How bed bugs spread in hotels

In 9 out of 10 cases, bed bugs are found around the bed as they want to be close to their host.

Bed bugs can spread passively through, for example, used bedding, but also actively on their own. We take a closer look at their different ways of spreading in a hotel.

Bed bugs spread by cleaning routines

Eggs, nymphs and adult bed bugs can be carried in the brushes of vacuum cleaner nozzles, from one room to another, from one floor to another. Vacuum cleaners that are used on different floors and laundry bags filled with dirty bedding, lying on the floor in hotel corridors, are all warning signs.

Hitchhiking between rooms

As bed bugs are often spread by accompanying humans, from one sleeping place to another, they can be transported to neighbouring rooms by guests who end up moving to another room. They can hitchhike on luggage and clothes, as bed bugs are drawn to our odour and body heat.

Moving on their own

Bed bugs can also move on their own into other rooms in the hotel. They don’t fly or jump like fleas, but can crawl rapidly over walls, ceilings and other surfaces. As bed bugs are very flat and agile, they can fit into narrow cracks and crevices and being nocturnal insects, they hide away from the light. Their food-seeking behaviour is activated by CO2 from human exhalations. When close enough, bed bugs are attracted to our odour and body heat.

Stopping the bed bug spread

As a hotel manager, you need to have protocols in place for how staff should act if they discover a bed bug. You should also be aware of the possible transmission of bed bugs through hotel cleaning routines. Keeping one vacuum cleaner per floor and having trolleys for dirty laundry bags so they don’t end up on the floor can go a long way.

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Monitor and prevent bed bugs  

It can sometimes be hard to see if you are dealing with a bed bug problem. Residues and droppings of bed bugs can easily be mistaken for dirt. Are the bites on the skin really from bed bugs or something else? That’s when a detection trap comes in handy. The housekeeping department of a hotel could be prepared with Nattaro Scout® detection traps. These are easy to place in a suspected hotel room. The trap becomes a clear proof of whether there is a problem or not. For long-lasting treatment on the bed, behind headboards and other fixed furnishings, we offer Nattaro Safe® bed bug tape that prevents against an epidemic spread.


Learn more about bed bugs in the hotel industry.