Bed-Bug Resurgence Has Housekeepers on Lookout

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — As if our dicey economy isn’t enough for hoteliers to contend with, the bed bug—a longtime pest of the lodging industry—has made a resurgence in America.
Once virtually eradicated from the hospitality industry, the bed bug is back and showing up in even the most exclusive hotels and resorts, according to Ecolab, which has a Pest Elimination division and even offers a removal service specific to bed bugs.
Bed bugs are nocturnal, blood-feeding insects that can hide almost anywhere, including bedding and mattresses. There is no serious danger, but the irritating, itchy bumps they leave on victims present a danger of another kind: upsetting your guests.
While the National Pest Management Association estimates there has been an increase in bed bugs over the last several years, this has had a minimal impact on the vast majority of hotels, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).
“Bed bugs are brought into hotels by guests; it is not a hotel sanitation issue,” says the AH&LA in an official statement on the matter. “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.”
It’s recommended that hotel employees inspect guestrooms daily, specifically the linens, mattress/boxspring seams, headboards and bedding.
Staff should look not only for live insects, but also for cast skins or speckles of dried blood or excrement.
Yuck. I now have a newfound respect for the bedtime warning, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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