Preventing Airbnb bed bugs

No one wants to deal with Airbnb bed bugs, but unfortunately, they are an issue you may run into as a host. These pests can cause huge headaches and financial losses, so it's important to take steps to prevent them from taking over your property. This blog post will discuss some of the best ways to protect your short-term rental against bed bugs and what to do if you find an infestation.

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The Dangers of Airbnb Bed Bugs

Before we get into how to prevent bed bugs, let's talk about why they are such a big problem. 

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They can cause itchy welts and allergic reactions, and they're challenging to get rid of once they've infested an area. 

Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also cause severe financial losses for short-term rental hosts. If you have bed bugs in your rental, you may have to cancel reservations, pay for professional extermination services, and deal with negative reviews.

Additionally, while rare, a guest bitten by bug bites could take you to court. This is yet another reminder of why it is essential to have short-term rental insurance.

Preventing Airbnb bed bugs

How to Prevent Airbnb Bed Bugs

How can you prevent bed bugs from infesting your short-term rental? Here are some tried and true tips:

  • Regularly have your cleaning crew inspect your property for signs of bed bugs, such as small brown stains on sheets or mattresses. Keeping your property clean and clutter-free will reduce the risk of bed bugs taking up residence.

  • Clean after every guest, paying particular attention to cracks and crevices where bed bugs could hide. It is crucial to schedule deep cleans every few months as well.

  • Purchase a mattress cover and wash it regularly. This will create an extra barrier between your guests and any bed bugs that might be lurking.

  • Use airtight storage containers for any food you provide for guests to prevent pests from getting in.

  • Choose metal bed frames over wood, as metal is more difficult for bed bugs to climb on.

  • Provide luggage racks and encourage guests to use them in your house manual. This will help deter guests from placing their luggage on the bed and any critters that may come with it.

  • Immediately fill any cracks or gaps on the walls or floors with sealant.

Signs of Airbnb Bed Bugs

What should you do if you think you have bed bugs in your short-term rental? Look for these telltale signs:

  • Small brown or dark red stains on sheets or mattresses. These are bed bug droppings and a sure sign of an infestation.

  • Tiny red, brown, or black bugs in the seams of mattresses or on furniture.

  • Complaints of Itchy welts or bites from guests (usually appearing in a line or cluster). If you have a guest complain of bites, take them seriously and inspect your property immediately.

  • An unpleasant odor in the bedroom. Some people say bed bugs smell like coriander.

Preventing Airbnb bed bugs

What to Do If You Find an Infestation

If you think you have bed bugs, don't panic. There are a few things you can do to get rid of them:

  • Call a professional exterminator and ask for their advice. They will be able to confirm whether or not you have bed bugs and provide treatment options.

  • Wash all bedding and clothing in hot water and dry on high heat. This will kill any bed bugs or eggs that are present.

  • Seal off the infested area from the rest of your rental property to prevent the bed bugs from spreading.

  • Cancel all immediate reservations. While it can be painful to lose those bookings, it is better to lose out on a few nights rather than have guests stay with bedbugs and write terrible reviews of your property. You can offer to rebook their stay at a later date or offer a discount on a future reservation as an apology.

  • Have your cleaning crew deep clean the property and thoroughly vacuum all surfaces.

  • Replace or have the mattress and bedding specially treated.

At the end of the day, bed bugs are a severe problem for short-term rental hosts. They can cause financial losses, negative reviews, and even legal issues. Therefore, it's essential to take steps to prevent bed bugs from infesting your property in the first place. Don't hesitate to call a professional exterminator if you think you have bed bugs. Addressing the issue right away is the best way to protect your business.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

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