If you have been unfortunate enough to have battled bed bugs, then you completely understand how difficult treatment can be. A quick search on the web for bed bug treatments can leave you dizzy with suggestions, choices and opinions. Many websites tout home-based remedies such as diatomaceous earth, steam cleaning, vacuum cleaning, etc. There are also many over-the-counter products (too many to name in fact) that promise to “kill bed bugs overnight” or offer a “1-time bed bug treatment”. So who and what information do you trust?
Undoubtedly, if you are reading this blog, you have heard about the resurgence of bed bugs. We have written about the pests’ rapid increase in numbers as it effects the hotel industry and it’s guests, discussed the usefulness of the bedbug registry, and commented on housekeeping duties and training to help alleviate guest incidents, among other topics. And we are not the only website writing on the subject. A search for “bed bugs” on Google yields over 7,210,000 results! That is a LOT of information. Unfortunately, not all of the information can be trusted.
There have been bed bugs for thousands of years, and at least as long as people have been sleeping. However, the use of DDT nearly wiped out the now-common pest in the 40s, 50s and 60s. But DDT use was banned here in the United States in 1972, and the resurgence of bed bugs began. Within the last 10 years in specific, bed bugs have made a dramatic comeback. According to a 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, homes are still overwhelmingly the #1 place where pest control professionals battle the bugs. In second place, nearly 3/4 (74%) of pest control professionals have also battled infestations in hotels, motels and resorts. This explains the rise of consumer concern around bed bugs (a good thing) as well the the proliferation of websites like the Bed Bug Registry (not a good thing!) Hotels, motels and resorts are on the front lines of this battle, and need to be proactive. Having a well trained housekeeping staff is the best place to start!