So what can you do if you’re the first person to notice an infestation? There are very effective steps you can take to keep your business trip on the right track. If you see signs that bed bugs are lurking in your room, we have some suggestions.

Spotting an infestation:

  • Put your belongings in the bathroom. Bedbugs prefer soft spaces and generally don’t enter bathrooms–there’s nothing there for them to eat!
  • If possible, find a high shelf for your luggage, and store everything above eye level.
  • Whatever you do, don’t store any items under the bed.

 

Last year, we were mentioned on a major national news site for our advice on this topic. Take a look to learn more from us and others on USA Today! 

 

 

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