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Hotel, B&B and holiday site guests don’t like to think about bed bugs, but they scrutinise linen carefully and will now be even more cautious about all potential hazards.
As for the operators re-opening, they need to be aware that any missed pests will themselves be itching for action after lockdown.
Dormant bed bugs can live for around a year without feeding, warns Robert Fryers, CEO at Spotta, the smart pest system: “With a life span of more than a year, bed bugs are experts at conserving their energy when there’s no food available. And they’ll be hungry when your guests return.”
Confirming Spotta’s warning to hoteliers, Dr Richard Naylor, director and chief entomologist at The Bed Bug Foundation, says: “As we’ve seen with ski chalets closed for months during their off-season, I expect the first overnight guests in hotels post-Coronavirus closures will be met by hungry bugs.”
He warns: “If they’ve been dormant for months, bed bugs will be highly aggressive, particularly when it’s dark. If really hungry, they may also lose their phobia of light. This means bed bugs are much more likely to bite when a host returns.”
The better news is that with human movement restricted in premises, bed bugs will find it harder to move from room to room. Spotta’s Bed Pods offer accommodation providers the first continuous monitoring system which can identify common pests – including bed bugs – removing the need for manual checks by staff. Spotta uses Artificial Intelligence to confirm the pests’ identity at the earliest point of introduction, sending an alert to hotel management, encouraging hotels to treat the problem before infestations occur.