With the coronavirus disrupting travel plans and all but crushing the travel industry, it’s hard to see anything good from this mess.
But there’s always a silver lining if you look for it.
And if one good thing has emerged from this destruction – it’s the killing off of bed bugs across the world.
These bloodsucking creatures feast on unsuspecting hosts (us humans) while we peacefully try to get a good night’s sleep on a stiff and overpriced hotel bed.
But with hotel occupancy rates up to 80 percent vacant…
… these grotesque creatures having nothing left to feast on.
So instead of getting fed, they’re getting killed off.
The Damage Of Bed Bugs
If you think bed bugs aren’t a big deal… guess again.
Not only is it painful and annoying to wake up covered in red swollen bites… but these things are nearly impossible to kill.
And thanks to the good ol’ EPA, most of the chemicals that do kill them are banned.
So when a hotel gets a case of bed bugs, they’re “spraying” chemicals that don’t even work and the problem continues.
And after these creatures feast on you at the hotel, if you’re not careful, they’ll make their way into your suitcase and head home with you – and cost you thousands of dollars to remedy.
COVID-19 Leaves Them Starving
As disgusting as it is to hear, bed bugs feast on your blood.
They bite your body as you sleep and actually swell up in size due to being stuffed with your blood!
And here’s the tricky part – bed bugs don’t need to eat every day to survive.
So they can hide in the walls dormant for up to one year without ever biting a human – and still survive!
But with hotel rooms not having a steady flow of guests, some of them are actually starting to starve to death and die off.
The baby bed bugs are said to die in about a month without feasting on your blood.
And while the adult can go longer, the lack of guests has started to kill some of ‘em off too.
If hotels were really smart and proactive, they’d use this time to pitch previously infested stuff and do a thorough extermination of their building.
Chances are they aren’t, but nonetheless, these bed bugs are beginning to die off on their own.
You see, once a place has bed bugs, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them.
Bed bug companies trying to make an easy buck promise to spray chemicals on a bed which will “kill them” – but this rarely works as bed bugs are much sneakier and harder to kill.
I was previously an Operations Manager of an overnight facility for children and it was brought to my attention that we had a case of the bed bugs coming from a certain room.
Easy enough, I thought.
Bring in an exterminator, spray the room and keep it closed for a weekend and they’ll be gone.
As it turns out – they weren’t gone – but back with a vengeance!
Bed bugs don’t just stay on beds… they crawl up the walls, into outlet holes, and love to live on wooden surfaces (think picture frames on the walls and nightstands).
And since they can survive off your blood for nearly a year – they can literally lay dormant and then remerge ready to eat again!
What makes things even more complicated is since they hide in outlets they can crawl from room to room.
Which means, if you have them in one room, you likely have them in multiple rooms.
To finally get rid of them, I brought in a professional canine dog trained to sniff out bed bugs and had it search the entire building to discover exactly where they were lurking – which ended up being deep in the screw holes of the wooden beds that were previously sprayed!
And these dogs are legit – as I saw firsthand an engorged bed bug full of human blood crawl out of a hole in a wooden bed once it was taken apart.
Not taking any chances, I had the entire wing closed down – and then had all the outlet covers removed and treated with chemicals inside.
I pitched all of the furniture from the affected rooms, which ended up being thousands of dollars’ worth of wooden beds, mattresses, nightstands, and anything else that was in the room.
Thankfully, all of that ended up doing the trick.
But do you really think under normal circumstances hotels are going to pitch furniture and go through all that?
So even if they claim to have treated a case of the bed bugs on their property – I would think long and hard about staying there.
And while some cities are worse than others, bed bugs can be found almost anywhere.
Before you book, make sure to check the reviews at http://registry.bedbugs.net/.
Hopefully when you travel next, COVID-19 will have succeeded in at least killing off a large number of these bloodsucking pests!
There’s always a silver lining in any crisis.
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