Whenever you stay in a location that isn’t yours, you could be at greater risk of exposure to indoor pests.
Though Airbnbs are typically kept to a standard of cleanliness, they are not immune to pests like bed bugs.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of staying at an Airbnb with bed bugs, there are a few steps necessary steps to take. The key is gathering evidence of the infestation, treating your symptoms, and ensuring you don’t take bed bugs home with you.
- Check for signs of bed bugs — There’s nothing wrong with being too careful. Educate yourself on the warning signs of bed bugs and look for any initial signs before you go to sleep. If there are dark stains, white shell casings, or a musty odor, you may have a problem on your hands.
- Take pictures — If it turns out there are bed bugs, whether you discovered this through any signs or welts on your skin, make sure you document it. Take pictures of any evidence, as you’ll need them when you submit an official claim to Airbnb.
- Report the infestation — Use the Airbnb app to contact your host, and keep records of all your conversations in case you need them later. If you don’t receive a satisfactory answer after alerting the host, you can reach out to Airbnb customer support for additional help.
- Clean or throw out belongings — The next biggest concern is making sure you don’t bring any sort of infestation back home with you. Leave all your luggage outside or in the garage, and carefully transport your clothing directly to the washing machine. Wash everything on a full cycle with the highest temperature setting. If you decide to throw away any belongings, make sure you take photographs of each item before doing so.
- Treat anything else — As for your other belongings, such as toiletries or your suitcase, leave them out of the house until you can properly inspect them. If there are no signs of bed bugs, you’re in luck. If there are, you’ll have to treat the items with insecticide or high heat. Ultimately the best way to make sure you prevent the spread of an infestation is by contacting a licensed exterminator.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to ensure that a future Airbnb or hotel is 100% bed bug free.
However, you can definitely take precautions to make sure your own home hopefully doesn’t fall victim to a bed bug infestation.
One strategy is to undergo periodic inspections and regular cleanings.
Be careful with purchasing secondhand furniture, and always be alert to the potential warning signs. If you’re regularly traveling, it’s even more important to clean and conduct regular inspections.
Bed bugs are not very common in Airbnbs. Just as hotels have to adhere to strict, proper cleaning, Airbnbs are usually kept tidy as well. Many times, hosts live in their Airbnb for part of the year, so they definitely don’t want to be sleeping with bed bugs either.
Airbnbs should have consistent, deep cleaning practices. A bed bug infestation could destroy an Airbnb’s reputation, so there is more than enough incentive for hosts to want to keep their properties tidy, clean, and free of pests like bed bugs.
However, any house, apartment, hotel, or Airbnb can become infested with bed bugs.
Bed bugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects that feed on human or animal blood. Since they’re so small — only around ¼ in in length — they can be hard to spot. Especially if the property isn’t taking the proper precautions to inspect and treat for bed bugs; this is how bed bug infestations can go unnoticed and become hard to treat.
Bed bugs love small, dark spaces and their flat bodies allow them to fit and hide in cracks and crevices. Since bed bugs are active at night, it can be hard to spot them during the day.
You can get bed bugs from almost anywhere and unknowingly bring them back into your home. They can enter your home through clothing, luggage, or hidden in used furniture.
Mattresses, bed frames, and dressers are some of bed bugs’ favorite hiding places.
You might first be alerted of a potential bed bug infestation by noticing blood stains on your sheets, or experiencing bites overnight.
Bed bugs can have specific bite patterns — a zigzag or cluster. These bites become itchy and can often be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites. They’ll appear overnight on any exposed area of skin.
If you think you might have bed bugs, it’s crucial to tackle things right away.
There are a few different treatments that can effectively eradicate bed bugs. Some people prefer to leave things to the professionals, while others feel confident handling things themselves.
If you choose to go the DIY route, you can choose from heat treatments, chemicals and pesticides, steam treatment, or diatomaceous earth. However, it usually is best to contact a licensed exterminator.