A recent news story caught our attention because it was a new twist on your classic travel bed bug scenario. Typically, an unsuspecting family travel to a hotel or resort and several weeks later, low and behold, family members start experiencing mysterious bites and the bed bug story begins.
What is interesting about this story is that the family traveled out of the country and stayed in an Air B&B only to have been wrongly accused of having brought the bed bugs to the home.
You can see the entire story here.
With the thousands of people we have spoken to about bed bug concerns, we have never come across someone who was being accused of causing a bed bug infestation in a lodging situation.
In truth, this situation probably doesn’t happen all that often. However, with the increased popularity of Air B&B’s and similar concepts, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to think through how to protect yourself from being wrongly accused of bringing the bed bugs in the first place.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when entering rental agreement:
1) There is no downside in having a conversation about bed bugs prior to renting. Ask the owner or rental company if the room/unit/home you are renting has or ever has had bed bugs and watch their face and listen to their voice.
Sadly, people are not 100% truthful when divulging bed bug information, so listen for tone and when possible see the response on a person’s face.
Ask if there is any protocol for regular bed bug inspections or steps taken should bed bug be found on the property during your stay.
2) Inspect. When you rent a car, the car rental company typically walks around the car with you and you both write down any damage.
Again, there is no downside in checking the beds and surrounding furniture for signs of bed bugs. You are looking for bed bugs (live and dead) and fecal spotting, cast shells, and fecal spotting.
No need to tear the room apart, but a quick check will reveal a moderate to advanced problem.
3) Don’t lose sight of reality – enjoy your trip. Most people have bed bug free trips and are never accused of causing a bed bug infestation.
But like many other risks in life, it is better to be safe than sorry. Give bed bugs a couple of minutes of thought, do a quick check and then enjoy your trip.