How Do Hotels Deal With Bed Bugs? Explained

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Alene Schill

Facing bed bug infestations in hotels is a significant issue, even in prestigious five-star establishments. As someone who frequently changes hotel rooms, it is crucial to stay informed about these unwanted creatures.

But how exactly do you identify an infested room? Moreover, how do hotels deal with bed bugs? Find out in this guide we prepared for you.

How Hotels Deal With Bed Bugs


Nymphs and adult bed bugs can plague chain and five-star hotels just as much as your house. However, since guests occupy roadside motel rooms longer, the likelihood of a bed bug incident is higher than in your high-end hotel. 

When live bed bugs are located in a hotel room, hotel management normally seeks professional help to address situations promptly.

Pest control professionals have specialized equipment to kill bed bugs and cleanse an infected room. But how do you prevent bed bugs when traveling?

Hotel Checklist

According to the National Pest Management Association, there’s no 100% solution to prevent bed bugs from ever returning. The little pests are crafty hiders, so they may still lurk on the property after treatments. 

An initial thorough inspection can help you identify the bed bug infestation before you fall victim to bedbugs’ bites!

1. Beds

Hence the name, bed bugs normally plague beds. Inspect your mattress for any sign of the insects. Check the bedding seams for eggs, live bugs, or fecal matter.

If you didn’t find any, a visual inspection of box springs or headboards is also helpful in locating the small bugs. You may find the pest hide within cracks along the box spring.

2. Closet

Bed bugs are known to be effective hitchhikers. So if not on the sheets or mattresses, they can hide within clothes and other belongings and be free from the naked eye.

With that said, bed bugs in hotels may be hiding in closets. Check every corner and joint for any eggs that may be lurking around.

3. Dresser

clothes inside the dresser

In the case of larger hotel rooms, guests are accommodated with a larger mattress and better utility like a dresser. However, an infestation may take place all the same in the area. 

Protect yourself from pest attacks by checking for bed bugs inside the wardrobe. Inspect any stock mattress bedding too for a small spotted cluster of animal blood as that’s your first indicator that bed bugs lurk in the room.

4. Outlets

Pest control can also locate the bugs, but it’s helpful if you point the pests out sooner so they have a direction on where to eliminate the infestation.

Bed bugs may also hide under the plate of electric outlets. Leave the professionals to treat them and don’t attempt any workaround to avoid injury.

5. Other Furniture

Bed bug infestations may occur in any furniture you can think of. So long as they can access your body at night, pests will hide anywhere. For prevention, check all areas in the room.

What Bed Bugs Mean For Hotels

Bed bug prevention sits at the top-most priority list of hotel owners. The last thing they want is negative publicity that can hurt their hotel’s reputation.

When a guest reports a bed bug situation, hotel staff are normally prompt with pest control services.

Alternatively, you may contact corporate headquarters with a bed bug demand letter if they fail to address the situation.

Possible Bed Bug Hotel Treatments

pest control spraying pesticide

As mentioned, a lodging joint hires pest control services that have streamlined ways to rid bed bugs. Here are some methods:

  • Steam Treatment

Bed bugs are susceptible to any penetrating form of heat [1]. Temperature beyond 121 degrees renders the pests lethargic, which kills them eventually. This goes for any developmental stage of the pest: eggs, nymphs, and adults.

  • Vacuuming

Vacuums are another inexpensive way to get rid of pests. However, since this process is more of a “control” procedure and doesn’t necessarily kill bed bugs, it’s best to seal and throw the vacuum bag after use.

  • Pesticides

The most common pest control strategy for a bed bug infestation is using pesticides [2]. However, this method doesn’t always eliminate the bugs, and many factors influence their efficacy [3].

It’s still best to contact professionals to protect yourself from pesticide toxicity.

Bed Bug Prevention in Hotels

If you’re a hotel owner, here are some ways to support bed bug prevention on your property:

  • Educate staff on bed bug identification, signs, and control
  • Don’t wait for the infestation to clear up; it won’t
  • Heed client complaints about the pests
  • Develop a solid bed bug action plan for when situations arise
  • Reach out to pest control promptly
  • Routine bed bug inspections


How likely is it to get bed bugs from a hotel?

Bed bugs tend to be a larger threat in lower-socioeconomic lodging like roadside motels than in hotels, as the incidence of extended stay is likelier.

However, your high-end lodgings may also be infested with pests if guests bring them along from their respective abodes. But what could be the cause of a bed bug infestation?

How do hotels compensate for bed bugs?

If you spot infestations, management may compensate you via free dry cleaning, replacement of mattress, or in extreme cases, a full refund.

This is because hotels are obligated to promote the highest standards of hygiene. 

Do hotels get shut down for bed bugs?

If hotels persistently don’t comply with your state’s code, code enforcement officers may be forced to close down lodging places.

However, since hotels want to protect their reputation, they’ll want to eliminate the pests as fast as possible. So, the likelihood of shutting hotels down is low.

Can you get a refund from the hotel if they have bed bugs?

It’s possible to get a refund from hotels due to bed bugs. However, that depends entirely on the lodging’s refund policy.

Make sure to read their policy first so you’re fully aware of the perks you can receive if you locate bed bugs in the room.

Key Takeaways

Dealing with bed bugs as quickly as possible should be any lodging’s priority when they receive a complaint.

On top of top-notch experience, commendable services, including pest management, shows how much your staff and company value every guest that enters your premises.

Ultimately, hotels should focus their attention on giving all visitors a memorable experience they can carry as they return home. And sometimes, hotels’ pest control services may make a difference.



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