How Can Hotels Navigate the Current Bed Bug Crisis?

Residents in Paris are currently dealing with a serious bed bug infestation, where the insects are frequently being found in homes, public transport, and hotels. The proximity of this issue to London has caused concern for many, with worries that the bed bugs will spread to other cities in the UK. Hotels are especially vulnerable due to the large number of guests they accommodate.

Molly Millar

Business & Insights



Bed Bugs and Allergens

Paris is facing a bed bug infestation, with the biting insects frequently spotted in homes, on public transport, and in hotels. With this epidemic occurring just a train ride away from London, many people are understandably concerned that the parasites will spread to UK cities. Given how many guests pass through, hotels are particularly at risk. The hospitality industry must therefore be thoroughly prepared to both stop an infestation in its tracks and proactively quell guest concerns around their safety. Though uncommon, allergies to bed bugs can result in serious adverse reactions.

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Addressing Concerns and Assuring Guests

Bed bugs in the headlines may cause heightened anxiety among guests. The hospitality industry should therefore take proactive extra measures to ensure guest satisfaction and protect their hotel’s reputation.

1. Clear Communication

Showing that your hotel is aware of the risk of bed bug infestations, and taking steps to counter the threat, will help build trust among your guests. Be clear and transparent, outlining your rigorous process for checking for insects, and demonstrate how your approach to linen maintenance utilises hospitality best practices.

2. Housekeeping Training

Housekeeping staff are the first line of defence when it comes to combating bed bugs. They should be thoroughly trained on spotting the first signs of an infestation, and incorporate this practice into their daily cleaning routines. You might also choose to use hypoallergenic bedding, which will protect against bed bugs and allergens.

3. Linen Inspection Protocols

A final inspection should be conducted on linens before they’re provided to guests, ensuring there aren’t any quality issues or signs of bed bugs. As linen maintenance can be a time and resource-intensive task, you may want to consider outsourcing your laundry services to Oxwash, who will efficiently and effectively clean your linens to the highest standard.

What to Do If Your Hotel or Short-let Has a Bed Bug Infestation

Once a bed bug infestation has begun, it can be incredibly difficult to eliminate because of the bugs’ resistance to pesticides and ability to hide in hard-to-reach places. Acting immediately is key to stopping the spread.

First, isolate the room by sealing off the door and any other entrance points with tape. Then, conduct a thorough inspection - including the surrounding rooms - to check whether the infestation is contained. Hotel linens in affected rooms will need to be specially treated to kill bed bugs **before they can be used again.

The Oxwash Process for Eliminating Bed Bugs

Oxwash’s approach to hotel laundry hygiene and disinfection combats bed bug infestations. Our specialised process involves collecting the contaminated linens in an Alginate Dissolvable Strip Single Use Laundry Bag, preventing the bed bugs’ spread. The linens then undergo a 90-degree wash, which is hot enough to kill the bugs and their eggs, completely removing any trace of the insects.

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Any hotel can fall victim to a bed bug infestation, and as the Paris panic continues, the UK hospitality industry must take clear measures to combat the risk within its properties. With customers’ concerns understandably high, hotels should take extra steps to communicate their processes with guests and provide assurance that they are prioritising their safety and well-being.

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