Your Hotel Committee has received a higher-than-normal volume of concerns around bed bugs. We have investigated all reports, along with the Company, and today received reports confirming no bed bug activity. We thought it was a good time to put out a reminder on bed bugs and reporting procedures.
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.
You may find bed bugs often in tight dark spaces, on night tables, baseboards, dressers, headboards, bedding, beds, electrical outlets, carpets, rugs, picture frames, switch plates, inside clocks, phones, televisions, and smoke detectors. Thus, they can be found anywhere in an infested area, but they do not like plastic, glass, or metal. 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. You may find blood spots on sheets or black / brown spots on mattresses, bed frames or walls. They are mainly active at night, and their bites are not always immediately detected.
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. They are light tan in colour but turn dark-reddish brown once they have fed on blood. They have no wings (i.e., they don’t fly or jump). 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. Nymphs have the same shape as adult bugs but are yellowish white in color. Eggs are 1 mm long and white (nearly impossible to see).
As per Health Canada, bed bugs do not pose any major health risks, they are not known to carry any blood-borne diseases, and do not indicate a lack of cleanliness. It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites, some have no reaction at all, while others may have a delayed allergic reaction causing redness, swelling and itchy welts to the affected area.
What to do if you find bed bugs on a layover?
1. Immediately request to change rooms, preferably to one on a different floor.
2. Fill out an ACF34-C stating the hotel name, date and room number. Give a copy of the ACF34-C to your CUPE Health and Safety Committee representatives.
3. Fill out a Crew Care report via the Aeronet portal, print and give a copy to your CUPE Health and Safety Committee representatives.
4. If you have been bitten, fill out an ACF32-8 Injury Report. Give a copy of the 32-8 to your CUPE Health and Safety Committee representatives.
5. Wash everything upon your return home in hot water and use the high dryer cycle for at least 20 minutes. Luggage should not be forgotten and can be treated by immersion in 50 degrees Celsius + water in the bathtub for 20 minutes if the freezer is too full! Bed bugs die in temperatures of 0 degrees or less over a 48-hour period, your freezer could be of use for un-washable items.
6. Call a pest control specialist if you know or think you have a problem at home. A good one will perform a thorough and free initial inspection and provide an estimate that is guaranteed. Many pest control specialists will guarantee no re-occurrence for as many as 3 to 6 months after the first treatment which can save you hundreds of dollars if further treatments are needed.
For more information, click HERE to view a Bed Bug Fact Sheet and visit the websites linked below.
If you think you have been exposed to bed Bugs, make sure you fill out a Crew Care form.
Co-Chair, Component Hotel Committee