Talking Point: Is there an eco-friendly way to deal with bed bugs?

Bed bugs can be manually removed through steaming or vacuum cleaner

Bed bugs can be manually removed through steaming or vacuum cleaner

Pest control is a necessary evil for hotels and one that has to be managed carefully. Raymond Web of Take Care Termite and Pest Control shares some pest prevention and control strategies to help hoteliers keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free.

Bed bugs are some of the most persistent pests and their infestation can be really hard to detect at an early stage. Bed bugs can find their way into homes and hotels from absolutely anywhere. Hotels especially have a tough time dealing with these pests as there are numerous hiding places and opportunities for them to thrive.

If you own a hotel and are wondering how to find bed bugs and some of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs, don’t worry. The good news is that you can get rid of bed bugs if their infestation is detected early. Your first line of defence is your staff. They need to be trained thoroughly regarding such pest infestations. Right from ‘how to find bed bugs’ to ‘how do you kill bed bugs’, the staff should be aware of every aspect. Only then can they help you eliminate these stubborn pests successfully from your hotel. Here’s how you can equip your staff:

  • Train the Staff to Identify Signs of Infestation - Your housekeeping staff should be trained to look for signs of infestation every time they clean a room. This inspection comprises checking bedding, beds, baseboards and luggage stands for live adult or young bed bugs, cast off skin or empty shells, black spots of faeces which resemble grains of black pepper and small blood stains on mattresses or sheets.
  • Conduct Periodic Deep Cleaning - The supervisory personnel managing the housekeeping staff should conduct deep cleaning periodically including the cracks and crevices in furniture and walls.
  • Create Awareness Among the Staff - The staff should be provided separate storage areas for their belongings. Also, they should be trained to keep their homes free from bed bugs so that they do not carry them to the hotel.

Now let’s look at some of the most effective eco-friendly ways to get rid of bed bugs.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

  1. Steam Heat – Since this cannot be done on the bed, all the bedding items and covers should be sent for steam wash. This process will help you get rid of not only the bugs but also its larvae, pupa and other small bugs.
  1. Freezing – These pests cannot handle extremely chilled weather. Keep the bedding, pillow cover and bed covers in extreme cold for at least 48-72 hours. This will effectively kill these bugs. Professionals use carbon dioxide under pressure to instantly kill bed bugs and their eggs. This method is safe, non-chemical and non-toxic.
  1. Vacuuming – Bed bugs are visible to naked eye and hence can be easily removed by vacuuming. Carefully vacuum all the seams, the headboards of the beds and other potential hiding places. These bugs generally hide within 5 feet of the bed. Once you are done vacuuming, do not remove the vacuum from the room until you check all the vacuum brushes used, to ensure that there are no bed bugs caught in the roller. Remove the vacuum bag and keep it in a sealed bag before disposing it outside.
  1. Natural Sprays with Multiple Ingredients – Natural sprays for bed bugs are generally available in two different forms. One which uses an essential oil and one which uses a combination of ingredients. Organic bed bug sprays use plant extracts such as coconut, mentha pipenita, lauryl sulphate and euginia carophylla. You can even make the essential oil bed bug spray with this method: In a spray bottle, mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with water. Keep in mind that tea tree oil is toxic. So keep it away from children and pets, especially cats. For a lavender oil bed bug spray, mix approximately 30 to 40 drops of lavender oil with 1.5 ounces of water.

To get rid of bed bugs effectively, an eye for detail is required to identify the signs of infestation and prompt action. Regular inspection, prompt action, thorough cleaning and getting rid of clutter will help you keep your hotel free from bed bugs.

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