Battle Against Bed Bugs

Battle Against Bed Bugs: Essential Prevention Tips

Guest Article | Out of Eden

This is a guest blog from Out of Eden who provide quality supplies to hospitality businesses all over the UK.

Within the past decade, bed bugs have become a growing concern for travellers and accommodation providers alike. It is easy for these pesky blood-sucking insects to travel around on guest belongings such as clothing and suitcases, infesting any place where people rest, from cruise ships to hotels to dormitories and holiday lets. Although bedbugs are relatively harmless for most people, some people do suffer from allergic reactions to their bites, not to mention, these pests often leave itchy spots that are a nuisance. For any guest, the thought of sharing a room with these unwelcome pests is enough to make anyone shudder.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent bed bugs from making a home in your accommodation and protect your guests from those itchy bites. This includes regular inspections around their favourite hiding places, looking out for tell tale signs that these insects might have stayed the night (hopefully all before your guests complains of bites!).

Firstly, What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Adult bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are reddish-brown in colour and have a flat oval shape, about the size of an apple seed. Adults can grow up to 5 millimeters in length, while younger nymphs are smaller and lighter in colour.

How serious are bed bugs?

Bed bugs may not pose serious health risks, but they can be a major nuisance. Their bites can cause itching, redness, and discomfort. Bed bugs also have the ability to multiply quickly and infest your accommodation, making it difficult to get rid of them without professional help, which can be costly.

What Causes Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are usually caused by infestations and can be easily transported from one place to another. They can hitch a ride on luggage, clothing, or any other personal items that come into contact with an infested area. This means that they can quickly spread from hotels to homes, making it essential to take preventive measures before they become a problem.

Poor hygiene and cleanliness can contribute to the presence of bed bugs. Cluttered spaces provide plenty of hiding spots, making it easier for them to multiply and infest different areas.

Surprisingly, clean hotel rooms can also become home to bed bug infestations as they welcome guests from other hotels, so it’s important for any hospitality provider to stay vigilant against these unwanted pests.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites can vary in appearance depending on the individual’s reaction to them. In most cases, symptoms of bed bug bites appear as small red welts on the skin. They may appear at random or in a red line. They are often itchy and may be accompanied by swelling. Some people develop a more severe symptoms such as severe itching resulting in larger welts, hives or even blisters. It is important to note that bedbug bites can take several days to show up, making it difficult to determine when or where the infestation occurred.

How to Find Bed Bugs

Spotting signs of bed bugs in your guest accommodation is crucial to prevent an infestation. Start by identifying their favourite places and scrupulously checking for any blood stains, black marks and skin casings they may have left behind.

Favourite bed bug hiding places may include:

  • Folds and seams of mattresses
  • Around the bed frame
  • Wallpaper seal cracks
  • Electrical outlets
  • Light sockets
  • Drawers
  • Upholstered furniture and headboard
  • Skirting boards (baseboard)

Aside from checking the favourite hiding places mentioned above, there are specific signs that you should look out for to spot bed bugs in your guest accommodation. These signs include:

  1. Blood stains: Bed bugs feed on blood, so you may notice small, reddish-brown stains on the sheets or mattress where they have been crushed after feeding.
  2. Black marks: Bed bugs leave behind fecal matter, which appears as tiny black dots. You may find these marks on the mattress, bedding, bed linens or nearby furniture.
  3. Skin casings: As bed bugs grow and molt, they shed their skins
  4. Fecal spots: Look for tiny dark spots or smears on bedding and mattresses

How Can I Tell If My Mattress Has Bed Bugs?

Beg bugs love to climb furniture and live around areas where people sleep (they are attracted to CO2 emitted by humans). If you find evidence of bedbugs on your mattress as those listed above, it may mean that they have found away inside your mattress and are living in the box springs. You can prevent bedbugs from infesting a mattress by using a mattress encasement.

Will Bed Bug Pests Disappear if I Don’t Use the Room?

Unfortunately, simply avoiding a room won’t make bed bugs disappear. Bed bugs are resilient pests that can survive for months without feeding* (Source sg/blog/bed-bugs/how-long-do-bed-bugs-live). They can hide in various cracks and crevices, waiting patiently for their next blood meal. If left unaddressed, the infestation will only continue to grow and spread to other areas of your home or establishment.

Therefore, it is essential to take proactive steps to eliminate bed bugs from your premises. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to dealing with bed bugs.

What Can I Do to Prevent a Bedbug Infestation?

Preventing a bedbug infestation requires a combination of proactive measures and vigilance. Here are some steps you can take to minimise the risk:

  1. Regularly inspect your mattress, bedding, and nearby furniture for any signs of bedbugs. Look for dark spots, shed skins, or tiny black dots.
  2. Use high heat from steam cleaning to kill any early signs of bed bugs and their eggs
  3. Use a mattress encasement to protect your mattress from bedbugs
  4. Keep your guest bedrooms clean and clutter-free. Bedbugs thrive in cluttered areas as they provide more hiding spots.
  5. Use a Tumble Dryer
  6. Place luggage stands in your guests rooms to prevent your guests from putting suitcases directly on the bed

Benefits of Using a Tumble Dryer

Using a tumble dryer is an effective way to prevent bed bug infestations. Here are some benefits of using a tumble dryer for bed bug control:

  1. High heat: Bed bugs cannot survive high temperatures. By using a tumble dryer on high heat settings, you can effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs that may be hiding in your bedding, clothing, or other fabric items.
  2. Convenient and time-saving: Tumble dryers offer a quick and efficient method to eliminate bed bugs. Simply place the infested items into the dryer and set it on a high heat cycle.

Use a Mattress Encasement to Protect Your Mattress Against Bed Bugs

Protect your valuable hotel mattresses from bed bugs with a fully sealed mattress encasement. Better than ordinary mattress protectors, the Waterproof Fully Sealed Mattress Encasement from Out of Eden fits all the way around a mattress and prevents bed bugs from living inside it. The encasement is made from polyester fabric and features a waterproof polyurethane backing which protects mattresses against liquids, mites and bugs.

Breathable & Hygienic

Microscopic pores in the mattress encasement allows air to circulate for a comfortable and hygienic nights’ sleep, in this way the encasement won’t hinder the breathability of the mattress.

Will a mattress encasement fit my mattress?

The generous size of the Waterproof Fully Sealed Mattress Encasement will fit most mattresses, with a maximum depth of up to 25cm.

Do I need to wash my mattress encasement at every changeover?

We recommend washing the mattress encasement before you first use it in order to remove any residual chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. Once the encasement is fitted onto the mattress, you can treat it as you would a mattress protector. If you need to wash it, it is easy to remove, having three zipped sides.

Use Luggage Stands to Prevent Bed Bugs Transferring on to Your Beds

You can prevent bugs from transferring onto beds from guests suitcases by encouraging guests to open their suitcase away from your guest bed to keep dirt, grime and pests from invading your sheets. These robust luggage stands from Out of Eden can hold suitcases weighing up to 50kg and they conveniently fold away when they are not needed.

Luggage Mats

Luggage mats act as a barrier to prevent dirt and bugs moving from suitcases and onto your bed sheets. Luggage mats sit on top of the guest bed and they are clearly labelled so that guests can see what they are intended for. They are handy to use where space is limited.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

The above can help prevent the spread of bedbugs but if you do see any signs of infestation then you should call certified pest control to exterminate and eradicate any bugs and their eggs professionally.

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