BB’s make sure you have a plan for when you get them!

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Hillbilly's picture
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Well my grandma is 95 and so 3 family members and our kids decided to surprise her a d travel to KC for a night to see her during our kids Christmas break. We had a wonderful time and my aunt lives with her so we decided to find a hotel to stay the night.  The closest place was a Drury Inn. My Dad and sep mom decided to pay for everyone’s stay (Three rooms) this was a really nice of them to do. I always check for BB’s before staying and in this case I was glad I did. There they were under the mattress. I Immediately got out of the room and went to the office. I waited until the lobby was clear to notify the attendant at the desk. He left with it and came back and apologized. Said we could have another room. I told them that was ok and just needed to find another location. He was very nice and VERY SORRY! I told him I appreciated it and to just refund my room back on the card on file.  I told my Dad and brother and they wanted me to check their rooms as well. I found another one in my Dads room and an egg. My brothers was clear. They decided to stay but understood I couldn’t. After going to dinner I decided to book a Hampton Inn. I payed received my key and headed to the room to look.  Guess what? Yup more BB’s, I took it to the desk and once again waited for the customers to clear out before showing them. The lady agin took the bug back to a manager. Few min later he comes back and tells me it’s just a piece of plastic.  “Ummm no, I know what they look like!” That SOB switched it with a piece of plastic and got very defensive. I told him I didn’t want any issues to just please refund my card and I would be on my way. I don’t want to stay.  He told me I would receive  a  partial refund in 5-7 days. I told him I would be receiving a full refund. “Just void my transaction!” At this point I was not happy and demanded a full refund and told him I was trying to be nice about the situation.  He told me he would have me removed from the property for saying they had BB’s. At this point I was so mad I so upset and told him I expected my card to be refunded and I left. Never have I been treated like that at a Major hotel chain. Also switching it out with a piece of plastic and saying he had pictures and proof it wasn’t BB’s. This was at 10:30pm. We ended up driving home 4 hours. This is becoming a real issue in our industry. I suggest you come up with a response when you find yourself with a guest saying you have them.  As bad as it’s getting out there it’s not if but when you will have them st your Property!  How will you handle this horrible moment?

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PhineasSwann's picture
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Talked to an exterminator that does this type of work. Some key learning:

1) Heaters have to get above 120 degrees. Just cranking the heat in your room to the top thermostat setting won't do it. 

2) You need air circulation in the room to move the 120 degree air into every nook and cranny. Those heating units you showed not only heat air, they blow it around. 

3) You need to move cushions, mattresses and pillows at least once to make sure you've gotten heat coverage to all areas.

4) He says you don't have to worry too much about BBs in walls and floorboards. Amazingly, they're attracted to heat, so they'll move toward the heaters and then not realize they're getting fried until it's too late. Sort of the frog-in-a-pot system. 

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Arks's picture
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PhineasSwann wrote:

Those heating units you showed not only heat air, they blow it around. 

Right. Some of the photos I found had fans going also. I just picked a photo that didn't show the fans.

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Arks's picture
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Interesting trap alternative here, for the DIY'ers. As Mort says, trap is not to catch them all and get rid of them, it's a screening tool to see if you have any, so you can call an expert.

Looks like this is the type of electric heaters they bring in to heat a room. The bugs and eggs die within 90 minutes at 118°F (48°C) or immediately at 122°F (50°C), but you have to get the room a little hotter than that so places the bugs hide can get up to 118+.

Morticia's picture
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My son just got his exterminator license. He's trying to come up with a way to use patio heaters.

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Hillbilly's picture
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Could be a major fire hazard and I don't think they can be used indoors.  He will just want to make sure.

Morticia's picture
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Hillbilly wrote:

Could be a major fire hazard and I don't think they can be used indoors.  He will just want to make sure.

I don't think so, either. I'm sure the classes he took to get the license told him that. 

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Morticia wrote:

He's trying to come up with a way to use patio heaters.

Hillbilly wrote:

Could be a major fire hazard and I don't think they can be used indoors.  He will just want to make sure.

Sounds like a scheme I'd come up with, trying to save a few dollars and burning down my business!

Hillbilly's picture
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The trouble with this issue is that its not our fault.  Guests bring them.  But guests think this is some how connected with poor housekeeping and its not.  It's terrible but the problem is getting worse.  I talked to our guy who sprays once a month and he said you would be surprised how many people have them and don't even realize it.  Then they come stay with you and give you a party favor for you and future guests to enjoy.  I dread the day a guest comes and tells me they found one.  So how will you handle it?  Refund their money? Pay for them to stay somewhere else?  Pay for them to have their stuff cleaned?  I see this opening up a major can of worms on damages they could say they had after returning home. ( Medical bills, cleaning ect )  Sorry Im a little freaked out as you can tell.  The bug guys scared the crap out of me.

Arks's picture
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Hillbilly wrote:

Refund their money?

Yes.

Hillbilly wrote:

Pay for them to stay somewhere else?

No way! They don't have to pay me, but they still have to pay somebody else. That's not my responsibility. It's the same as if the heat/AC stopped working. You give them a refund and they go stay elsewhere. You don't PAY for them to stay elsewhere.

It IS a good topic to discuss because, as you say, it's probably not a matter of if it happens, but when it happens. Just because you don't have them today doesn't mean a traveler can't bring some in tomorrow, in their suitcase.

A BB-proof mattress protector just means they can't get inside the mattress. It doesn't mean they can't hide elsewhere in the bed, the headboard, the baseboards, anywhere!

The experts always say spraying is a waste of time, and not healthy for the guests who have to sleep where you have been spraying. Heat is the accepted treatment, probably by a professional, who would have proper equipment and know how to use it. Call an exterminator.

As far as what to say to guests, the best you can do is educate them:

  • that you always check for them, and have never had them before
  • that they arrive inside people's luggage, so they could arrive at any hotel, any day of any week
  • that BBs have nothing to do with the cleanliness of the establishment (though, of course, if the establishment has a huge infestation, that means it has been there a long time and they haven't done anything about it)
Hillbilly's picture
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Great talk.  I actually called out bug guy and talked with him.  He did say the hotels he sees the most BB's in are the cheaper ones.  $100 or less he said.  They tend to not take the issue very seriously and try to just vac them up and take care of the problem.  This will not keep new ones form hatching and keep the process going.  As you say the best solution is a heat treatment but can cost anywhere from $500 for a single room to thousands for a whole house.  Just one more thing to have to stress about now. Sad

JimBoone's picture
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Don’t have the advertisement in front of me, but seems like I’ve seen a supplier list a package of cords and heat units in the price range of what it might cost for treatment of 2 or 3 rooms. Still not a cheap solution, but a cheaper long term solution or perhaps a joint investment for several small properties 

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Morticia's picture
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BTW, the hgi in my town charges upwards of $350/night. They have the exterminator on speed dial. Nothing to do with price of rooms.

Morticia's picture
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Worry is the waste of a good imagination.

Preparation is a better use of your time.

Get those mattress and pillow encasements, train your cleaners to look for bugs, provide luggage racks, use high heat to dry bedding, wash all bedding as often as you can, vacuum daily (empty vacuum daily), flip mattresses and clean the rails and headboards monthly.

If you have some empty rooms you can lay out traps for bbs to see if you catch any. (Look it up online.)

Doing is better than worrying.

gillumhouse's picture
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I have the mattress encasements. I really do not know what else I can do to be pro-active. Other than that, I know an exterminator.

JimBoone's picture
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Hillbilly wrote:

As bad as it’s getting out there it’s not if, but when you will have them at your Property!  

How will you handle this horrible moment?

Good question, does the group have an opinion of the best way to handle the problem should it arise? I expect most of us here are involved in the cleaning process so hopefully would be aware of such a problem before it was evident to a guest, but if found, what's the next step?

I see sprays advertised, but was under the impression that was not a good solution. I see heat units designed to connect to the heater/ac line that are said to kill by super heating the guest room, yet they appear rather expensive for a small property to have sitting on the shelf just in case of a problem. Hillbilly has a great question, what should we do to plan?

Morticia's picture
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Should the problem arise, we would call a local company to do the heat-based extermination. When we went to a class they offered they suggested examining your dryer lint screen after every load as you might find some carcasses there. Then do a thorough exam on the room those sheets came from.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Morticia wrote:

Should the problem arise, we would call a local company to do the heat-based extermination. When we went to a class they offered they suggested examining your dryer lint screen after every load as you might find some carcasses there. Then do a thorough exam on the room those sheets came from.

That is a great idea.  

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Generic's picture
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Hampton has a satisfaction guaranteed policy. Call Hilton and report them for violation of the policy. It didn't matter if it was BB or not, the plastic shouldn't have been there either, so the room wasn't cleaned properly. 

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