Preventing Bed Bugs In Vacation Homes
Bed bugs are one of the most feared issues that guests could have during their stay. What is even worse is getting slammed with a bad review. You may end up closing down your vacation home for 10 days of treatment and giving full refunds to the current guest and future guests affected in that timeframe. Although we never imagine your beautiful home being affected by bed bugs, it is always best to prepare for the worst. We recommend these tips:
The most common reason why bed bugs are found in hotels and vacation rentals is due to being attracted to dirty laundry. Often guests may pick them up in airports when laying their luggage on the ground which is a quick way for them to travel from coast to coast. If a guest leaves their luggage on the floor especially in carpeted areas of the home, the bed bugs can move to the bedding area. It is also a good idea to offer hampers in the bathrooms so guests are not leaving soiled laundry on the floor or on the beds. This will make it harder for bed bugs to travel to the bedding area.
You should always have a mattress protector. Where most homeowners and property managers mess up, is they only get the mattress protectors to prevent stains on the mattress. This will do nothing to protect the mattress from getting infested. We recommend getting polyurethane-lined covers that zip really tight so it matters that you get the right bedding size. They always must be bite-proof. Keep in mind this will not prevent bed bugs. This will just prevent your mattress from getting infested with them.
Metal Luggage Racks
We also highly recommend getting metal luggage racks for each bedroom. Inform your guests of this amenity and encourage them to use this. The reason is they are less likely to put their luggage on the floor for a long period of time and bed bugs are not fans of metal so you have a better chance of them not spreading from the luggage to other parts of the room.
A Bed Bug Incident
If your vacation home has never had a bed bug incident, consider yourself lucky. However, you should prepare for it just in case it does happen to you.
- You should have insurance on the home while renting it out just in case guests get bit and try to stick you with their hospital bill. This will help protect you.
- Find a reputable company in your area that offers treatment to rid of the bed bugs in your home.
- Encourage guests to put their clothes in the dryer as the heat will kill the bed bugs on their clothing.
- Sheets will have to be washed and dried multiple times, but we recommend this after the pest control company is done with treating.
- Treatment alone will cost at least $1,000 so it is best to have funds set aside for this just in case.
- Pest control companies will often require you to get a new mattress protector from them which will give you a guarantee. If the bed bugs come back within a certain amount of time after treatment, the company will often come back for no additional charge.
- If you are using a property manager and/or cleaning company, make sure they are trained to check for bed bug detection. It takes 21 days for a bed bug to hatch an egg for it to complete its adult life cycle so you could have three or more families in there before you find out there’s an issue.
If you can catch it early enough, it will be less detrimental to your online reputation and income. If you are looking for an experienced property manager in all situations, we’d love to speak with you more about our specialized management service for your vacation home.
As you can see, we are extremely active with our marketing efforts. We would love to have the opportunity to manage and market your vacation home. Last year, we did not have one vacation home occupied less than 220 nights and our average vacation home was occupied 248 nights annually…that is over 20 nights a month! Check out more of our Orlando Vacation Property Management Tips.