The rise of the bed bug as a nuisance pest in hotels

Bed bugs are haematophagous sucking insects, feeding exclusively on blood. Bed bugs are insects that resemble an apple seed in appearance, are about ¼ inch long, do not jump and have no wings. Prior to feeding, they are flat but after feeding on blood they become bloated and turn dark red. During the day, these small, reddish-brown bugs hide in cracks and crevices of mattresses and foundation/box springs or within 15 feet of a bed. Then, at night, they come out of their hiding spaces to feed, usually on humans but also on other warm-blooded animals. These insects prefer darkness and tend to hide near the bed. They travel up to 20 feet in search of a human host. Hungry bed bugs may also feed during the daytime, especially if this is when the occupant normally sleeps. They are not only found in beds but they can fit anywhere their bodies can be hidden as there are as thin as a sheet of paper. Hotels with high occupancy turnover are especially vulnerable to infestation. Bed bugs mostly bite on the upper body, neck, arm, and shoulders but may be found on legs or ankles, too.

They don’t transmit diseases, but they do bite and take blood. People can get secondary infections if they scratch their wounds. In some people, the itching is unbearable. However, a persistent belief about bed bugs is that they thrive only in dirty conditions. Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. This means no hotel is truly exempt from a bed bug infestation or the resulting liability, no matter how high-end and reputable. Hotel guests around the country are reporting being bitten by bed bugs and are filing claims seeking compensation for insect bites and ruined hotel stays. Treating for an infestation can be time-consuming and costly. And, because the bed bugs lifecycle shows several stages of development.

Female lays about 2-3 eggs a day in the same places where the bugs hide. The eggs are yellowish white in color about 1 mm long. Some 300 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices of buildings and furniture. The eggs usually hatch after 8-11 days.

The newly hatched bed bug is pale yellow in color and resemble as an adult but is much smaller in size. There are 5 nymphal instars. This period commonly last for 5-8 weeks.

The adult bed bug can live 6-9 months without food. The bed bug can withstand a long period of starvation up to 500 days. Under laboratory conditions, the adult may live up to 4 years.

Let us consider some news articles:

Take precautions for bed bug ‘hitchhikers

JULY 25, 2017, Valley Courier

She said her office averages about one complaint a month, but not all of them are valid. Sometimes people are just not happy about their accommodations, she said.

She added that the complaints come from all over, and sometimes even a “5-star” hotel can have a bed bug problem.

Rappold explained that when she receives a complaint, she follows a procedure that includes visiting the facility where the complaint originated. If the report is substantiated, Rappold’s office requires professional pest control measures within two weeks and proof that such measures were conducted.

“The only way you can get rid of this problem is if you hire pest control. It’s really hard to do on your own,” Rappold explained. “They have to use a licensed pest control specialist.”

She said sometimes her office has to apply some pressure to correct a problem, but “we try to work with people and understand we live in a community where it’s hard to get services.”

As regional health program manager, Rappold handles complaints from all over the six counties of the San Luis Valley. She tracks trends in complaints and said they are seasonal, with this time of year and into the coming months being more active, especially as more tourists are visiting the area. Rappold said her office does not have regulatory authority over apartments but can require treatment actions at motels and hotels.

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs. Their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of an area, Rappold shared. They are experts at hiding and go just about anywhere. They can go for long periods of time without feeding, which allows them to attach to items such as luggage and clothes, and travel home with guests.

Bonaventure Hotel Sued Over Bed Bugs

NOV 7, 2016, News

A Delta Airlines attendant has filed a lawsuit against the famed Westin Bonaventure Hotel, saying that she’d suffered bed bug bites during a stay there. According to the complaint, Chery checked into her room at the Bonaventure on November 5, 2014. She’d slept for about an hour when she began to feel “severe itching and burning all over her body, including on the right side of her face, her arms, her left index finger and down the side of her right thigh,” per the suit.

She was bitten about six to seven times, and that she could see blood stains on her bed. The suit mentions that she’d taken photos of the bugs.

A manager and hotel security came to confirm the presence of bed bugs and was given another room to stay in, according to the complaint. She dumped all her belongings, including her Delta uniform, immediately after the alleged incident, and that she’d suffered months of insomnia and anxiety because of it.

On the bedbug registry a site for guests to self-report bed bugs, the Bonaventure had 23 reports posted between 2010 and 2015.

Another bedbug lawsuit was filed at Los Angeles Superior Court in August; a family from the Bay Area claimed that they were bitten by bed bugs at the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland. Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t exactly uncommon in the L.A. area. Earlier this year, pest control service Terminix released a ranking of the most bed bug-infested cities, and L.A. landed in the fourth spot, right after Cleveland, Ohio.

Traditionally used pesticides have proved ineffective against bedbugs. These insects have started showing lower susceptibility towards commonly used insecticides.

So what could be the preventive measure for bedbugs?

Termirepel™ an anti-insect additive at C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of bedbug infestation. The masterbatch of Termirepel™  can be incorporated in wires and cables which are used in domestic wiring. Termirepel™  liquid concentrate which can be mixed in paints and can be applied to damaged applications.While Termirepel™  lacquer can be used as a topical application which can be applied to furniture, walls, ceilings etc.

Our product works on the mechanism of repellency. It temporarily inhibits the mating cycle of the insects. The product impairs the ability of the insects to reproduce, that is the insects will not lay eggs or the laid eggs will be infertile. The product causes feeding disruption in an insect by triggering an unpleasant reaction within the insect which might try to feed on the application. The product temporarily blocks the reproduction system of the insects by hindering the release of the vital hormones for growth.

Termirepel™ is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, ISO, REACH, APVMA, NEA compliant and FIFRA exempted.

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