Ahead of the end of the 5 per cent reduced VAT rate for the hospitality…
Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? But that’s what is happening – and not just here in the UK, but all around the world! Jack Fowler reports…
For example, America-based Vikand Medical Solutions, recently reported that fivestar hotels were infested with bed bugs following a major surge in blood-sucking insects across New York City.
So what are bed bugs and how do you eliminate them?
They are a bit like Count Dracula. They are a type of insect that feeds on human blood, usually at night. Their bites can result in a number of health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Infestation is rarely due to a lack of hygiene but is more common in high-density areas. So how do you deal with these pesky little creatures? Well, according to some reports, not without some difficulty. Thankfully, however, there are products and cleaning agents on the market specifically designed to help combat bed bugs and dust mites, and in this article we hear what some of the bed suppliers have to say about their products and the steps they have taken to deal with the bed bug and dust mite problem.
“Ensuring a room is clean and safe for all guests who visit can be a challenge for anyone – and maintaining a firm control over the possibility of bed bugs is a key step. To keep your rooms free of bed bugs, you’ll need a multi-faceted approach and ongoing efforts – but it’s a battle you can win,” insists Stephen Eccles, managing director of Mattison Contract Beds.
Bed bugs can live in any furnishings within a room – from the carpet to the curtains – and survive for several days without feeding. These irritating little critters can be carried into the room through a number of methods as they can live inside luggage and clothing.
Stephen Eccles says: “To minimise any potential issues which could arise from these pesky minibeasts, Mattison Contract Beds have taken steps with our products to help you in your plight.” Mattison produce mattresses, divan beds, headboards, sofa beds, guest beds and bedding accessories which all comply with UK fire regulations and have additional treatments to make your battle with bed bugs a win situation.
Eccles goes on to say: “Every model in our dedicated hotel range has been treated with an OEKOTEX ® Standard 100 certified antibed bug treatment which offers a high performance bug protection and is guaranteed skin safe.”
For an extra layer of defence, protect your mattress or pillows with protectors/encasements supplied to Mattison by CleanRest. Protection can be offered in a variety of different ways; from pads and protectors to full encasements that wrap completely around your mattresses, each of which provide a hypoallergenic waterproof surface to preserve the mattress during its lifespan. Notably, the ProMax encasements from CleanRest also prevent bed bugs and dust mites from getting to the mattress with their ‘Zip-N-Click’ technology.
Ultimately these measures should only be a part of your strategy to avoid bed bugs and infestations – you’ll want to be adopting these in conjunction with well-trained housekeeping staff to know what signs to look for. And you will want to have pest control on-hand to assist with preventative measures. Should the worst happen, you would need to consider fumigation.
As is often the case, prevention is better (and less costly) than cure! Another bed company with strong views on the need for high levels of hygiene in the bedroom is Hypnos Contract Beds.
Hypnos says whatever the time of year, hotel owners will always want to offer their guests a supremely comfortable stay; and for the savvy hotelier, one of the easiest ways to ensure your customers return is by offering consistent and superior levels of comfort and hygiene throughout your guests bedrooms.
In recent years, hoteliers have faced difficulties with pests such as bed bugs, and if not treated properly, they can offer a devastating financial blow. Because of this, bed and mattress manufacturers like Hypnos Contract Beds have incorporated specialist treatments to effectively defeat any uninvited guests.
For example, the company’s Ashbourne mattress is designed specifically for the hospitality sector and comes complete with an antibacterial anti-allergy and anti-bed bug treatment, which is woven into the fabric of sleeping surfaces as standard. This treatment provides long-lasting protection against bed bugs and dust mites, ensuring guests have the safest and healthiest sleep environment possible without affecting the Crib 5 fire retardant properties of the Hypnos mattress or mattress toppers.
It is therefore crucial that hoteliers take every necessary step to protect themselves against bed bugs, especially through the use of protective mattress treatments. Investing in mattresses with cuttingedge technology will not only minimise the risk of infestation, but will ensure your guests have a healthy and uninterrupted night’s sleep, and will ultimately safeguard the reputation of your hotel.
Cleanbrands say that most travellers list hotel cleanliness as most important when it comes to guest satisfaction and choosing a hotel, and over 50 per cent of hotel guests are lifting the sheets to check the condition of your mattress. With that said, a mattress in poor condition (pee stains, rust marks, dust, or bed bugs) is a reason why guests don’t return for a second visit.
The condition of a mattress is easy to protect, but only if you have the right strategy and use quality products.
Cleanbrands suggest that first you should install mattress protectors or mattress encasements before a problem occurs. Proactively protecting a mattress will extend its lifecycle and provide a clean, hygienic, and hypoallergenic sleep zone for guests.
Secondly, they recommend you choose CleanRest mattress protectors or mattress encasements. CleanRest encasements are designed to last 10 years. Cleanbrands claim they are smooth, noiseless, tear resistant, double stitched, 100 per cent bed bug proof, and are designed with patented hypoallergenic fabric.
Cleanbrands say that their CleanRest waterproof mattress protectors and encasements are more than twice as breathable then competitors. Their products use strong double stitched seams and their encasements use a patented zipper locking device called Zip-NClick that seals the zipper in place snapping shut rather than zip-ties or velcro flaps which create new areas for bugs and germs to nest.
Tips from Sleepeezee
Making sure your guests enjoy an allergy free night is nothing to be sniffed at, says Sleepeezee. You shed a pound of skin per year and lose half a pint of water each night, which is actually creating prime conditions for dust mites and microscopic bugs to thrive in, and your bed can host over 10,000 of them! In Britain, at least 12 million suffer from allergies caused by dust mites, so here are some useful tips to ensure your guests sleep more soundly.
1. Start with the right mattress Breathable mattresses – such as the Sleepeezee Hotel Classic 1000 mattress – have the ability to allow air and moisture to pass through the fabric, instead of building up inside the material. Its natural wool and cotton fillings improve the breathability of the mattress – thus reducing the chance of dust mites collecting within the material. The mattress features border handles for easy turning and nickel vents that promote cool airflow – regulating the temperature of your guests’ sleep haven.
2. Keep the sheets squeaky clean Check the label on the sheets and set the washing machine to the highest possible temperature to blast the dust mites. The higher the temperature the more germs will be killed! Clean, hygienic sheets will make the sleeping experience much more pleasurable.
3. The vacuum is your friend Keeping the sheets fresh is the first step, but keeping the rest of the room clean is also key to achieving the desired result. It’s difficult to create a dust free room but you can reduce the number of surfaces that collect dust to help keep the allergic reactions to a minimum.
4. Decrease the temperature in the room Hot and humid rooms are breeding grounds for mould and dust mites. It’s important to maintain the temperature between 20°C and 22°C – keep it cool!