Hotel owners are being warned to deal with bed bugs effectively after an increase in reported problems linked to the blood-feeding insects.
BASIS PROMPT, which registers qualified pest control technicians, has received a spate of reports about health problems caused by not dealing with the pest properly.
Bed bugs can survive starvation for up to a year – making them difficult to eradicate. Bites cause red, irritating marks, and in some cases they can lead to severe allergic reactions.
BASIS PROMPT said the parasite’s association with multi-occupancy and high resident turnover buildings means hotels and guest houses are especially vulnerable to reputational damage from infestations.
The potential for harm to the business is made worse, according to BASIS, because of the largely false perception that bed bug problems are the result of poor cleanliness.
Rob Simpson, managing director at BASIS PROMPT, said: "We’ve been hearing about more cases recently where failing to tackle a bed bug infestation has led to the problem spreading and to people suffering quite serious allergic reactions.
"In the age of social media and online review sites, the potential for bed bug incidents to harm hotels and guest houses is greater than ever.
"People still associate bed bugs with poor hygiene, even though it is the rise in international travel and mobility in general that has caused increasing incidents.
"The potential problems linked to bed bugs are too serious to allow outdated perceptions and stigma to prevent proper treatment.”
Mr Simpson added: "Bed bugs are amazingly hardy and they are extremely tough to find and get rid of. Trying to deal with the infestation yourself is likely to make matters worse – as is using a pest controller who is not properly qualified."
To be eligible for BASIS PROMPT, pest control technicians need to have achieved the Level 2 Award in Pest Management or Pest Control. They also have to demonstrate Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
The bed bug nymphs are small and difficult to see with the naked eye, making it hard to identify an infestation before biting occurs. The adult is about 6 mm long and resembles a brown disc, with well-developed legs allowing it to crawl up vertical objects such as bed legs.
Bed bugs grow by moulting, and each nymphal stage needs one full meal of blood before it proceeds to the next nymphal stage.
They live close to their human hosts in crevices in furniture, in cracks in the wall or behind skirting boards or wallpaper. They are active mainly at night.
Signs of infestation include red, irritating bites, often in lines around the neck or shoulder, small blood smears on bed linen and clusters of small dark spots on the bed frame or around the edge of the mattress.
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Press release issued by Shepherd PR. For more information, or to arrange an interview with BASIS PROMPT, please email or call 01335 368020.
Notes to editors
The BASIS PROMPT Pest Controllers register is an industry initiative providing independent proof that a pest controller has received proper professional training and has continued to update their expertise through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
To be eligible for BASIS PROMPT, pest control technicians need to have achieved the Level 2 Award in Pest Management or Pest Control.
Registration has to be renewed each year, so members will always be aware of the most up-to-date techniques, products and legislation.
To remain registered, technicians and managers have to gain 20 CPD points a year. Points can be gained through a variety of methods, including training, attending exhibitions, online quizzes and reading trade magazines.
By employing registered technicians, pest control companies can be sure their firm is delivering a professional, effective service.
Commercial customers, local authorities and the general public can be sure the pest controllers they use are capable of offering a truly professional service if they insist on using businesses whose managers and technicians are BASIS PROMPT-registered.
Experts from BASIS PROMPT are available for interview and happy to comment on relevant issues as part of wider features.
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