Bed bugs are an Airbnb’s worst nightmare.
These small, blood-sucking parasites hide in dark places, quickly taking over an entire household. Worse yet, these blood-sucking insects are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’ve settled. Because an infestation can be detrimental to your Airbnb business, it’s important to learn how to prevent and detect bed bugs early.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown and are about the size of an apple seed. Their bodies are shaped like an oval and may be plumper if they’ve recently fed. Young bed bugs tend to be more translucent in color, appearing white or yellowish. Larvae appear as tiny, white pearls the size of a pin.
They are most common in dark, cool areas where people are known to settle for long durations—this includes the seams of beds, like their namesake, as well hidden parts of furniture, folds of curtains, and bedding. Once settled, they will periodically leave to feed on the blood of unknowing residents.
How Do Bed Bugs Get In?
Bed bugs are infamous hitchhikers. For an Airbnb, a guest may unknowingly carry bed bugs on their body or in their luggage from their home, transportation, or previous travel lodging.
If reported to Airbnb, the company will refund your customers and shut down your listing until a professional exterminator has taken care of the infestation. However, recovering from a review including bed bugs will be very difficult.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Although bed bugs are good hiders, there are ways to detect their presence by seeing them. The most obvious, of course, are bite marks. Bed bug bite marks appear in a series of three, usually in a line on exposed skin.
However, if your guests do not report bites, look for the following evidence of bed bugs on furniture and bedding:
- Excessive dead skin from molting bugs
- Dark or rusty spots
- Pin-sized pearls or pearl shells
Preventing Bed Bugs in Your Airbnb
Because it’s impossible to know if a guest will be a carrier, it’s a good idea to take precautions against the parasite. First, wash all fabric items—throws and bedding, for example—and dry them on high heat after each guest. Pillows should also tumble on high heat to kill potential bugs and larvae. Be sure to thoroughly inspect areas you suspect the bug would be most privy to after each visit.
You can also upgrade household bedding to be less bed-bug friendly. A mattress encasement cover will protect your mattress, and a metal bed frame also offers fewer crevices for bed bugs to hide. Additionally, bed bug traps, though not a solution to an infestation, will help with early intervention.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Though there are at-home methods for bed bug treatment on the market, it is best to immediately contact a professional pest control specialist if you find evidence of bed bugs in your Airbnb.
Get Back in Business With McCall Bed Bug Treatment
For Florida bed bug control, there’s no better place than McCall Services. Our expert staff will assess your Airbnb and develop the best bed bug treatment plan—customer satisfaction guaranteed. Contact us today for a free quote and to schedule an inspection.