These two words make homeowners and guests alike cringe. As the second most common household pest in the U.S., these bugs can wreak havoc in hotels, apartments, and vacation rental homes.
No homeowner wants to deal with an infestation in their home, and no guest wants to come home from a vacation with unwanted souvenirs.
As a homeowner, there are 3 things you must do to prevent and handle bed bugs:
Know the Signs
First things first, knowing what bedbugs look like and their habits can help you prevent an issue in your home before it becomes an expensive, exhausting problem.
Bed bugs have small, flat, oval-shaped bodies and do not have wings. They’re usually brown or reddish in color and move very slowly. Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, are difficult to see, but the adult bed bugs are easily seen with the naked eye.
These pests are usually found in cracks and crevices – think furniture and behind baseboards- and commonly, in mattresses and sheets.
Some indicators that you may have bed bugs in your home include finding skins of the bugs, black and brown stains on porous surfaces or black and brown droppings on non-porous surfaces, and finding red welts from bites on one’s body.
Take Preventive Measures
Bed bugs don’t discriminate and are found in a variety of homes and hotels in all 50 U.S. states. As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do to bed bug proof your home.
When you purchase a new home to use as a rental, consider hiring an exterminator to do preventive bed bug treatment. This will kill any bed bugs already in the home and minimize the chances of getting an infestation down the road. Schedule routine treatments to ensure your home is always protected.
While guests are worried about picking up bed bugs during their travels, it’s also a worry for homeowners that guests will bring bed bugs with them to the rental home.
Use a special mattress cover that traps existing bed bugs and prevents new ones from burying themselves into the mattress, and place bed bug traps under each leg of the bed to make identifying any potential bed bug issues easier.
Examine your home after each guest and look for the signs of bed bugs to stay one step ahead.
Treat Infestations ASAP
If you do find yourself with a bed bug infestation, do not think you can handle it on your own – call a professional pest management company.
“We see and hear horror stories in the news about people that tried to control bedbugs in their home and things went horribly wrong,” Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association, said in an interview with the Washington Post. “We encourage people to reach out to a professional.”
Before your home is treated, declutter to make it easier for the home to be treated. Also consider throwing out infested furniture or mattresses. After an exterminator comes, purchase mattress covers and bed bug traps if you haven’t already.
Additionally, while your home is being treated for bedbugs and in the foreseeable future, book off your calendar so guests cannot book your home. Once you have the all clear from pest control management – extermination can take multiple treatments – then, you can reopen your calendar and accept bookings. The last thing a guest wants is to take bed bugs home with them, and one of the last things you want as a homeowner is a plethora of negative reviews about your home being infested.
While cases of bed bug infestation are rare at TurnKey properties – if a guest mentions the presence of bed bugs in a home, we immediately offer to relocate them and send our local teams and an exterminator to the home to investigate. We work with the guests to make sure they’re comfortable and taken care of and homeowners to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. A TurnKey home cannot be booked for at minimum two weeks if bed bugs are found in it.
Take bed bugs seriously before they become a serious problem in your home. Actively doing these 3 things will help you protect your home, your guests, and your reputation.
Want to learn more about how TurnKey can help you manage your home? Request more information here.