The sooner a bed bug infestation is identified and dealt with, the smaller the impact it will have on guests at your NYC hotel. It is, therefore, important to train hotel staff in the relentless inspection of beds and other upholstered furniture. White sheets are not only the gold standard in hospitality, signifying cleanliness and freshness, but they also make it much easier to spot the presence of bed bugs—and the need to seek out a bed bug company. Here are a few telltale signs of bed bugs that hotel staff should be quick to spot.
Keep an Eye Out for Adult Bed Bugs
Seeing an adult bed bug is the first sign a mattress could possibly be infested. However, it is also the most difficult sign to spot as bed bugs are nocturnal and usually only expose themselves to feed when people are likely to be asleep. They are the size of an apple seed and can vary in color, from brown to red. If a staff member is “lucky” enough to spot one of these critters during their inspection, call a bed bug company immediately.
Search Actively for Eggs
As bed bugs move through their life cycle, they produce byproducts that serve as telling signs of infestation. Bed bug eggs are typically the shape and color of a grain of rice, but are coated in a shiny film that enable them to adhere firmly to rough surfaces. Empty eggshells bear a similar appearance, but seem deflated and have lost their shine. Although eggs are usually visible to the naked eye, consider equipping your staff with magnifying glasses so that they can search the fabric of beds and mattresses. Eggs are hardly ever found on smooth materials like plastic and metal because they struggle to adhere to them.
Look Out for Red-Brown Stains
Small red-brown stains or streaks are rather reliable indicators of actively feeding bed bugs. They are produced when people unwittingly crush bed bugs beneath them. Although these stains may be caused by a range of other factors, such as small open wounds and scratches on guests, they should never be dismissed and should instigate a more thorough inspection of the bed and room.
Look Out for Darker Stains
Dark stains that resemble the marks made by felt tip pens can, in fact, be the excrement of bed bugs. To confirm this, have a staff member wipe the stain with a wet rag. If the stain smears, it is most likely bed bug excrement and is a good indicator of an infestation. Bed bug excrement is not only found on sheets, but is also often found along the seams of mattresses, and staff should, therefore, be trained to inspect mattress seams regularly.
Take Note of Odors
The smell in a particular hotel room may be a combination of the guests’ perfume, cleaning products, and a range of other scented substances. However, if a staff member notes a musty smell, then a bed bug inspection may be in order. Bed bugs produce an offensive odor from their scent glands when endangered or disturbed. If this musty odor is detectable, particularly through the range of other smells present in a hotel room, then there could be a catastrophic number of bed bugs in the room and a pest control company should be called in to conduct their inspection.