Let’s Talk About Bedbugs

It was no surprise to see conference-goers at the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show (IHMRS) spilling out of the packed seminar on hotel bed bugs. The standing-room-only crowd, as well as the booth traffic at multiple vendors offering products addressing the issue, was evidence that bed bugs are at the forefront of hoteliers’ concerns.  From detecting them to eradicating them, the products were indeed plentiful.  One caveat, said these vendors, is that there’s no real way to prevent the bugs, so early detection is key in the fight.  Here’s a look at some of the products showcased at IHMRS.

BB Alert Passive Bed Bug Monitor: This pesticide-free, passive monitor from USBedbugs is a small cardboard device, slightly larger than a credit card, that can be placed behind the bed board or some other inconspicuous spot within the room. According to company representative, Dan Bendoff, early detection is paramount if hotels want to contain an infestation.  And a passive system, which doesn’t attract bugs using any artificial means, is an excellent way to catch them early with minimal interference in the guest experience.  It takes housekeeping staff just a few seconds a week to check the BB Alert, and it’s one of the most cost-effective of the early detection products that USBedBugs provides. www.usbedbugs.com

Orkin Commercial Services: One couldn’t walk for long on the IHMRS tradeshow floor without seeing yet another company related to the bed bug issue.  One of the veteran pest-control specialists on hand was Orkin, which performs exterminations and ongoing quality assurance services that include training the housekeeping staff.  Company reps maintained that ongoing monitoring is a crucial component in battling bed bugs, and new hand-held technology is allowing it to monitor all kinds of pest problems more efficiently.  Orkin’s website offers solid information about bedbugs of use to hoteliers. www.orkincommercial.com

Bug Zip: This company offers a simple, luggage barrier solution for containing the spread of existing bedbugs.  The BugZip is a zippered heavy-duty clear vinyl encasement for suitcases, garment bags and for use inside dresser drawers.  The bags are being marketed to consumers and commercially to hotels, which can provide them at check-in to prevent a guest’s “stowaway” bed bugs from entering the property, as well as keep bugs out of guests’ belongings should a room be infested. Large bags (32”W X 25”L X 18”H) retail for $25 each. www.bugzip.com

BedBug Protection Kit: Protect-A-Bed has been around for 30 years, offering full-mattress encasements, pillow protectors and other bedding protection – and it’s seemingly well- positioned to address the bed bug problem.  The Bedbug Protection Kit includes a mattress encasement, a box spring encasement and two pillow protectors (retails for $159). Protect-A-Bed claims its allergy-control encasements are bed bug proof. www.protectabed.com

Check here next week for Coyle’s roundup of new products showcased at the IHMRS.

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