Detection and prevention

Detection and prevention

Bed bug infestations on cruise ships are rare, but the reality is that they do happen. And when they do, they can have a devastating impact on a cruise line’s reputation. Send a holiday maker home with bed bug bites, and chances are that they will complain, tell their friends and family, leave negative reviews and share their experience on social media.

Contrary to what many people may think, bed bugs aren’t necessarily a sign of dirty conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts, and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

So what can cruise lines do to mitigate the problem?

According to a 2010 report by the University of California, Berkeley, people have to be proactive rather than reactive.

Maria Curcio is the CEO of BuggyBeds, a company that has developed a patented bed bug detection system that is designed to flag potential infestation problems early on. The product has been available on the market for two years and the company sells more than one million traps per month worldwide.

Small in size, BuggyBeds monitors contain a custom formulated glue that attracts bedbugs and other insects and traps them so that they can easily be detected.

On a cruise ship, they can be placed discreetly under beds in the cabins. The cabin steward simply checks the traps as part of their routine when they change the sheets or make up the room. If they see a bug in the trap, then they can take appropriate action to eradicate the bugs in that room.

Curcio believes that cruise lines can save significant costs using these traps. She explains that rather than having to replace all mattresses and furniture on a ship, or pay expensive exterminations fees, they only have to treat the room where bed bugs have been detected.

“Early bed bug detection mitigates and reduces infestations,” she says. “BuggyBeds is an inexpensive and simple solution, but it can lead to significant cost savings.”

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Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert
21 October 2014

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