Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: How to Check for Bed Bugs in Your Hotel Room

Hotel Room

Picture this: Your guests have planned out the perfect getaway with their loved ones and choose your hotel. They checked in with a list of must-try places and experiences they’re eager to try, and then suddenly, they encountered bed bugs in their suite.

Just like that, their satisfaction plummets and your reputation is tarnished. This is how quickly guest satisfaction can be impacted by bed bug infestation. In this blog, we’ll share our insights on how to check for bed bugs in your hotel room and outline proactive measures to ensure guest safety, both during their stay and after they return home.

What are the Signs Your Hotel Room has Bed Bugs?

Given that thousands of people come and go at hotels, you can never be too sure that your hotel rooms are completely free of bed bugs regardless of how quick their stay was or how neat they seem to appear.

Bed bugs are small insects that hide inside beds, pillows, or curtains and leave guests with itchy red bites. These tiny, sneaky pests leave itchy bites and are notoriously hard to eliminate without professional bed bugs pest control. This is why the best hotels invest in top-rated pest management in Singapore to ensure that their facilities are free of bed bugs.

So, how can you help your staff recognize if your hotel room may have bed bugs crawling under its crisp white covers? Here are 5 tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation:

Musty Odour

Does your staff report smelling a damped, musty scent in their inspections? If yes, then it’s likely an indicator of a bed bug infestation. Due to their pheromones, bed bugs often leave behind a trail of unpleasant odour, which should raise an immediate concern for potential infestation.

Red Spots

Keep an eye out for red stains on bedding and furniture. These spots could be blood stains from bed bugs, either crashed or after feeding.

Bed Bug Exoskeletons

Bed bugs shed pale yellow exoskeletons during molting. These are frequently found in the seams of mattresses and bed frame corners.


Bed bugs’ eggs look like rice grains, which can be found around the bed or around the corners of the room.

Live Bed Bugs

The most definitive sign of a bed bug infestation is spotting the bugs themselves. Bed bugs are small, round, reddish-brown insects. Train your team to be familiarized with their appearance as it’s crucial for early detection.

How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Hotel

When it comes to these sneaky bed bugs, you need to be stringent with your inspection process to ensure your guests are safe from the moment they enter the room to the moment they leave.

Now that you know the signs of a bed bug infestation, here are the four steps you need to remember when checking for bed bugs in your hotel room.

Check the Mattress

Mattresses are the stereotypical ground zero for bed bugs. This is primarily because bed bugs like to stay near their food source—your guests!

Emphasise the importance of examining every part of the mattress, including the surface, seams, and underside. You should also check the beddings, pillows, and comforters.

Inspect the Bed’s Surroundings

The next thing you should inspect is the area surrounding the bed. Inspect all cracks and crevices near the bed, and look into these areas for signs of bed bugs:

  • Headboard, especially in tufting
  • Bed frame, especially in the joints
  • Outlets and USB ports
  • Lamps with fabric shades
  • Bed skirts and box springs
  • Carpet around the bed

To be thorough, use a flashlight and a card or pen to loosen any hidden exoskeleton or remains.

Top 3 Areas for Bed Bug Infestations

Inspect Walls and Ceilings

If your hotel features textured or carpeted walls or ceilings, ensure these are included in the inspection. Look for any crevices where bed bugs could hide and look out for dead exoskeletons or dark stains from bed bugs’ droppings or blood.

Probe Upholstered Furniture

One thing to remember when inspecting your hotel room for bed bugs is that they can penetrate through fabrics and live inside furniture. Instruct your team to check sofas, chairs, recliners, and even throw pillows, particularly between folds, for any signs of infestation. As an added security measure, be sure to include the curtains in your inspection.

Pro Tip: Invest in Luggage Racks

One of the common ways bed bugs can infiltrate your hotel in the first place is through your guests’ luggage. Reduce the risk of bed bug infestations by investing in quality luggage racks for each room. These racks provide a safe, elevated space for guests to store their luggage and directly encourages them to keep their belongings away from the bed and other upholstered furniture.

Not only does this add a touch of convenience and luxury, but it also demonstrates your commitment to guest comfort and proactive pest management.

What to Do if You Find Bed Bugs in Your Hotel?

If you’ve been proactive with your bed bug prevention and treatment, there’s a high chance that you won’t encounter any reports from unhappy guests. However, if your guests find and report bed bugs in their room, do you have a de-escalation protocol in place?

Prompt Response

When a guest reports a bed bug sighting with evidence, such as photographs, immediately offer them a new room or a refund, as appropriate. Ensuring guest satisfaction and safety is paramount.

Room Re-inspection

If the guest considers your offer to be transferred to another room, train your staff to provide them with the assurance that they are safe from such an incident. Instruct your staff to conduct thorough inspection beforehand to provide your guests with peace of mind.

Post-Visit Protocol

If your guests decide to go home instead, it is important to reestablish rapport and continue providing them with excellent service to demonstrate your commitment.

One of the most effective ways to do that is to provide them with an informative guide to prevent bed bugs when they come home from their vacation. Here are some of the tips that you can provide your guests:

  • Tell your guests to stow worn clothing in a sealed plastic bag.
  • At home, advise your guests to wash their clothing in hot water and then straight into the dryer on high for an hour and a half. This should kill any critters that snuck into their clothes.
  • Tell them to vacuum their bags to pick up any bed bugs or eggs. Be sure to advise them to seal the vacuum bag and throw it away.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

By now, there’s no need to mention how much damage bed bug infestation can cause in your hospitality business. Faced with the problem, you may be asking, “How can I get rid of bed bugs in hotels?”

While there are DIY methods for eliminating bed bugs, it’s not generally advised for hotel owners and managers to rely on commercial-grade pesticides, as not only it’s unreliably effective to get rid of the problem, you could also harm your guests, hotel staff, and your business as a whole.

More importantly, bed bugs have become harder to eliminate because they’ve grown resistant to over-the-counter pesticides. Their sheer number and size also often mean that nymphs and eggs get left behind to continue infesting your hotel.

In other words, bed bug infestations are not something you can easily address using DIY methods, especially if you value your operating hours, and in the hospitality industry, time is of the essence.

So, what can be done? Properly addressing and mitigating the bed bug issue swiftly before it takes a hit on your hotel reputation are enough good reasons to hire a pest control company. A reliable pest control company can help you treat and prevent an infestation from spreading in your hospitality business.

Guarantee a Pest-Free Hotel Stay with PestBusters

Even the highest-rated Singapore hotels can sometimes become infested with pests due to their nature, which is why it’s important for managers to be aware of their surroundings and teach their staff on how to check for bed bugs in a hotel.

As an establishment that promises relaxing accommodation to their clients and guests, having a pest-free environment is imperative if you wish to run your hospitality business smoothly. Hiring pest control services in Singapore allow hotels to guarantee a safe and enjoyable stay for their guests.

If you want to know more about PestBusters’ pest control services, feel free to email us or send us a message.