31 May Creepy Crawlies: How to Avoid Airbnb Bed Bugs In Your Listing
I have tried to write this blog post on Airbnb bed bugs a few times now. However, I’m not going to lie; it makes my skin crawl just at the thought of it.
These creatures the size of a dime can cause such significant issues with your business. Bed bugs are horrible for an Airbnb listing, and there is no way to save your booking after a guest gets bit.
These tiny, tiny creatures can create huge problems. They’re known to easily and quickly infest entire hotels and short-term rental units by passing from person to person.
While you can’t always control who comes in and out of your listing, you can take preventive measures to make sure your Airbnb stays bug-free. Here are some of my top suggestions to protect your listing.
Know What The Little Monsters Like
Researchers have been drawn to believe that bed bugs absolutely love piles of dirty laundry. Nothing is more enticing to them, not even the bed themselves! Having your guest throw their dirty laundry around is an open invite for these little creatures.
As a host, a way to combat this is to offer your guests hampers with clear bags for their dirty clothes. They can take the clear bags with them when they go for the convenience of travel.
For the hamper that you provide to your guests, make sure that the hampers have covers or lids to protect any bed bugs from getting in… or out. However, the placement of the basket is also a vital part of this solution. Optimally, if there is a bathroom that connects to the guest’s room, you’ll want to put the closed hamper in there.
If there is a more optimal changing area, such as a walk-in closet, put the hamper in that location instead. The main idea is to put the basket in the places where a guest will most easily see it and remember to move it.
Protect Your Mattresses
While the first idea that comes to mind with a case of Airbnb bed bugs may be to set your mattress on fire, there are other means of protection.
The bed is a sacred place, and sleeping in a stranger’s bed has the ability to be an uncomfortable and even unnerving experience. It’s so important that I dedicated a whole post on how to create a stellar Airbnb sleep experience. It really can be the difference between horrible or a great review.
One way to make sure that your guests don’t accidentally bring along any unwanted friends is to protect your mattress.
It’s a great product that I’ve found to be extremely comfortable and reliable. While some mattress covers can protect against sweat stains and help to keep your mattress clean, they aren’t necessarily the best at bed bug protection.
Some tips that I recommend in general are to make sure that you avoid vinyl material, use bite-proof fabric, and find something with a well-made zipper. Large zippers that have teeth with extra spaces can let bed bugs in without you even knowing.
Metal Luggage Racks Are Your Best Friends
I recommend using metal luggage racks to place your luggage on even if you go to a hotel. Not only does this prevent guests from putting their suitcases on the bed, but it’s also known that bed bugs do not like to climb up metal surfaces. You get to provide your guests with a comfortable space to set clothes with the added ability to protect your bed from dirty luggage.
Providing a metal luggage rack within each closet space is how I usually like to set up my listings. Honestly, a lot of the way I have my rooms set up is what you would see in a hotel space. Their formula for customer service works, but as an Airbnb host, I get to make the experience even better.
Is It Too Late?
What happens if your Airbnb already has bed bugs? Besides personally getting bitten, is there any way to know? Can you stop the host-ruining reviews in time?
The best way to look for unwanted Airbnb bed bugs is to know where to look inside your listing. It’s not just on the bed where you’ll see signs of these unwanted visitors. Bedsheets, wallpaper, or even fabric-lined furniture can all show signs of these pets.
You’ll want to look for rust-colored stains on the sheets, or dark dots. These are left by squished bugs or even bug excrements. They’ll be around 1mm in size, as these creatures are minute and tiny. However small they are, they reproduce and spread fast.
If you believe that your Airbnb listing has an infestation, do not hesitate or wait. These little suckers multiple fast and have been known to infest an entire hotel within a few weeks. Bed bugs are even becoming resistant to sprays. Do not rely on over-the-counter sprays alone.
Heat treatments and hiring a professional are the only safe ways to completely get bed bugs out of your listing. Don’t risk missing a few and having a bed bug relapse. One bad bed bug review is bound to doom your listing.
If you have an infestation but also have an incoming guest, consider contacting the Airbnb Resolution Center. They can help you to notify guests and help them to find some sort of alternative or solution to their previous accommodation at your listing.
Airbnb Bed Bugs: Is Your Skin Crawling?
While the thought of bed bugs in your Airbnb can keep you awake at night, it’s important to educate yourself on the topic. Forms of prevention, while not wholly fool-proof, can help you prepare for the possible future problem.
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