Park City hotels revisit bedbug prevention
February 14, 2012
Utah State University professor Ryan Davis was hunched over something that looked like a detective kit. In fact, it was his bedbug-finding kit and he was preparing to demonstrate how to check a room for one thing: bedbugs.
The class was offered by the Park City Area Lodging Association, and attendees got a crash course in the biology, the inspection process, and even public relations protocol.
Several attendees at the class were there to implement their hotels with its first policy on bedbugs. Others were brushing up on past information. The Newpark Hotel has had its bedbug policy in place for more than a year now.
"Education is the best preventative measure you can take," said Newpark Hotel Manager Chris Eggleton. "The reality is that pests, including bedbugs, exist and we’d rather be proactive than reactive."
With a group from the Park City hotel and lodging industry standing nearby, he began to demonstrate how to dismantle a hotel room. Sheets and pillows were stacked to the side. The mattress was put aside. Then, the box spring. Finally, Davis removed the headboard, going so far as the check the screw holes in the back. The room was clean.
"They go from an egg to a nymph," Davis said. "That nymph will shed its skin five times, getting bigger and bigger until it’s a full-grown adult."
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"Eggs are a millimeter long. You can see the youngest stage with your naked eye."
The older the bedbug gets, the larger and darker it becomes, Davis said.
Park City is not immune to the spread of bedbugs. On the popular website http://www.bedbugregistry.com, travelers have posted their encounters with the bugs.
"I need to know everything I can about them," said Danielle Summers of Park City Lodging. "We have guests that ask questions inquiries come up. We’re here to not only get more information, but to reassure our guests. We want to be proactive."
How to check a hotel room for bedbugs:
1. Check bedding for any dark spots or blood marks
2. Take bedding off and check for stains and look around the mattress cording
3. Look at front of headboard, check any cracks or crevices
4. Check the nightstand, pull out drawers and look at the sides
5. In the morning, check for dark spots left overnight