Safety tips for property owners to protect against bed bugs

Bed bug infestations are occurring in hotels, apartments, single-family homes, upscale commercial office buildings, school classrooms, laundromats, public transportation, and the list goes on and on. Sanitation has a tremendous impact on the ability to control or eliminate an infestation. Bed bugs live in cracks and crevices associated with bed frames, headboards, mattresses, and box springs. However, they also will migrate from the bed to live between or beneath floorboards and carpeting, under decorative moldings, in or under furniture, behind picture frames, inside wall voids, etc.

This handout is for property owners to ensure they are familiar with key safety issues. If the presence of bed bugs is found or if there is evidence of bed bugs, a pest control operator should be contacted to perform a thorough survey.

Key safety issues




Is there a written plan in effect to expeditiously deal with a suspected bed bug event?      
Is there an available pest control management firm with experience treating bed bug infestations?      
Is the discarding of beds or abandonment of rooms found to be infested with bed bugs prohibited because the bed bugs can spread to walls, ceilings, other rooms, etc.?      
Is the use of ‘bug bombs’ prohibited because they are less effective than other means of controlling or eliminating bed bugs?      

If a pest management professional confirms the presence of bed bugs, are the following items prepared for treatment:

  • Are blankets, sheets, covers, pillows, bath towels, and drapes or curtains removed and placed in dissolvable bags for transport to a laundry?
  • Are items from drawers and closets placed in plastic bags?
  • Are shoes, pillows, plush toys, etc. placed in plastic bags for laundering or treatment?
Is there a maintenance procedure in place to repair any structural issues in rooms that may serve as bed bug harborages, such as loose wallpaper or cracks?      
Is the housekeeping or cleaning staff educated to recognize early bed bug signs as they do their daily cleaning?      
Is the housekeeping cart equipped with a checklist for inspecting beds for bed bug evidence in daily cleaning?      
If laundering is provided, is the service performed weekly in hot water and dried in the hot cycle of the dryer to kill any bed bugs or eggs on the items?      
Did you know that heat is deadly to all stages of bed bugs including the eggs?      
Is the water temperature of washing machines set so that bed bugs can be killed by exposing them to temperatures in excess of 115°F (46°C) for at least five minutes?      
Are follow-up treatments and inspections performed over a 21-day timeframe to compensate for missed coverage and bugs hiding in deep recesses?      

Copyright © 2015, ISO Services, Inc.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC FEB 2019-026
171-10037 (3/17)