By The Hospitable Team
Insects and bed bugs are the worst nightmare for any Airbnb host. These annoying little pests find their way into the tiniest nooks and crannies, and they’re incredibly difficult to spot.
Unfortunately, these pests can be brought from one home to another. And even your cleaning team strictly follows the requirements of your cleaning checklist and your rental space is spotless, it can get bed bugs. It happens in some cases when guests are the ones who bring them in.
Another problem is that bed bugs are very resilient—they can go many months without any blood meal and could even survive extermination efforts. So once a place is infested with pests, they are not easy to get rid of.
Airbnb Bed Bugs Policy
Bed bugs are hitchhikers of the insect world that can travel in your guests’ suitcases, bags, clothing, shoes, and more. If your short-term rental develops an infestation, you’re in trouble.
And what about the Airbnb beg bugs policy? Unfortunately, Airbnb doesn’t have a clear policy on bed bugs, and it handles each situation case by case. So what should you do as a responsible host if a guest brings bed bugs?
If you want to keep your rating high (and avoid bad reviews and any lawsuits), you’ll probably have to shut down your rental property and hire an exterminator. You’ll need to cancel your upcoming bookings to get rid of the infestation in your space.
It can include multiple visits from exterminators, throwing away infested furniture, and laundering sheets, towels, pillows, and other things on high heat to eradicate the bugs. This can cost much money (a typical extermination costs between $1,000 and $2,500) and be psychologically distressing.
Airbnb Bed Bugs Refund
And what if your Airbnb guests are getting bit by bed bugs? Bed bugs hide during the day and tend to bite while their victims are sleeping. Although their bites don’t spread disease, they can leave itchy welts and cause allergic reactions, so you can do nothing to salvage a booking.
Airbnb takes guests’ complaints about bed bugs seriously and suspends a listing until the issue has been fixed. Most issues are resolved with Airbnb finding new rentals for the guests. Airbnb also will require proof of a professional exterminator before letting you rent out your property again.
It’s your responsibility as a host to provide a comfortable and healthy environment for guests. So the only option for you is to apologize and give your unhappy guests a full refund. And it’s critical to start remedial action for bed bugs immediately.
Vrbo Bed Bug Policy
And what about the Vrbo bed bug policy? Vrbo recommends vacation rental owners keep the property clean and reduce the risk of bed bug infestations thriving. The platform is also ready to take action against the property owner if they get complaints from guests.
Vrbo claims that as soon as a guest submits a complaint about pests on the property, the Vrbo host will be required to provide proof of a recent pest inspection. If the host can’t do that, the listing will be deactivated until a current proof of inspection is submitted.
Airbnb Bed Bugs: What Can You Do to Prevent Infestation?
Unfortunately, it’s practically impossible to completely prevent guests from bringing bed bugs to your listing. But there are ways to minimize the potential for contamination, so you should try to prevent bed bugs from entering your rental in the first place.
First of all, your cleaners should be your first line of defense. You should train your cleaning staff to identify bed bugs throughout their life cycle as they handle your turnovers and remind them about it each time you assign a task to them. Luckily, with Hospitable.com, you can notify your team about new tasks automatically.
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Here are some other things you can do to prevent Airbnb bed bugs problem:
- Always wash linen, towels, and other clothing at the highest possible temperatures.
- Even if you have hard flooring, you should vacuum it every time and empty the vacuum after each use.
- Check your interior for cracks and use silicon spray or foam sealant to seal any gaps in your walls, making it less likely for the bed bugs to settle down.
- Always separate guest beddings from your own beddings and clothes.
- Protect mattresses on each bed with a mattress encasement cover to reduce spaces where bed bugs can hide.
- If possible, find pieces of furniture or add luggage racks with legs made of metal surfaces because bed bugs don’t like climbing on metal and slick surfaces.
- Provide at least one of these luggage racks in every room to avoid your guests putting their suitcases on the bed.
- Provide enough space and hangers for your guests to hang their clothes in the wardrobe rather than using drawers.
- Leave your guests plenty of storage space where they can store their items.
Both travelers and Airbnb hosts can have problems with bed bugs. But while treating bed bugs infestation can be a hassle, prevention is not. We’ve provided you with a few of the effective ways to prevent these pesky little bugs from spreading in your rental property. Hopefully, our tips will help you avoid bed bug issues on Airbnb.
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