In the last four to five years, mainstream news and especially trade journals that a hotel asset manager often follows, talk about bed bug incidents on a regular basis. Just published yesterday, there was an article in Hotel Interactive how these little pests will bug your business. Bed MattressesThe American Hotel and Lodging Association and the National Pest Management Association now conduct twice yearly conferences to address the problem in hotels across the USA. Major cities, like San Francisco, New York and Toronto, with a high international traveler base are subject to the growing problem particularly as more people travel across the world. It is a general consensus among hoteliers that the problem is due to international travel when these bed bugs are transferred from third world countries into developed ones. They get onto your clothing and baggage and then move about. Below are several resources and references about the bed bug issue: AH&LA’s Bed Bugs Fact Sheet Bed Bugs Will Bug Your Business A Family Vacation, Ruined by Bug Bites Ecolab and AHLEI Launch Online Toolkit to Address Bed Bug Issue Like it or not, the ramifications of bad press from an incident or a potential lawsuit if staff does not know how to handle a perspective guest’s bed bug problem can be costly. It is imperative that owners, operators and investors of hotels along with their hotel asset manager include both preventative and reactive cost plans in the hotel operating budget. Daily inspections by hotel staff are important yet are only the first step to prevention and containment. If there is an incident, a certified pest control expert may need to be brought in to eliminate the problem. Most hotels do not have the required experts on staff and mostly rely on outside service contractors, such as EcoLab, Orkin and Western Exterminators. Many hotel operations budgets always have an expense line item for pest control. Still, containment and elimination of a bed bug problem requires specific methods that may include chemicals, freezing or heat applications. These are specialized treatments and not part of the typical pest control contract. it is critical that the hotel asset manager and the general manager evaluate the added costs necessary and include it as part of the overall cost plans. Otherwise, a hotel might spend ten-to-twenty times more from the public relations and legal ramifications from one outbreak.