Airbnb Bed Bug Policy
Finding bed bugs while traveling is frustrating and inconvenient.
Discovering these pests in an Airbnb can make things more complicated if you don’t know how it pertains to Airbnb’s policies.
There’s definitely a right way to go about things in this scenario to best resolve the problem.
The sections below outline the best course of action in the case of finding bed bugs at your Airbnb, as well as a few tips for how to identify bed bugs and how to locate them.
Will Airbnb Refund Me in the Case of Bed Bugs?
As a company, Airbnb is an intermediary, meaning they are the middleman between you (the customer), and the host (the service provider). Since Airbnb is not the service provider, any refund pursuit will likely need to be worked out between you and your host.
Your ability to get a refund might depend on how quickly you contact both the host and the Airbnb Help Center about the infestation.
According to Airbnb’s policies, you have 24 hours after you discover the infestation to contact the Airbnb Help Center about it. At this point, they may or may not offer you a refund for your stay.
To help your claim, it’s critical that you take photos and record other evidence of bed bugs so that your claim can be verified.
In addition, you must do this before you check out of your room. After you check out, the corporate service agents may be unable to help you and you likely will need to request a refund directly from your host.
Your Airbnb host has the ability to accept or deny your refund request without a specific policy guiding their actions since the decision is up to them. Therefore, a refund is never guaranteed.
Airbnb hosts who have shared their experiences online indicate that you may have more luck asking your host to cover any medical or cleaning expenses you incur dealing with your bed bug problem rather than with asking for a refund on your stay.
However, these are not confirmed or corroborated by Airbnb official communication. Officially, Airbnb has not posted a specific policy regarding bed bug claims or damages, but instead handle claims on an individual basis.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped brown bugs that are flat without wings. They crawl and climb on surfaces with their 6 legs.
Bed bugs vary from 1 to 7 millimeters in size and they have two antennae on top of their heads.
When bed bugs bite, they feed on the blood of humans and animals. The bites become inflamed and itchy in a way that is usually much worse than a mosquito bite. Depending on how your body reacts to bed bug bites will dictate the severity of your skin’s reaction.
These bites can cause rashes and skin irritation, and in some cases, even more severe symptoms can occur.
How to Check for Bed Bugs in an Airbnb
Before you stay at any temporary residence, whether that be an Airbnb, hotel, or another type of lodging, it is best to do a quick bed bug inspection beforeyou unpack your luggage and settle into your room.
Some property owners do not take the steps necessary to properly inspect and treat bed bug infestations.
Because of this, you should wait to open any of your bags when you check into a new place to stay, since you don’t want any bugs to crawl inside.
To check for bed bugs, you’ll want to first check the corners and sides of the bed and mattress. Lift up any sheets or mattress covers to be sure there are no signs of these pests.
If bed bugs are present, you’ll likely see the insects themselves, bloodstains on sheets, or bed bug droppings. Their feces look like small black dots, and it usually isn’t difficult to spot on white sheets.
After checking the bed itself, you should look over the bedding, especially any plush blankets or duvet covers and pillows.
Then, turn your attention to fabric materials on the furniture around you.
This includes couches, throw blankets, and sitting chairs with upholstery. If you’re extra careful, you may want to examine any curtains or carpeting before getting comfortable in your new surroundings.
It’s always better to check for bed bugs at the beginning of your stay, even though it may result in some inconvenience, than to realize you’ve been staying with bed bugs for a period of time that could have been avoided.
Again, if you do have the misfortune to encounter these creatures in your lodgings, follow the procedure outlined above to have an easier time resolving the issue.