Government Affairs - Detail
In the News - Bed Bugs
September 16, 2010
What’s Going On
An issue that used to be relegated to sweepsweeks coverage has now officially become one of the summer’s biggest stories – bed bugs. Compounding the increased coverage are the surveys being conducted by various pest control companies to drum up business. Fortunately the incidents being reported on are largely centered on retail stores, movie theaters, and even the Empire State Building, and not hotels.
AH&LA has been aggressively engaging the media. AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney has been interviewed extensively for print, radio, and television, including Time Magazine, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and DC’s Fox and NBC affiliates.
What You Can Do
Create a formal policy on how to handle a bedbug outbreak or complaints.
To effectively treat a one-bedroom space, pest elimination companies estimates range from $800 to $1,200. The best prevention is daily inspection. Employees should inspect rooms for bed bug activity every day by inspecting:
• guestroom linens;
• mattress and boxspring seams;
Staff should be looking not only for live insects, but also for cast skins or speckles of dried blood or excrement on furniture or in places where bed bugs hide.
Pay close attention to cleaning guestrooms by vacuuming rooms and accessories daily; inspecting incoming furniture and wall hangings that may have been stored or warehoused; and inspecting and repair loose wallpaper and cracks in baseboards to reduce areas where bed bugs can settle.
Hotels should also monitor the www.bedbugregistry.com, an online user-generated database tracking infestations in apartment buildings and hotels in North America.
Resources are available on the AH&LA members only section.
AH&LA is hosting a bed bug Webinar September 15. Details coming soon.
AHLEI has released a 12-minute DVD, Bed Bugs: Facts & Prevention, to meet the training needs of housekeepers, maintenance employees, and property managers. The program raises awareness of this critical issue and provides information to help employees, detect, manage, and prevent bed bug infestations.
The National Pest Management Association’s bed bug hub also has a host of resources to assist in your efforts, including the popular bed bug posters.
Although the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) estimates there has been an increase in bed bugs in America over the last several years, the increase has had a minimal impact on the vast majority of hotels.
Bed bugs are brought into hotels by guests; it is not a hotel sanitation issue. Education, awareness, and vigilance are critical. A trained and knowledgeable housekeeping staff is one of the best lines of defense, along with having regular pest control inspections.
Typically, the bites produce redness, swelling, and itching. It is important to note bed bug bites do not transmit any human diseases.
Though not empowered to set standards for the lodging industry, the association offers additional resourceful tips, information, and products for hoteliers through its Educational Institute, based in Orlando, Fla.