There’s a Web site for just about everything, and now we can add bed-bug claims to the list.
BedBugRegistry.com was launched in 2006 by two Californians in an attempt to make consumers aware of bed-bug infestations in hotels and apartments, according to the site.
In theory, it’s a great example of citizen watchdogs; but in practice, it’s a hotel’s worst nightmare.
Many times a bed-bug story has crossed my desk, usually from consumer media, blacklisting a hotel after a guest was eaten alive. It’s like public relations hell, and it makes me cringe to think the hotel had no chance to defend itself before a guest cries to the media. This site has a disclaimer: “We can make no guarantees about the accuracy of the information reported here.”
This time, I went a step further and called one of the hotels on the site that was reported to have bed bugs. Imagine my surprise when the GM, who answered the phone—Patty C.—was more than willing to discuss bed bugs and the proper plan of attack for any hotel that’s brave (and smart) enough to admit bed-bug infestation is everybody’s problem.
Patty said because bed bugs are a common problem, guestrooms at her hotel are inspected daily, and housekeepers are trained to spot the signs of bed-bug presence.
“We take this seriously, and if someone reports a problem to the front desk, it’s handled immediately,” she said.
Patty wasn’t aware of BedBugRegistry.com but was well prepared to field my questions about what proactive steps were taken to keep bed-bug problems to a minimum at her hotel.
“Everybody at the hotel has to be aware,” she said. “Some people don’t even know what they’re looking for.”
Read “New tools emerge in bed-bug fight.”
Patty said the pest management company she worked with was ineffective, even though they were certified. So she did her own research online, studied the bed bug’s habits, and found colleges had come up with creative and effective ways of addressing the bed-bug issue.
Colleges such as Florida State University and others in Pennsylvania have helped Patty. Some colleges have implemented “cooking rooms” to kill the bug, rather than using chemicals.
Patty is a great example of someone facing a problem head-on, rather than hiding under the sheets.
Has anyone else gone outside of the pest management services realm to find ways to tackle the bed-bug issue?