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Tips for preventing a bed bug resurgence after lockdown

With coronavirus closing most accommodation businesses, one UK-based company is encouraging housekeepers and cleaners to think ahead to beat bed bugs.

Founded in Cambridge in 2018, Spotta provides an early identification system for bed bugs. The Bed Pod is one of the company’s smart pest systems, heralded for its ‘fit and forget’, low-maintenance approach. Using artificial intelligence to analyse pests and notifying hotel staff of a bed bug’s presence, Spotta’s Bed Pod allows hoteliers to seal off and treat specific rooms.

Co-founder and CTO, Neil D’Souza-Mathew, pictured left with CEO Robert Fryers explains: “By identifying the pests at the point of introduction, the Bed Pod allows hotels to act quickly to prevent full infestation, stopping guests from being bitten and saving themselves thousands.”

The pests can cost a hotel up to £67,200 annually, based on a 200-room hotel experiencing an average of 10 bed bug calls a year. With most hotels empty as part of the coronavirus lockdown, bed bugs may be far from operators’ minds and difficult for housekeepers to spot if a business relies on manual inspections.

To help manage bed bugs when travel resumes, Robert Fryers, co-founder and CEO of Spotta, says: “Bed bugs can live for around a year without feeding and will be dormant to conserve energy. If your hotel already has bed bugs which are laying dormant during your closure, they will return, hungry, when you reopen. While warming rooms may awaken them, the only way of finding them will be to have someone stay in the room overnight. Therefore having a monitoring system in place, such as our Bed Pod, which alerts you to their presence is essential in protecting your guests.”

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