The Vacation Rental Manager's Podcast with Sarah and T

Episode 159 - BED BUGS! It's Not A Question of If, But When. Be Ready.

October 02, 2023 Sarah Bradford/Tim Cafferty Season 7 Episode 159
The Vacation Rental Manager's Podcast with Sarah and T
Episode 159 - BED BUGS! It's Not A Question of If, But When. Be Ready.
Show Notes

In this episode our two fearless rental managers talk about the subject of bed bugs.  Don't pretend you don't think about this or haven't had this happen to you.   What do you do when you get them?  How do you handle them?  Will I catch them just thinking about the subject?   The answer to these and many more questions will be revealed in this episode.  

In the News segment Tim talks about the wildly successful ExploreFest 23 conference that VRBO and Expedia Group just hosted in Las Vegas.  Another can't miss episode with lots of takeaways to help your business!  Detailed show notes below: 

 Bed Bug education - all from the great Durk Johnson who explains it better than anyone.  

- First, a fun fact - we are seeing a rise in bed bugs the past 10-15 years because DDT is outlawed. That's a good thing, but DDT used to kill bed bugs and they were going down in numbers of outbreaks.  

 FACTS about BB's 

- size of a tick

- nocturnal

- attracted to our CO2 we breathe

- they can live for 365 days without food! 

- They like to live in wooden footboards, headboards, wall (check baseboard)

- Often the way to find them is to check for poop and blood stains on mattress or mattress pad. 

How are they transported? they are hitchhikers

- luggage (in other words guests bring them.  Guests don’t want to believe it, but it is true!  It is not a commentary on the cleanliness of a rental property)

- clothes (eggs are sticky)



Teach your housekeepers to do the following BEFORE start cleaning every single time not just when reported: 

- Take flat sheet off & look at fitted sheet (look for long line of blood spots) 

- Then get down to the mattress 

- BTW, you need to have tight fitting mattress pad b/c they will live in the folds if loose. Yes, ALL beds should have mattress pads and even better, full encasements. 

- Blacklights will show them up or flashlight on phone - looking for poop & blood stains & exoskeletons! 

- then check box spring (between cover & spring) 

- check under the nightstand

- check behind the bed


This training also goes to your maintenance staff, inspections team, and of course you need at least one manager who can verify before you get to treatment because the treatment is EXPENSIVE.  


- Pest control. - With Heat thru entire house- generator, wires thru house - 120 degrees 

- Sprinklers need to be covered so they don't go off. (there are also bed bug sniffing dogs?)   Yes, there is.  

And How to Treat Your Laundry you bring out of the property AFTER treatment complete:  

-Bagging up all of the impacted linen in an airtight bag, keeping those items separated from your normal laundry, and the process of laundering those items, then getting the appropriate items back to the property after sanitization – bedspreads, mattress pads, etc.).  

- Trash the pillows

- Consider trashing the mattress if there is a sizable infestation. 

2) Have a Process Documented and Explained to all before it ever happens (this should also be part of new hire training!) 

- So, Tim is perfect as we all know, so he actually has a flow chart for this. I'm talking decision points - diamond shape - YES/NO and path to take like those choose your own adventure books.  

TIM:  explain the flow chart & get into ways to handle the laundry, & staff clothing

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