Bed bugs are a nuisance, and when you encounter these pesky bugs while traveling, it can really put a damper on your stay. While you might expect bed bugs in some shabby one-star hotels, you would be surprised to know that these nettlesome, bloodsucking insects can exist in Airbnb properties as well.
According to a poll conducted by Map Happy, among 980 respondents, 10% said they found bed bugs in Airbnb listings. You read that right! So, if you thought you were completely safe from bed bugs at Airbnb homes, think again.
The bad news is there is almost no way to know beforehand if you might encounter a bed bug infestation in your Airbnb home since once a complaint of bed bugs is registered at Airbnb, they usually temporarily suspend the home listing. So, you will rarely find reviews talking about bed bugs in Airbnb home listings.
Unfortunately, if you book a stay at an Airbnb home with bed bugs crawling about, it can ruin more than just your holiday. For all you know, the bed bugs can hitchhike a ride on your luggage to your home after your Airbnb stay.
However, there are things that you can do to save your holiday from getting ruined entirely and to ensure you do not take back bed bugs home as souvenirs from your trip.
So, if you ever come across bed bugs in Airbnb homes, follow the tips shared below.
Look for Signs of Bed Bugs and Let Your Host Know
Woke up with itchy, red, bumpy spots on your body?
They can, indeed, be bed bug bites. Look for bed bugs under the mattress and for blood stains on the mattress or sheets. You might also come across the exoskeletons while looking for bed bugs. If you find one or more of these, it is a bed bug infestation you are dealing with.
The first step you need to take after you confirm there are bed bugs in your Airbnb home is to tell your host. It is great if your host offers an amicable solution, such as refunding your rental or putting you up in another property. However, in case you cannot come to a mutually beneficial decision, there are further steps you can take.
Report the Bed Bug Infestation to Airbnb with Evidence
If your host refuses to cooperate, you need to take it up with Airbnb and do so as soon as possible. To ensure Airbnb doesn’t dismiss your claims for a refund, collect evidence to prove the infestation.
- Take photographs of the bites on your body, the blood stains, the bed bugs (if you could spot them), the exoskeletons, and everything that might point to a bed bug infestation.
- Consult a doctor to confirm the bites are caused by bed bugs.
- Report to Airbnb with the above proofs.
Move out ASAP
Of course, you cannot and should not stay in a bed bug-infested home for a minute longer than you need to. But how do you make sure you aren’t transporting the annoying pest to wherever you are going next, even your home? You cannot. So, follow the tips given here to hopefully stop the spread:
- Cover all your luggage with plastic bags for the remaining trip and keep them sealed as much as possible to potentially suffocate the bugs.
- Wash all your clothes in hot water as soon as you get the chance and dry them on high heat.
- Keep the freshly laundered clothes in separate sealed plastic bags, away from the other items.
Once you get home, vacuum all your suitcases and bags and keep them sealed in plastic bags. Alternatively, consider discarding of items that you are not confident can be fully cleaned. Keep the luggage and all other items you carried with you on the trip as far away as possible from your rooms.
Consider Hiring a Bed Bug Lawyer
You might not receive any refund at all from Airbnb, or it might not be enough for the hassle you have to go through. The disappointing fact is Airbnb doesn’t have any clear policies when it comes to bed bug reports and complaints from guests.
They handle each grievance on a case-to-case basis.
So, don’t be disheartened if your trip was ruined by the pesky insects and your enthusiasm for traveling is curbed by a lack of clear Airbnb bed bug policies. There is still a way to seek reimbursement and compensation for all the troubles you had to go through.
Consult a bed bug lawyer to know your options and to understand where you stand against Airbnb and your host. Our dedicated law firm can assess your situation and let you know if we can help.