Airbnb bed bugs problem is the biggest nightmare for Airbnb hosts. There isn’t anything you can do to deal with it immediately and the only option is to refund the guest immediately and start remedial action for bed bugs.
Although nothing can fully protect your Airbnb from bed bugs, but you can take proactive steps to prevent bedbugs from infesting your unit in the first place.
Airbnb bed bugs problem: What you can do to prevent it?
Bed bugs can hitch a ride on almost anything such as clothing, shoes, bags but not directly on the human body. When you have travellers coming from different parts of the world every week, there is nothing you can do to stop bed bugs landing in your unit sooner or later.
Moreover, pregnant females usually strike out and try to relocate to a new place. So, the chances are that you will have an expecting bed bug arriving in your Airbnb and they will multiply in no time.
Here are the things you can do to prevent Airbnb bed bugs problem:
- Always wash linen, towels and other clothing at the highest possible temperatures.
- Vacuuming is essential to keep a check on bed bugs. Even you have hard flooring, make sure to vacuum every time and empty the vacuum after each use.
- Provide a luggage rack (see luggage rack options here) to avoid your guest putting suitcases on the bed.
- Provide enough space and hangers for your guest to hang clothes in the wardrobe rather than using drawers.
- Use a mattress cover (such as this mattress encasement) on each bed to reduce spaces for bed bugs to hide in your Airbnb.
- Don’t leave a space for guests to clutter items in your property; give plenty of storage space for guests to use.
Tell tale signs of Airbnb bed bugs outbreak
Besides the guest complaining of being bitten by bed bugs, here are the signs to quickly identify if you are hosting some unwanted guests in your Airbnb.
- Itchy, inflamed, red bite marks on the body.
- Check sheets, mattress and pillows for tiny dark bloodstains.
- Look for live bed bugs or eggs in mattresses seams, drawer joints and corner, loose wallpaper, all cracks wider than the width of a credit card.
- Bed bugs leave a distinctive sweet and musty smell, so keep checking the room order every time you are in the property.
How deal with the bed bugs outbreak if it happens?
Generally, it is best to hire an experienced pest control professional instead of experimenting DIY techniques to exterminate bed bugs from the property.
If you prefer DIY, here is the list of things you can do to deal with the situation:
- If the mattress is infested, it is best to get rid of it and get a new one, but before you get a new one, make sure to make the rest of your home bedbug-free, or they will infest your new mattress too.
- Clean the bed linen, curtains, and clothing by washing them on the highest possible temperature.
- If there are un-washable items such as shows, decorations etc. leave them in the open space with plenty of sunlight for a couple of days.
- Thoroughly vacuum all surfaces in the house such as sofa, mattress, cushions to remove bed bugs and their eggs.
- After vacuuming, immediately empty the vacuum in a sealable plastic bag and place in the outdoor garbage bin.
- Bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, so encase the mattress with a tightly sealed cover to keep them from escaping or entering the mattress case.
- Keep the mattress encasement on for at least a year to make sure all bed bugs in the mattress are dead.
- Repair all the cracks in plaster and glue peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bed bugs can call home.
- Empty all storage spaces in the property, wipe clean each item with a disinfectant before putting them back in place.
Try to use cleaning products which are safe to use in the bedroom and following the cleaning advice on the label of each item.
Does Airbnb refund in case of infestation?
If guest reports infestation in your property, Airbnb will refund the existing guest for the number of nights remaining on their trip and relocate them to another nearby property.
You will be asked to provide an estimate of how long it will take to get rid of the bed bugs and they won’t hesitate to cancel and relocate your bookings in the near future if you fail to provide an actionable plan or proof of work being carried out by a professional exterminator.
Keep an Airbnb cleaning checklist to make sure cleaning standards are maintained at all times by the cleaning team.
Have you faced Airbnb bed bugs outbreak?
How did you get rid of the infestation? Is there anything I missed in the list? Or you have any advice on taking precautions Airbnb hosts should take to prevent future outbreaks?
Post in the comments and share your thoughts!