Bed bugs have become one of the greatest nightmares for Airbnb hosts. These crawling hitchhikers hide in your guests’ belongings and find their way into your Airbnb. Before you know it, your place will be fully infested and you find yourself in lots of trouble. Bed bug infestations in Airbnbs have several negative consequences including;
- Negative reviews that are difficult to recuperate from
- A possible shutdown by Airbnb’s management
- Costly expenses associated with professional bed bug extermination services
The best way to avoid such inconveniences is to implement robust, effective bed bug prevention measures. This post offers a guide on how to prevent bed bug infestations in your Airbnb and protect your guests from bites. Following the advice that it offers will ensure that you never have to combat an actual bed bug infestation.
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How to tell if My Airbnb is Already Infested with Bed Bugs?
The first and most logical telltale sign of an infestation in your Airbnb is complains from guests. If some of your guests complain of bites, it is most likely that your space is infested. That said, you don’t have to wait for complains from your guests to identify a bed bug infestation in your Airbnb.
There are several signs that you can use to identify a bed bug infestation. As a host, it is your responsibility to check for these signs regularly and ensure that your guests are safe. It is also advisable to implement some bed bug monitoring tools in your Airbnb. Some of the main signs of a bed bug infestation include;
- Tiny dark blood stains on bed sheets, pillow cases, and bed frames
- A distinctive sweet musty smell in the room
- Red bite marks on the skin (try to keep a watchful eye on your guests’ arms as they leave)
What to do if my guest finds bed bugs?
Guest can choose to report a bed bug infestation in three ways;
- A direct report to Airbnb
- Inform you and Airbnb
- Inform you and fail to notify Airbnb
Please note, as a host, you must inform Airbnb immediately when you discover an infestation
Regardless of the manner in which the report is passed it’s your responsibility as a host is to remedy the situation. You need take the following steps when a guest reports a bed bug problem;
- Refund your guests
- Take precautionary measures to ensure that the bugs are not transmitted elsewhere
- Help to find an equivalent Airbnb listing for your guest nearby
- Remove your property from Airbnb listing until you deal with the infestation
- Implement effective procedures and activities to get rid of the bed bugs permanently
If your guests report infestations directly to Airbnb, the company will refund them based on Airbnb’s guest refund policy. The company will also ask you to submit proof of relevant steps you are taking to deal with the infestation. Airbnb does not hesitate to cancel your bookings if you fail to take the necessary corrective steps in time
9 Proactive Ways to Prevent Bed Bugs in Airbnb
Bed bugs are the pesky nuisance critters out there that can be a nightmare for both Airbnb hosts and guests. The bed bugs offer a hard time until they get treated as soon as they arrive. However, it is preferable to look out for any significant signs of bed bugs to stop them from being infested in your Airbnb.
You can find below the 9 ways to prevent bed bugs in your Airbnb:
Use a Mattress Encasement Cover
A bed is the most common hiding place for a bed bug. They mostly hide in the mattress by biting the mattress foam. In this way, they can intact with their hosts in the first place.
It is crucial to buy a mattress encasement cover for your Airbnb bedrooms. Make sure the encasement used to prevent bed bugs from attacking directly to your mattress should be of bite-proof fabric, Polyurethane-lined covers, non-vinyl covers, and good tight zipper teeth.
Use a Foam Sealant to Cover Any Cracks
Many people traveling around may daily have a check-in and check-out in your Airbnb hotel. You never know which guest could accidentally be responsible for a break out of bed bugs in the room.
To avoid any such infestation, you can fill out every possible crack and in your Airbnb walls and bed frames. So, in this way, you will block every way for a bed bug hiding into the room for infestation. Moreover, scientifically it is preferable to make use of metal bed frames instead of wooden beds.
Install a Metal Bed Frame
If you already knew it, I may probably say that you had done a great job to save your Airbnb from uninvited bed bugs.
Yes. Bed bugs don’t love to live and hide on metal surfaces. Since metal surfaces have very few cracks and crevices, bed bugs won’t feel like crawling on metal objects.
If you can replace your bed frame with a suitable metal bed frame, I guarantee you will be safe from long-lasting bed bugs infestation.
Monitor with Bed Bug Traps
Learning how to monitoring bed bugs is the best way to take infestation early.
Different bed bug traps can mimic the carbon dioxide producers to attract the bed bugs from any place they hide.
Some bed bug traps often have great walls to prevent them from climbing over the walls. Other types of bed bug traps include sugar traps, glue traps, snares, and climb-up interceptors.
Catch Early, treat immediately
Your Airbnb may have no bed bugs at all. But, the new arrival of a guest may bring the sneaky critters along with their luggage or clothing.
In this case, if your guest complains that they see a bed bug or got a bed bug bite or found the bed bug stains. It doesn’t mean that the infestation might be there.
Implementing an effective heat treatment plan can save you the headache of having to deal with a full-blown bed bug infestation.
Get Luggage Racks for the Room
Bed bugs are most likely to travel with us to almost every place. We carry these nuisance pests in our luggage, handbags, purses, hand carry, and suitcases. If your Airbnb property provides luggage racks in the room, your guests will probably use the racks in the first place instead of tossing their bag directly on the bed.
Provide a Hamper with a Lid and Interior Lining
It is vital that if you want to prevent the bed bug infestation in your Airbnb or hotel, you need to look out for the places where bed bugs are most likely to get attracted.
You can reduce bed bug contamination to a great level if bed bugs entirely terminate from where they are most likely to dwell.
And among those places include laundries. Travellers usually might not notice they bring these bed bugs with their clothes and later complained about the problem.
If you can offer a hamper covered with a protective lid, the bed bugs might not travel to any other area of Airbnb. However, make sure to locate that hamper and lid in a safe place and away from the bed.
Train Your Housekeeping Staff to Spot Bed Bugs
If you are a host in an Airbnb, it is the first and foremost duty that you MUST train your housekeeping, room service, and cleaners to study the bed bug problem and spot if there are alive or dead bed bugs in a room.
Before any professional inspector comes, housekeeping comes first to detect the bed bug and relax the guest if there is any such problem.
There are certain stages of bed bugs. The different phase of bed bug offers an additional signal for you to detect their presence somewhere.
Housekeeping must know how to stop the bed bugs from being contaminated until the professionals make their way.
Do A Deep Routine Inspections
If you own an Airbnb property, you must know that a great experience comes from peace of mind. It might be interesting to do a in depth check every few months.
We have discussed earlier the preventions to stop bed bugs from contaminating the Airbnb property. Further, we will be concerned about the post-treatment effects and which Airbnb can take preventive measures regarding the health concerns of your guests.
If you do a chemical treatment, it is essential to know that residuals of chemical treatment for bed bugs can be a health hazard for many guests, including their pets. A in-depth cleaning after the treatment is necessary to wipe out the chemicals and insure the safety for your guest.
You can call a professional cleaning service company to clean all the walls, cupboards, dashboards, curtains, cutleries, wardrobes, and floor. It is also preferable to seal the room for 24 hours once the treatment gets done, so chemical reactions occur.
If possible, heat treatment provides an effective solution to get rid of bedbugs without the risk associated with the chemical.
Should I contact Airbnb about Bed Bugs?
Being an Airbnb host, you MUST contact Airbnb about the bed bug infestation in your rental place. Immediate action is necessary to control the spread of bed bug infestation in the home. Bed bugs could be the greatest nightmare for any host.
The bed bug problem needs an immediate solution. Airbnb can provide you with the solution for it. Once you find a bed bug in your Airbnb, call the Airbnb helpline to offer you immediate help to solve this issue. Any delays in the process could cost thousands of dollars to spend for the remediation.
Does Airbnb offer any support on the bed bugs issue?
Yes. If you found bed bugs in your Airbnb apartment, make sure you call Airbnb Service Helpline before getting a professional exterminator to start the treatment. An Airbnb would offer you as much help as possible to protect your rental place from being contaminated by bed bugs.
There is some reported case where Airbnb provided K9 inspection (sniffing dogs) to detect bed bugs. Once the inspection gets done, Airbnb will take further steps to quality control the infestation to spread in the place.
Do I need to cancel future Airbnb reservations?
According to Airbnb’s reservation cancellation guidelines, hosts can be penalized for cancellations except in extenuating circumstances. A bed bug infestation certainly falls under this category because the bugs present several health and safety hazards. Nevertheless, the answer on whether you have to cancel reservation depends on your treatment plan.
If you expect your treatment plan to take three weeks, you need to cancel or reject any reservations within that period. You don’t need to cancel any reservations that come up after you complete your bed bug treatment plan. It is, however, wise to continue monitoring your space for bed bug infestations even after accepting guests.
Are Bed Bugs My Fault?
No. Bed Bugs are not your fault, as these little hitchhikers are uninvited, unpaid, and unwanted guests. The existence of bed bugs in your Airbnb or vacation rental does NOT mean that you are an unhygienic host or your Airbnb lacks cleanliness.
Clean places also attract these little critters. They can come along your guests hiding in their luggage, purses, suitcases, bags, and clothing. So, it is NOT YOUR FAULT if you have bed bugs in your Airbnb.
Can guests bring bed bugs?
Bed bugs – they are all across the world. Traveling moves bed bugs from place to place and transfers them from person to person. In short, yes, anyone can bring bed bugs, be it hosts or guests. Bed bugs could be a terrible nightmare for anyone.
Staying in an Airbnb could expose you to situations where the guests encounter bed bugs in their place. However, they don’t even know that they might be the cause of bringing them to Airbnb. Unfortunately, bed bugs are so small, and they can even hang on the luggage, bag packs, and clothing that none would find out who brings them.
How do I know which guest brought bed bugs into my house?
Unfortunately, it is challenging to say which of the previous guests is responsible for bringing bed bugs into your house. Why?
People, sometimes do not notice if they still happened to be there. Some people might live their lives with bed bugs, and they don’t even know about it. In contrast, some might get contracted with these hitchhikers on the very first night.
So in most cases, one could not find out. But still, it is possible to prove that the last guest brought bed bugs into your home. How?
How can I prove the last guest brought bed bugs?
Suppose you are an owner of an Airbnb and detects that the Airbnb become infested after that random guest stays there for a week or so. You may claim it right away but, it is not suitable for the reputation of your Airbnb unless you prove it!
So, you can prove it if you have a document of everything, including all the proper evidence that can become strong proof against the guests staying there a while ago. Only this way you can claim the costs for the extermination of bed bugs.
However, you can drop out of this idea in another case, shut your Airbnb, and hire a professional bed bug exterminator to inspect and treat the infestation.
What do I risk if I rent on Airbnb with bed bugs? (Low review, listing canceled, lawsuit)
Certain risks you should face renting an infested Airbnb:
- Low Rating and Poor Review
- Listing Canceled for Future Reservations
If you want a high rating for your Airbnb apartment, you should not book the place for future reservations, most importantly, after the complaint officially submits to Airbnb. Many Airbnb hosts do not take this seriously and welcome other guests. It will give more chances to people to spread awareness about your Airbnb and leave bad remarks!
It is advisable not to list your infested Airbnb for rent. It will result in the cancellation of future bookings directly from Airbnb if they find that your Airbnb is not a good place to live.
Bed bugs can be dangerous sometimes. Many people need serious medical attention after getting contracted with bed bugs. You may get sued for any physical or mental damages, compensation, or seal of an Airbnb apartment on the ground basis of renting Airbnb with bed bugs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you sue Airbnb for bed bugs?
Yes. Guests can sue Airbnb for harm caused by bed bugs. This is only possible if the aggrieved individual can prove that the company allowed the host to accept reservations with knowledge that their rental was infested. The aggrieved party can prove negligence by Airbnb if there were any complains from former guests regarding an infestation
Can I sue the guests for bed bugs?
Yes. There is also a possibility that guests may face a lawsuit from the homeowners for spreading the bed bugs if proven.
Can a Host be sued for bed bugs?
Of course! A host is the house owner, and he is responsible for maintaining the house in the first place. If the host rents on Airbnb knowing that it has been facing or had faced bed bugs problem, You can sue the host for violating the laws.
What is the Airbnb Bed Bugs Policy?
Airbnb does not have any concrete policies. However, they say that they solve each bed bug problem case-wise. They will take severe action against the complaint and postpone the listings until the place becomes bed bug-free.
Who should pay for the Bed Bug Extermination?
The host of Airbnb pays for insurance and will receive a payout for the remediation of the bed bugs.
So, next time you find a bed bug in your Airbnb, you know what to do in the first place. Taking proactive steps can save everybody from bed bugs. If the infestation level is greater, you should call AirBnb to terminate them for future reservations waiting for the treatment.