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September 14, 2023

5 Steps to Address Bed Bugs in Guest Rooms

Hotel employee inspects a mattress for signs of bed bugs.

Several recent, high profile have brought bed bugs to the forefront of many traveler’s minds. And while travelers fear these tiny terrors, no one loses more sleep at night over bed bugs than hoteliers. This begs the question – what can hotels do to fight back against bed bugs?

The Never-Ending Problem

While it might seem like bed bugs are making a resurgence, the truth is bed bugs have always been a problem for hotels of all sizes and tiers. In fact, a showed a staggering 90% of properties report having treated for bed bugs in the past. 82% say they’ve treated within the past year alone.

The True Costs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs aren’t just a problem. They are a significant expense. that a property will spend over $6,000 per incident – this equates to more than 50 nights of revenue for the average hotel room. What this figure doesn’t account for is the cost of litigation. Statistics show that nearly half of hotels have faced litigation due to bed bugs. These costs average over $17,000 per incident.

Beyond dollars and cents, perhaps one of the greatest costs of bed bugs is the negative word of mouth and loss of reputation that follows. News of bed bugs travel fast, and properties may struggle with lost customers and declining occupancy rates in the wake of an infestation.

Can you Prevent Bed Bugs in Hotels?

The sad answer is no – no matter how many precautions a property takes, there is simply no way to prevent bed bugs from entering a property. However, with the proper procedures, properties can catch bed bugs quickly and prevent large scale infestations. There are also ways to protect your investments (like pillows and mattresses) to avoid costly replacements.

How to Limit the Damage Done by Bed Bugs

A housekeeper sweeping in a hotel guest room.

Instead of hoping to avoid bed bugs, properties should consider how to minimize the cost and damage caused when bed bugs are found. Here are 5 steps you can take to fight back against bed bugs:

1.) Staff Training

Your housekeepers and laundry staff are the front line of the battle against bed bugs. Make sure they know the warning signs and report any suspicions immediately. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely it can be controlled with minimal damage.

2.) Proper Cleaning

Ensure all linen and textile items are laundered properly at high temperatures. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule for items such as curtains and upholstery to ensure they aren’t harboring pests. Finally, vacuum thoroughly after each guest using a HEPA filter to capture potential eggs or nymphs.

3.) Building Maintenance

Even the smallest crack can become a bed bug super highway. Ensure all cracks and crevices throughout the building are properly sealed to prevent spread. Repair peeling wallpaper, loose electrical outlets, and other potential hiding spots.

4.) Inspections

Pest inspections are often completed on a monthly or quarterly basis by your pest control company. This is helpful, however, more frequent inspections can help you detect pests before they’ve had a chance to spread. Completing a weekly inspection of all rooms can be a powerful pest control tool. Consult with your pest control company to create a proper inspection checklist.

5.) Protect your Mattresses and Pillows

One of the costliest casualties of a bed bug incident is often the mattress(es) in a room. Replacing these items can cost properties thousands of dollars. By protecting your mattresses and pillows, not only are you avoiding this replacement cost, but you are also eliminating yet another popular hiding spot for bed bugs and other pests.

Introducing AllerEase® Professional

is the #1 allergy bedding brand in the U.S. for blocking not just bed bugs but also viruses, bacteria, and allergens that prevent your guests from getting the rest they deserve. AllerEase® Professional takes this popular at-home protection and expertly designed it to stand up to the rigors of everyday hospitality usage.

AllerEase® Professional bed bug barrier products include mattress encasements, box spring covers, and pillow protectors.

 

A partially zipped AllerEase Mattress Encasement.

Duraflex™ System Zippered Mattress Encasements

Designed hand in hand with executive housekeepers to overcome the installation and maintenance challenges other products have.

Features include:

  • Bedbug and allergen barriers, plus waterproof layer
  • Antimicrobial fabric finish inhibits growth of microbes
  • Temperature balancing technology keeps guests cool and comfy
  • 360° zip-off top for easy laundering and installation
  • Secure zipper locks out bedbugs
  • Corner anchor bands hold encasement in place
  • 6-sided protection fully encases mattress
  • Easy installation by one person

Learn More

 

AllerEase® Platinum Pillow Protectors

Pillow Protectors

Quiet. Cool. Comfortable. Protected. AllerEase® Professional offers pillow protector options for hoteliers to extend the life of their pillows.

Features include:

  • Antimicrobial protection
  • Dust mite & allergen barrier
  • Quiet comfort soft top layer
  • Waterproof protection
  • Zipper closure
  • Temperature balancing

Learn more

 

AllerEase box spring encasement protects against bed bugs and allergens.Box Spring Covers

Get six-sided box-spring protection with the easy-to-install AllerEase® Ultimate. Guards against bed bugs, dust mites, allergens, and more.

  • Dust Mite and Allergen Barrier
  • Bed Bug Barricade
  • Zipper Around Three Sides
  • 7-9″ Pocket Depth

Learn more

 

 

AllerEase® Professional FAQs

lab technician performance testing allerease products

Does the mattress encasement really prevent bed bugs from getting through?

Absolutely. These durable products have been rigorously 3rd party tested to support product claims, including the Bed Bug Barrier and Bite Test. This test involved a blood meal attractant and used a mixture of bed bugs from 5 different stages of the life cycle, eggs to adult. The results? The fabric, seams, zipper and closure all passed the test and were effective in creating a bed bug barrier.

 

What other tests have been performed?

AllerEase® Professional products have undergone a battery of additional tests, including viral penetration, virus blocking, antibacterial, antimicrobial, waterproofness, thermal resistance, stain, colorfastness, and temperature balancing tests.

 

Aren’t mattress encasements and pillow protectors hot and noisy?

Many protectors are hot, noisy, and stiff, but not AllerEase® Professional. The fabrics used for our mattress and pillow protectors are quiet to sleep on, soft and comfy to the touch, and they deliver benefits like temperature balancing technology that moves body heat and moisture away from your body.

 

Putting on a mattress encasement is a 2- or 3-person job, right?

Installing a traditional mattress encasement is usually a multi-person job. However, AllerEase® has a patent-pending design that guarantees installation of the Duraflex Base™ and Zip-Off top can be done by one per person in about 3 minutes without lifting the mattress.

 

What kind of return can I expect on my investment?

There are many significant ROI benefits of using AllerEase® Professional mattress and pillow protectors. Here are just three:

    1. Now, more than ever, guests need reassurance the room they stay in is clean and safe. The fabric utilized in AllerEase® Professional products not only blocks bacteria, mold, and mildew, it actually inhibits the growth of all of these when used on your mattresses and pillows.
    2. Protects against an infestation of bed bugs. Data shows a dramatic decline in bookings once a bed bug infestation is reported or announced on social media or a website like BedBugRegistry.com. In many cases bookings decline 50% in the short term and can take six months to recover.
    3. Repeat guest stays and referrals. When hotels use in-room marketing materials like counter-top tent cards, brochures and other pieces to make guests aware of the investment the hotel has made, repeat guest stays and referrals to a specific property impact the property’s RevPar over time. AllerEase® Professional can provide these marketing materials for you.

 

Ready to get started?

Contact us today to get a free sample of AllerEase and to discuss your property’s specific needs. Together, we can minimize the risks associated with bed bugs, viruses, bacteria, and allergens.