There is still a lot of misinformation about bedbugs. Even among the ‘insiders’ hoteliers and housekeepers very few know what bedbugs really are.
And very few know how to fight them. We talked about this with Stefano Fornoni, of Steam Italy.
What are bedbugs
“Many people think that bedbugs proliferate in dirty environments. But that’s not true: even a very clean hotel can be affected,” says Fornoni, adding: “Contrary to popular belief, bedbugs have a lot in common with mosquitoes. They feed on human blood and attack people with a higher body temperature than others.” The risk element, therefore, is direct contact.
For this reason, mattresses and fabric surfaces are among the main indicted. As Fornoni points out, the incubation period of the bug is about 20 days and (sore point!) these annoying insects often use humans as a vehicle for moving from one place to another. Or rather, their clothes.
“In this way, the coming and going of customers makes hotels particularly fragile. If one guest just opens his suitcase on the bed to put his clothes away, bugs can attack the mattress. The next guest will either take the bugs’ eggs home with him or wake up the next morning with his body battered by their bites. And they will leave a negative review for the hotelier.”
The good news is that solutions do exist, even if few people are aware of them. Often hotels take remedial actions when it is already necessary to call the debugging company, which will make the room uninhabitable for at least a couple of days. Whereas prevention rather than cure would be enough. But how? In one of the phases of my Green Hotel Method we also take car of this.
“There are two possible solutions: cold and heat,” explains Fornoni. “The simplest of the two is heat obtained from steam, which must be saturated. In a nutshell, the small retail steam machine is not enough.
Both because the steam does not reach the required temperature and also because you have to wait for the activation timings (for the machine to be under pressure) far too long. The professional machines used in my Green Hotel Method reach 9 bars of pressure and high boiler temperatures, allowing us to carry out periodic treatments.
And therein lies the key to success.
Thanks to periodic treatments which can also be carried out immediately after each customer leaves hoteliers have the chance to solve the problem at its root”.