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Accommodation industry warned: bed bugs are paralysing for business

September 13, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Over 86% of Australian travellers won’t stay at an establishment if an online review on a travel website such as Expedia or Trip Advisor mentions bed bugs  according to a survey conducted by leading pest control experts Rentokil.
Kate Levy, Head of Marketing Services at Rentokil said the survey demonstrates just how important reputation is in the accommodation industry. Just one bad experience posted online can have a damaging effect on business, and recent media coverage of this story across News Limited and Fairfax Media demonstrates this is of significant interest to consumers in general.

“Survey respondents were asked to divulge what they would do if they encountered bed bugs in an establishment. Aside from telling management of the issue, 61% told friends and family of their experience, 15% posted a comment or review on a travel website and 15% posted something about their bed bug encounter on a social media channel like Facebook or Twitter,” said Kate.16365_2_

Simon Lean, Australian Technical Manager at Rentokil said bed bugs are proficient hitchhikers and will crawl onto or into just about anything, usually luggage or second-hand items like clothing and bedding.

“It is critical for the accommodation industry to be extra vigilant about bed bugs as most infestations are likely start from just one affected traveller visiting your establishment and this makes them harder to control,” said Simon.

“The more Australians travel abroad and international travellers visit the country, the more chances there are of a bed bug infestation in Australian establishments. Over 40% of respondents did not realise that bed bugs could travel with them once they have left an infested establishment, consequently establishments need to perform regular inspections.”

The survey discovered over 34% of Australians have encountered bed bugs while travelling around Australia and abroad.

However, it would surprise many to know that over 11% of Australians have encountered bed bugs right here in Australia with the lion’s share found in NSW (48%) and QLD (23%).

“Bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, with female bed bugs laying between 200-500 eggs in their lifetime which is generally 3 to 5 months They are quick to reinvade areas, can move from room to room and a bed bug infestation could mean closing off rooms for up to two weeks while they are treated which could have a financial impact on your establishment,” said Simon.

Rentokil’s Enthotherm Heat Pod eliminates all stages of the lifecycle of bed bugs in a single treatment. The Entotherm Heat Pod is a chemical-free heat remedy that reaches all areas of infested materials placed within it. It only requires a single treatment to solve a bed bug problem quickly and with minimum disruption to business operations.

If an establishment is concerned about a bed bug infestation they should call Rentokil on their confidential hotline, 1300 761 947, or visit www.rentokil.com.au.

Statistics around travel in Australia:

  • Australians are avid travellers making over 4 million trips abroad each year according to Smartraveller*
  • Australia is also a popular destination for international travellers with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting 6.3 million tourists travelled to Australia in the year ending June 2013**

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