Did you book an Airbnb rental but fail to read the reviews of guests complaining about bed bugs or bed bug bites? This might bug you as a guest, but a bed bug infestation is the worst nightmare for the hosts of Airbnbs as well.

What should you do if you get to the property and your Airbnb rental has a bedbug infestation or other types of bugs crawling all over? This is a common problem and something to be aware of. We have the solutions.

Hosts and Guests: What to Do if Airbnb Rental Has Bugs?

What hosts and guests should do about bugs in an Airbnb rental?

Hosts need to take certain steps when faced with teary-eyed, bite-ridden guests. There are also steps for guests to take if the bed bugs are difficult to spot (hiding in nooks and crannies) or out in plain sight.

Airbnb Hosts

In our modern world of social media, bad news travels much faster and further than ever before. Contrary to archaic belief, bad publicity is not better than no publicity.

The only thing you want to go viral is a five-star rating. You also want to avoid guests talking to future guests about the bugs over breakfast. Even if you are in doubt, take immediate action.

Apologize & Refund

The first thing a vacation rental host should do upon being confronted by a guest with complaints about bed bugs or other insects is to apologize and give a full refund for the room. If viable, offer the guest a new room that will be deep cleaned by a professional cleaning staff during the day and furnished with a brand-new mattress. If they agree, act fast.

Report the Incident

The next step is to report the incident and contact Airbnb. Remember that guests can communicate directly with the Airbnb customer service team and probably will, possibly even before they report the bug problem to you.

It is better to have Airbnb hear about the problem from you first rather than from the guest. Be sure to mention what you have done to remediate the situation and get rid of the bed bugs. Include the guest’s response to your solution.

Airbnb will ask for an estimation of how long it will take to rid your Airbnb of bugs and they will also insist on proof of work carried out by a professional exterminator. Should that not be forthcoming timeously, Airbnb will not hesitate to refund the guest for any remaining nights and will relocate them to another nearby Airbnb.

Inspect, Clean, and Replace

Next, inspect, steam clean, or replace the mattresses in every room. It is also prudent to have the professional exterminator investigate and sign off on all the bedrooms, common areas, and kitchen spaces.


Can Airbnb suspend your listing due to bugs?

Airbnb takes guest complaints very seriously. As a result, Airbnb will suspend your listing until the issue has been fixed. To ensure a bed bug problem has been solved, Airbnb also requires proof of a professional exterminator before you are able to rent out your property again.

What if Airbnb guests bring bed bugs?

If an Airbnb guest brings in bed bugs, you still must call in an exterminator to treat the issue. Although Airbnb does not directly reimburse hosts for bed bug infestations caused by guests, short-term rental insurance policies specifically cover damages related to bed bugs.

Check out: Prevent Termites & Pests in a Rental Property for more information.

Airbnb Guests

File A Complaint

The first thing to do if you spot bed bugs or bed bug bites is to communicate with the Airbnb host onsite or online and register a complaint. When doing so, request an insect refund. It is recommended that online communication is conducted via official Airbnb platforms and not directly with the host via text message (SMS). This will alert Airbnb to the problem and they in turn will be in touch with the host about the issue as well.

What’s the solution?

No matter how gracious, apologetic, and cooperative a host may be, it takes time to remove bed bugs. Therefore, there is very little they can do on the spot to solve the issue other than to refund the room and offer you a different room with a guarantee of cleanliness.

If they have no other rooms, you should expect them to assist you as much as possible to find another nearby Airbnb and help you get there. Any further nights you have already paid for should be refunded to you without a fuss.

Photograph Evidence

Please be sure to photograph any evidence of bed bugs in support of your claim. Take a photo of the actual bugs if possible, bite marks, and any mattress stains, as these will give an indication of any bug infestation and the overall state of the mattress as well. When alerting Airbnb to the situation, attach the photos in support of your claim.

Can you sue Airbnb for bed bugs?

Yes, Airbnb guests can sue Airbnb for bed bugs that cause injury. However, Airbnb will only be held responsible if they negligently allowed the Airbnb host to rent out a property that they knew had a bed bug infestation problem. If you have had a problem with bed bugs at an Airbnb rental, read prior reviews to see if any other guests have reported the issue prior to your stay.

Periodic Checks Checklist (to supervise the cleaning service)

On the official Airbnb site, hosts are encouraged to inform guests of their cleaning protocols, primarily to address COVID-19 concerns. The hosts are advised to provide extra cleaning materials, paper towels, and sanitizer so that guests can clean as they go. The site does specify that hosts cannot claim that their establishments are COVID-free or quarantine-friendly. However, there is no mention of mattress-care protocols and protection.

Be Proactive

The best thing that guests can do is inspect the mattress and other parts of the room for signs of bugs upon arrival. Then, if you do unfortunately experience bed bugs, make sure to tell Airbnb for the benefit of the next guest.

Common Bugs Found in Airbnb Rentals

  • Bed Bugs: Bed bugs can be a significant problem in rental properties. They are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Guests may notice itchy red welts on their skin, and the bugs can be found in and around the bed. Explore bed bug prevention tips.
  • Cockroaches: Cockroaches are resilient pests that can thrive in various environments. They are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. Poor sanitation or food left out can attract cockroaches.
  • Ants: Ants are attracted to food crumbs and spills. Keeping the rental clean and storing food in sealed containers can help prevent ant infestations.
  • Mice and Rats: Rodents can be a problem in Airbnb rental properties, especially in urban areas. They can enter through small openings and may be attracted to food scraps. Proper sealing of entry points and regular cleaning can help deter them.
  • Fleas and Ticks: If a rental property allows pets, there is a risk of fleas and ticks. Regular pest control treatments and thorough cleaning can help prevent infestations.
  • Spiders: While most spiders are harmless, some people are afraid of them. Keeping the property clean and using insect repellents can help control spider populations.
  • Mosquitoes: Depending on the location, mosquitoes can be a nuisance. Providing mosquito nets or screens on windows, and using mosquito repellents can help guests avoid bites.
  • Flies: Flies can be attracted to food waste and unclean conditions. Regular trash disposal and keeping the property clean can help prevent fly infestations.
  • Silverfish: These wingless insects are attracted to damp and dark environments. Ensuring good ventilation and addressing any water leaks can help prevent silverfish infestations.
  • Termites: Termites can cause structural damage to a property. Regular inspections and treatment by professionals can help prevent and address termite issues.

To minimize the risk of bugs in Airbnb rentals, hosts should maintain a high standard of cleanliness, promptly address any issues reported by guests, and consider professional pest control services regularly. Regular inspections and preventive measures can help create a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for guests.

Have you spotted bed bugs in your rental property? Contact ABC Termite & Pest Control to learn more about bed bug control in Omaha, NE.

Additional Reading:

Airbnb GuestsCanceling during your stay – Airbnb Policy

Hire a Professional Company ABC Termite & Pest Control – Bed Bug Control Omaha, NE & Lincoln, NE

Find a reputable termite inspection company in Omaha or Lincoln that you TRUST and ask about their pest management services.  You may think you are saving money however, a single misapplication could have significant and adverse or deadly consequences for you or your loved ones. Contact ABC Termite & Pest Control in Omaha & Lincoln, NE today!

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