In the past decade, bed bugs have reappeared across the world and the rate of hotel outbreaks is increasing.
The risk to your hard-earned reputation should a guest get bitten and then take to social media is significant. The burning question on everyone's lips - why now? Rather than there being one simple reason, there are several associated reasons, all of which have contributed to the rise of the bed bug.
Here are five key things to think about if you are in hospitality business:
1. Be proactive, and improve your pest management procedures:
Many hoteliers are reluctant to implement a proactive pest management procedure for bed bugs. It's just a hassle, you might think: costly, time-consuming and all my staff must be trained constantly. Besides, what are the chances really that bed bugs will infiltrate my hotel? With the rise of cheap air travel, this risk is the highest its ever been. What you may not realize is how much bed bugs can cost you, from revenue to reputation.
2. Cheap and accessible travel increases the risk of bed bug infestations:
Nowadays, travelling has become exceptionally easy, quick and cheap it's far more accessible than it has ever been. In 2017-18 international tourists visiting Europe reached 671 million, an 8% increase on the previous year. South Africa continues to be an attractive tourist destination for travelers from across the world, with the latest figures showing an increase of 2.7% for the first five months of 2018 compared to the first five months of 2017.
There is a constant mass movement of people, be it for business or pleasure, who briefly stay in hotels. As a result, the incidences of bed bugs being transported into hotel via clothes, shoes, furniture and bags from hotel to hotel and country to country has risen. This means anyone could transport the bugs into any given hotel.
3. Bed bugs are becoming resistant to treatments:
Bed bugs are increasingly resistant to commonly used insecticides called Pyrethroids. They are evolving, and their genetic changes have created a resistance. Standard chemicals are often no longer enough to get rid of these pests. Read our previous blog post on 5 reasons why bed bugs defy insecticide treatment to find out more.
A reputable pest control provider will only use the most effective, up to date treatments, getting rid of even on the most resistant of bed bugs.
4. Prepare for unprecedented heat:
The summer of 2018 in Europe: the football world cup, heatwaves and bed bugs - what a time to be alive!
While the 2018 heatwave in England and Europe bought a smile to almost everybody's face, it also cultivated bed bug epidemics across the world. Bed bug appearances peak in the heat, as they get dehydrated and thirsty and come out. A normal summer sees an increase of bed bugs let alone in record breaking temperatures. While you can't change the weather, you can prepare for the storm that is sure to follow.
5. Refresh your bed bug knowledge:
Thanks to the internet, much more is known about bed bugs. Each year, there are thousands of bed bug related articles across all media channels some scaremongering, others truthful. Online guides can provide you with all the information you need, but there is a lot of misinformation out there, so it's essential that you consult and check with the professionals.
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