Published at Friday, October 12th, 2018 - 16:16:25 PM. Bedding. By Jeanne Rogers.
What you don‘t see is hotels suing guests who bring bed bugs with them. Adept hitchhikers, they enter hotel rooms in guests‘ luggage or on their clothing. Most won‘t leave with the guest; they‘ll nest in and near the bed awaiting the next occupant and their next meal. Bed bugs are not a sanitation issue. About the size of an apple seed, the tiny nocturnal pests are nuisance parasites that feed on human blood. They do not transmit disease but can cause considerable emotional distress. In about 50% of their victims, bed bug bites produce itchy red welts that may take two days to develop, complicating detection. Many hotel guests check out before an infestation is discovered. Prolific breeders, females can produce up to 500 eggs during their one-year lifespan.
If you‘re in the hospitality industry, this is one website you don‘t want to find yourself on. BedbugRegistry.com is a free public database that encourages people to report bed bug experiences, specifically at hotels. There‘s a quick reporting form for listing the hotel name and street address which is translated into a dot-covered map of the U.S. showing the locations of each reported infestation. A list of the hotels and other infestation sites is provided to warn travelers. What the site doesn‘t do is verify reports, nor does it indicate when a hotel has successfully remedied the problem. The old adage there‘s no such thing as bad publicity doesn‘t carry any credence with hoteliers. They know that even a whispered rumor can have a disastrous effect on business. Websites that detail horror-laced reports of being eaten alive by bed bugs during an overnight stay in a hotel or motel play on growing public hysteria about these blood-sucking parasites. Fanned by a blitz of media attention, an accusation can instantly damage a hotel‘s hard-earned reputation and frighten away guests.
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