A quick look online will yield thousands of complaints from people waking with bites when staying in a hotel. Fingers are hastily pointed in the direction of the hotelier blaming them for bed bugs and holding them responsible.
Because it is hard to identify “if” the bite was from a bed bug or know where the bed bug may have come from, travelers are extorting FREE nights and replacement of belongings from hotels. They expect that just because they have a bite mark, it was from the room they stayed in at the hotel.
Not always the case!
What I’d like to address today is facts about bed bugs that just might wake you up to a new reality.
People react to bites differently. Mosquito and fleabites are often mistaken as bed bug bites. What if your guest was out at a Bar-b-q that night and was bitten by mosquitoes? On the other hand, how about playing on a grass field and got a fleabite or chiggers?
Number one, hoteliers don’t bring bed bugs in their rooms, it just happens. Most of the time it is the guests bringing them in or a staff member can also contribute if they have them at home. Most of the larger hotels have housekeeping and maintenance staff looking for any signs of bed bugs while they are cleaning or repairing.
Unfortunately, because of the bed bugs size, cryptic nature and ability to hide in the most obscure hidden places, they might not always be recognized unless fecal or blood signs or cast skins are discovered.
After thousands of phone calls from these “victims”, I will show you examples of what the real truth could be.
#1 A guest may have bed bugs at home and because they are one of those who are not affected by the bites, they may not know they have them. In these cases, when packing, they may have packed away items that have bed bugs and not know it. When showing up at a hotel, a bed bug or two may crawl off their items and into the rooms. They check out and the room is then prepared for the next guest. The next guest may be bitten by the bed bug(s) the person the night before dropped off. (Who’s fault is it and how would one know?)
#2 People take different means and ways of traveling including planes, buses, taxis, subways, trains, rental cars, etc. What “if” one of those transportation vehicles housed bed bugs and one or two hitchhike a ride on their luggage or purse? Unknown to them, they now bring bed bug hitchhiker to the hotel room they are staying. (Who’s fault is it and how would one know?)
One and two are what we call “occurrences” and not “infestations. It can happen to anyone but still needs to be addressed properly and immediately.
This next example is more common that one would think and often found in absent owners and extended stay hotels.
# 3 Obvious bed bug infestations found in some hotels shows nothing but negligence on the part of the hoteliers management. This is when you peel back the sheets and find clusters of bed bugs, cast skins and fecal matter riddled along the edges of the mattresses and box springs.
Remember, bed bugs are on the foot or luggage of the next guest that enters the doors.
Hospitality and multi-unit groups pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly for bed bug remediation efforts and accept blame regardless of who brought them in. Because there is no “proof” of where the bed bugs came from, it is their dwelling and they must accommodate their guests in order to avoid a lawsuit or bad review. This greatly affects their ROI. Unfortunately, talking to some hotel management staff about the potential is like a tree falling in the woods. Only the smart ones fully understand bed bugs and the potentials.
We have worked with many hoteliers to assure they don’t give away the house just because someone blames them for a bite on their body. Having a strategy in place will stop people from extorting by seeing this reality. By setting up an effective bed bug elimination method, business owners can avoid the un-fixable damage to a business reputation caused by bed bugs.
So, before you go blaming anyone for giving you bed bugs – stop and think!
We show you how to prevent having to pay anything out and protect your guests from saying they brought bedbugs home from your establishment.
We are always here to help – give us a call and we’ll show you! 888-966-2332 www.ibbra.org
I had an interesting conversation with a pest control company today and when asking what their biggest obstacle was they replied, “Some people just can’t afford our services”. That isn’t all that uncommon if you asked around. He went on to say how hard it was for him to walk away when he sees how bad some of these situations are, especially when young children are involved.
I then asked what they do to help these people understand the long-term ramifications of not seeking treatment and he replied, “I really wish I could educate them more but time restraints, overhead and scheduling for those who can pay take up most of our time and we are booked weeks out in advance”.
In order to assist a client with step-by-step instructions to do their own is fruitless for the professional in so many ways. They just don’t have the time and can’t wrap their heads around taking time to help those who can’t afford treatments with no financial benefits. After all, your in business to make money and someone has to pay the bills.
No matter what is happening with professionals or those who can’t afford their services, the fact remains that, bed bugs are NOT GOING AWAY and will continue to grow throughout all our communities. There will always be plenty of work for the professionals but we need to help those who can’t afford their services.
HAVE A HEART!
You know the story, when people are on limited budgets, they run to their local store to buy up cans of three ($3) and five ($5) dollar sprays or anything that has bed bugs on the label that fits their budget. And if you were to speak with any of them, they honestly think they will do the trick. No need to go into detail why that is so bad because we all know that they don’t understand the bug their dealing with. Furthermore, most of the OTC sprays and bed bug bombs don’t work and only make matters worse by spreading them.
HOW CAN YOU HELP FINANCIALLY LIMITED FAMILES GET CONTROL OF THEIR BED BUGS
This won’t take any extra time, only costs a few buck (you can even sell them for a profit and make money)
Hand them the IBBRA’s Do-it-yourself book. Written in collaboration with several pest control companies, the book walks them through a thorough education about the bug first, and then takes them by the hand and shows them what to do step by step. Especially cool is, it teaches people what NOT to do to keep their family and environment safe.
We offer the book at cost to the pest control industry so those who truly want to help people can give it to the customers they normally walk away from or they can charge them the retail price on Amazon of $12.99 and make a few bucks. Either way, you will be helping someone and hopefully teaching them what NOT TO DO which may save someone from a health situation or burning their home down.
Will everyone solve his or her bed bug problem by reading this book? Some will – some won’t. Depending upon how long bed bugs have been in their dwelling and whether they are willing to do what it takes. Bed bugs, once established takes a lot of work and unless they did every step strategically and methodically, and if they miss a few or leave out any of the steps, they will have to start all over again.
For those who have the money but just don’t want to spend money I give them an option. I tell them, read the book in its entirety first so they understand what it entails. Then estimate the hours they anticipate to do the job completely – multiply the hours by their hourly wage – then make the decision – would they not be better off hiring a professional?
I had a woman call me two years ago who had a just over ten thousand square foot senior care facility with twenty rooms riddled with bed bugs. She had only been in business for a few years and was still in the red. She got an estimate of ten thousand dollars from pest control, which she could not afford.
I sent her our Do-it-Yourself book and warned her of how much work it was going to be but she had to follow each step carefully.
Six months later, I received a call from her thanking me and stating that they finally got ahead of the bed bugs, her whole staff is now completely aware and now has an intake procedure to ward off any new introductions the best they can.
We are always here to help!
Contact the IBBRA to order Do-it-Yourself for bed bugs. 888-966-2332