Vacation rental owners and Airbnb hosts
- beware of the bed bugs!
Having people checking in and out of your house on a regular basis will increase the chance of getting bed bugs.
Bed bugs are disgusting, creepy small insects that will eat you alive and suck your blood. They hide during the day, but at night after you’re asleep they will crawl all over you and suck your blood.
In this article we're providing some tips how to discover the bugs, how to prevent them from infecting your home and how to get rid of them.
Contrary to what many people think, a bed bug problem is not related to bad hygiene or lack of cleanliness. Bed bugs is an increasing problem as they spread rapidly as people are carrying them in their luggage from hotels to hotels, and from hotels to homes. The bugs don’t care whether it’s a 5 star hotel, a cheap hostel or an Airbnb flat. They can be found everywhere!
Also read: Have you had a bad Airbnb experience? Submit your Airbnb horror story here
Once you have discovered these creepy small bugs in your house, they are very difficult to get rid of, one must seek professional help – which is a costly operation. To exterminate the bugs from a house or flat can cost from $1000 and up.
Bed bugs are not directly dangerous, but people get annoying bites and some can get allergic reactions.
So what can you do to protect yourself from this problem?
Make sure your insurance covers extermination of bed bugs
Getting rid of bed bugs is extremely difficult and one must in most cases one must seek professional help. As written, this is a costly operation.
If you’re renting your guest room to strangers, make sure your insurance covers the cost of getting professional help. Most normal insurances don’t cover this and the Airbnb host protection program doesn’t either.
Check for bed bugs regulary
There is a very good chance that you have bed bugs if you waking up each morning with bite symptoms on your body that were not present when you went to sleep. A situation like this would be a good reason to investigate the possibility that bed bugs are present. It is also important to realize that just because you have looked for bed bugs and could not find them, does not mean that they are not there. These insects lead a very cryptic and secretive lifestyle and will often go undetected.
Don't move furniture from one room to another without checking thourougly for bed bugs. The bugs can be very difficult to discover as they hide in small cracks and corners, often in the bed itself, but also in sofas, matresses, behind paintings and closets etc.
Occasionally you may see evidence of a bed bug infestation without actually seeing any bed bugs. Bed bugs leave fecal stains in the areas they inhabit. These stains are actually partially digested blood but remember that it will not be red unless you crush a bed bug that has just recently fed. As the blood is digested it turns black and therefore the bed bug droppings usually consist of several black spots in one area.
Check all furniture, beddings and matresses thourougly for such spots, they look like this:
Extreme temperatures will kill the bed bugs
Bed bugs are sensitive to high and low temperatures. If you have discovered bed bugs in a limited area, wash pillows, duvets and beddings on a high temperture after each guest to kill any bugs. Use a dryer on at least medium to high setting and run the dryer for at least 30 minutes. Washing will kill some of the bed bugs, but it is the heat of drying that will kill any remaining bed bugs. Make sure to separate beddings from other garments.
If you live in a cold place, put the matresses in the snow for a few hours during the winter.
Insect spray will just make the problem worse, as bed bugs have developed resistance to most insecticides.
Some advice to reduce the chance of a bed bug infection
- Put a luggage rack in the guest room or flat and tell your guests to use it. This will reduce the chance of bugs crawling from the luggage to the bed.
- Use silicon spray to seal any cracks, making it less likely for the bugs to settle down.
- Do not move any furniture from the rooms / flats you're renting out to other places without checking them thourughly
- Always separate guest beddings from your own beddings and clothes.
- And again - make sure your insurance will cover professional extermination if necessary
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