Hotel Committee Update – Bed Bugs

As many of you are aware, bed bugs have become a problem over the past few years.  We have attached a Bed Bug Fact Sheet along with this bulletin, click HERE to view.
Contrary to popular belief, the rating and/or cleanliness of a hotel has little effect on its propensity for bed bugs.  Just as we have no control over who purchases tickets on our aircraft, hotels have little control over who sleeps in their beds.  Bed bugs have been reported in the best hotels.  Most hotels have a pest control policy which includes training maids to inspect the mattresses on a daily basis, even rewarding them if they find bed bugs in some cases.  They also bring dogs in on a regular basis and systematically check the rooms for bed bugs, or spray on a regular basis. Hotels do take bed bugs as a serious issue, if they didn’t they would have to eventually shut down.
In cases of severe infestation, bed bugs may crawl onto and be carried by clothing, this type of behavior is not typical, one can almost certainly see the bed bugs.  They are light tan in colour but turn dark-reddish brown once they have fed on blood. They resemble an apple seed.  Before feeding the adult bed bug is about ¼ inch long and flattened.  Once engorged with blood, it swells in size.  Their flattened shape allows them to squeeze into narrow places in bed frames, headboards, bedside furniture, behind pictures, switch plates, and electrical sockets.  It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites, some have no reaction at all and some people have a delayed reaction.
Bed Bugs and your luggage:  When you get to your hotel room you must use caution with your belongings.  Assume that all hotel rooms are potentially infested.  Never place anything on the floor.  Use the luggage rack, and do not leave your suitcase open against the wall.  Do not keep your belongings on chairs or sofas.  If you have both a bathtub and shower, place your bags in the bathtub.  Bed bugs cannot climb up porcelain and glass.  Putting suitcases in plastic bags may not help unless they have an airtight seal.
We urge you to familiarize yourself with what actual bed Bugs look like.  This will avoid unnecessary stress if you see bugs in your hotel room.
If you think you have been exposed to bed Bugs, make sure you fill in a Crew Care form.
Hotel and transportation reporting:
For mainline crews:
On Globe under “Tools and References” you will find the tab “Crew Scheduling and Planning” once you click on this link, you will select “CrewCare”. 
For rouge crews:
ACaeronet – click “Rouge” tab – under In-Flight Service – Manuals-Forms – CrewCare
In Solidarity,
Wesley Lesosky
Component Hotel Committee