Summer is officially over and unfortunately bed bugs have gained increased ground over this busy travel season. Even with increased news exposure creating better awareness along with many new products on the market, bed bugs continue to spread. One of the biggest problems we find is the losing battle hotels are fighting against these blood sucking pests. Even with the best treatments available, hotels have been unable to prevent future outbreaks from occurring due to the frequent turnover of guests coming and going.
Another issue is with family and friends not warning their guest that they have bed bugs. Although it shouldn’t be, bed bug bugs are seen as an embarrassing issue that many people would rather not let others know about. We’ve spoken to many people that do not inform their guests that they have bed bugs. This has created a new ethical dilemma that will likely come up in the media in the coming months. Can you imagine bringing bed bugs home from a friend or family member who knowingly exposed you?
New heat treatment and chemical treatments are working well against bed bugs, but are not enough to stop the bed bug epidemic. Heat treatments are often conducted in one apartment, which just moves the bed bugs next door. In order to be fully effective, treatments will need to be looked at as a building issue and not just as a unit issue. Although building treatments are expensive, it may be what it takes to rid tenants of their bed bugs and to stop the spreading.
One positive brought about by the media is how people can protect themselves from bed bugs. Products like PackTite, Climbup insect interceptors, luggage spray and mattress encasements are tools people can use to help prevent being infested by bed bugs. Hotel inspections up arrival, although not a guarantee, can help reduce exposure (inspecting the seems and sheets of the mattress for bed bugs, fecal matter or blood spotting). It appears evident that reducing exposure to bed bugs may be one of the best ways to eventually defeat or better control bed bugs. Also, until people stop knowingly exposing others to bed bugs, it will be an uphill battle.