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Developed by the National Pest Management Association

Bed Bug Control in Hotels, Lodging, and Rentals

Commercial lodging is particularly vulnerable to bed bug problems because of the steady stream of guests arriving. Each guest is a potential source of introducing bed bugs into a new location. These pests are expert hitchhikers and are carried in on luggage and clothing.

Lodging facilities may face lawsuits if bed bugs bite guests, and they can suffer from damaging public relations if the media learns about the incidents. Managers need to be proactive in monitoring for bed bugs and aggressive in dealing with them to prevent angry guests and bad publicity. This protocol provides guidelines for lodging managers to help them recognize and effectively respond to bed bug problems.


Develop a written "bed bug action plan" with specific policies, directions, and responsibilities for the following:

  • Detecting bed bug evidence through housekeeping, maintenance, and professional inspections
  • Responding to a bed bug complaint
  • Responding to inquiries from guests regarding the hotel's bed bug practices during the reservation or check-in process
  • Satisfying affected guest
  • Eliminating bed bugs
  • Returning a room to service
  • Managing public relations associated with guest reports of bed bugs, including on social media

How to Confirm the Presence of Bed Bugs

If you suspect that your hotel or other commercial lodging is infested with bed bugs, the first thing you need to do is get confirmation. You may be able to verify the infestation yourself if the bugs are in prominent places. Search the rooms to find evidence. Check every bed, carefully removing blankets and sheets from mattresses and box springs to look for dark fecal matter. Also, walk around each room, stopping to search any area where there is an unusually strong odor—bed bugs are associated with a musty smell.

Bed bugs, however, tend to hide from sight and can occupy areas you wouldn't think to look. They can hide in smoke detectors, electrical sockets, cracks in walls and floors, and amongst office stationery and furniture. Examine the walls and floors, paying particular attention to corners and other dimly lit places where bed bugs like to hide during the day. Locating bed bugs in your hotel is a daunting task that can be done more effectively by professionals.

zipzap termite and pest control


Developed by the National Pest Management Association

Bed Bug Control in Apartments

Early detection and prompt, effective action are critical in preventing bed bugs from becoming established in apartment buildings. Once established, bed bugs are among the most challenging and expensive pests to control. Successful elimination demands aggressive action and the perseverance to track down every last bed bug. This document provides guidelines for apartment managers that will help them recognize a bed bug infestation, find an immediate solution, and minimize future bed bug problems.

zipzap termite and pest control


Develop a written “bed bug action plan” in advance of problems being identified. A plan should include specific procedures and responsibilities for responding to a bed bug incident, including:

  • Responding to complaints
  • Coordinating response with ZipZap Pest Control
  • Managing relocation request
  • Getting residents to prepare properly for service, reducing the risk of bed bugs spreading to other areas, and cooperating with the pest management professional


  • Do not blame or stigmatize tenants whom you suspect have brought in bed bugs.
  • Do not command tenants to throw out beds, furniture, or personal possessions in an attempt to get rid of bed bugs. Such measures can be costly and may not resolve the problem.
  • Do not move tenants to a new apartment to avoid dealing with bed bug problems.
  • Do not try to control bed bugs without an experienced professional.
  • Do not try to control the situation "on the cheap." Successful elimination of bed bugs may require multiple visits by a professional pest management company. They will employ a variety of control techniques including inspections of and if required, service in units adjacent to the infested one.
  • Do not ignore apartments adjacent to those with a bed bug problem.
  • Do not rent a previously infested apartment unit until reasonably sure that the bed bugs have been eliminated and all evidence of their presence is removed.

Provide training to critical staff (office, custodial, and maintenance):

  • How bed bugs are introduced into and spread in apartments
  • The role of clutter and crowding in bed bug infestations
  • How to recognize bed bugs and signs of infestation
  • How to ensure resident cooperation and preparation for pest control service
  • The need for thorough recordkeeping of bed bug incidents

If the bed bug problem is widespread, consider the following actions:

  • Implementing a community-wide education program on bed bugs
  • Conducting regular inspections and ensuring monitoring of communal areas such as laundries and lounges
  • Using a Board-Certified Entomologist to check all units in a suspect building
  • Communicating in a transparent fashion with current or prospective tenants about ongoing or previous bed bug problems

How to respond to a bed bug incident in an apartment:

  • Respond sympathetically.
  • Check the area at the earliest opportunity and if possible, collect a specimen for identification.
  • Promptly contact ZipZap Termite & Pest Control or another professional experienced in bed bug control, to confirm that bed bugs are present.
  • Document all complaints, inspections, actions taken, and follow-up appointments.
  • Ensure inspection of the unit in question as well as neighboring units, including those adjacent to, above, below, and directly across the hall from the affected apartment.
  • Schedule a follow-up inspection for every apartment that was serviced for bed bugs. Inspection and servicing of neighboring units should continue until the primary infestation is eliminated. Successful control usually requires multiple service visits.

Residents can help prevent bed bugs by:

  • Not using discarded mattresses, beds, or other furniture
  • Carefully inspecting used or reconditioned furniture
  • Keeping apartments tidy – clutter provides hiding places for bed bugs and makes treatment difficult, if not impossible
  • Regularly vacuuming and laundering bed linens and clothing
  • Pulling beds away from walls, raising bed skirts off the floor, and installing encasements on mattresses and box springs – these measures inhibit access

Management can help prevent bed bugs by:

  • Teaching residents how to identify bed bugs (what they look like and symptoms of bites), promptly report an infestation to management, and minimize the likelihood of bringing pests into the building
  • Reducing bed bug hiding places – seal cracks along baseboards and moldings, around pipe chases, and in floors, and remove or repair peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Bagging and discarding belongings left behind by vacated tenants
  • Destroying infested beds and furniture discarded by residents to prevent their reuse by another tenant
  • Scheduling regular inspections of apartments to detect bed bug infestations

If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your apartment…

You should search each room. Start with the bedrooms—remove all bedding and take the liners off the bottom of the box springs. Bed bugs like to hide, so be sure to check corners, cracks in walls and floors, and other dimly lit places. If you detect a strong, musty odor or find fecal matter in these hiding places, you may have a bed bug problem.

For a more extensive and efficient search of your home, contact ZipZap Termite & Pest Control.

When our professionals come to inspect your house, we ask that you also allow them to search the interior of your car. You may have unknowingly brought the bed bugs into your home from a secondary location.

Once you know you have bed bugs in your home, you need to get rid of them. Postponing treatment will only increase the likelihood of a widespread infestation. Home remedies have limited effectiveness and can be costly and complicated to use. At ZipZap Termite & Pest Control, we have the experience and equipment needed to deal with small and large infestations of bed bugs.

Steps to prepare your home for bed bug extermination:

  • Wash all items of fabric (including bed linens, curtains, and clothing) at the warmest temperature permitted
  • Seal cleaned items in bags or bins to prevent bed bugs gaining access to them
  • Empty closets and cupboards where bed bugs have been found
  • Unplug electronic items and store them on tables for the duration of the treatment
  • Vacuum floors, carpets, and other surfaces
  • Empty desks, bookcases, and dressers. Remove the drawers for inspection – bed bugs can live in furniture and among knick-knacks

Our Board-Certified Entomologist is an expert in the identification and removal of bed bugs. He will tailor the treatment plan to your unique situation so that we can deliver effective service.

The staff here at ZipZap has the knowledge and training to implement pest control treatments safely.

We use approved chemicals (dust and low-odor aerosols), as well as heat methods to eliminate bed bugs.

Don't entrust your hotel or apartment building to just any company—contact ZipZap Termite & Pest Control for quality bed-bug elimination.


If you find a bug in or around your home and need it identified, take a picture. Then text or email to the text line or email address below.

Please DO NOT text to the (816) 407-PEST number.