VRS067 – Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite In Your Vacation Rental Property with Jeff White

For the first 12 or 13 years of my life, the last thing my mom said to me when I went to bed was:

“Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”

After that I went off to boarding school and the nighttime routine was different, but this little rhyme always stuck with me.

The full version is below and is believed to have been written at a time when the bed bug situation in the UK was pretty bad.

Good night, sleep tight,
Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
And if they do
Then take your shoe
And knock ‘em ‘til
They’re black and blue!

Old English Nursery Rhyme (~1860) – Author Unknown

With the introduction of the pesticide DDT in the 1940’s there was a marked drop in bed bug infestations but the past dozen years has seen a resurgence in most parts of the US and Canada.

It’s one of those things we don’t really want to talk about, but for vacation rental owners and agencies, the potential for ‘the call’ is always there and if you don’t have a procedure in place to manage it, you could find yourself in a tough situation.

tweetTweet: Wow! Great #bedbug information for #vacationrental owners. http://ctt.ec/4lxbs+ Thx @cottageguru @bedbugcentral pic.twitter.com/bvYrGbBdqZ

I’ve got personal experience of this as we had that call, from guests at one of our cottages, a few years ago. Ontario is not without its fair share of bugs – black fly, mosquito and deer fly are just a few – so we are fortunate to have an abundance of pest control companies in our area. We were able to get a pest controller out to identify the bugs and confirm they were indeed, bed bugs; arrange to rehouse the guests (after ensuring they were not taking hitchhikers with them), and support the home owner as they eradicated their unwanted visitors before the next guests were due to arrive.

It was an experience I would never want to repeat but having gone through it, we have been able to put an emergency plan in place in case it ever happens again.

However, having talked to my guest today, there are still some precautions to take and we will be revising our procedure after listening to what he had to stay.

Jeff White is an entomologist with Bed Bug Central and has been featured as a bed bug expert on ABC’s The View, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, NBC’s Today’s Show, ABC’s World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Animal Planets Infested, and Dateline, among many others.  He is also the host of Bed Bug TV – yes this is a real Youtube channel, and a really useful one to watch!


In my discussion with Jeff we talked about:

  • The life cycle of a bed bug and why they are so difficult to get rid of
  • How a home owner can check to see if they have an infestation and how often they should do this
  • What owners can do to prevent an infestation
  • How to prepare for the possibility of a guest bringing them in luggage
  • Whether asking guests to bring their own sheets and pillow covers is risky
  • A suggested course of action if bed bugs are detected
  • The importance of documentation and due diligence
  • Methods of prevention – enclosed mattress covers etc
  • Things that owners could do tackle immediately to reduce their risk

….and a whole lot more


Links mentioned in this episode:

Bed Bug Central

Bed Bug TV

The SenSci Volcano

Where you can find Jeff:













I hate “bug” topics , but in FL it’s unavoidable. Seems there’s a new critter everytime we turn around. My daughter’s room mates family brought bed bugs to their townhouse from Las Vegas. Traveling bugs – shortly after hearing the nightmare. I sought out bed bug protection. We zip tie the and date the encasements which are cleaned as scheduled maintenance (pillows and mattresses) and we encourage guests to use the luggage racks instead of the bed. Now I’ll be implementing the “bed bug emergency eradication plan”. Thanks for making an unpleasant topic – interesting and informative!


Soon we will have some space technology helping us on this subject


May The Force be with you!

Jorge Martelanz
Proud Owner

Maria Rekrut

Great information Heather, thanks for sharing. I’ll share it with my social media followers!!

    Heather Bayer

    Thanks Maria. Your a superstar ??


Heather and Mark, with this post you helped me in a “mysterious way”. First of all, let me tell you that bed bugs is something that I never personally experienced. I never slept in all my life in an infested bed. But I am conscious of this problem and have my property with regular pest control checks that include bed bugs (a must for Florida, as Julia said bellow). But here is the story: I was preparing a sales campaign for my condo that gives the 7th night for free, and I thought of associating the “7th night” with something with a “7” and very well known. I had the “clever” idea of using the “7 year itch” as a marketing catch (hold your breath and keep reading). So I updated my website with this fabulous marketing phrase: “The 7th night itch”. Once updated I was proudly reading the page, and then it hit me. Oh #$%&! 7th night itch = Heather’s podcast = Bed bugs! I do not have to tell you I changed the page on the spot (you can see the final version here http://legacydisneycondo.com/wp/hot-deals/ ).
If it was not for your podcast, I would never think of bed bugs.
Thank you Heather and Mark!
Jorge Martelanz
Proud owner


Lots of great information here. Thank you Heather and Mark. In Colorado, we’re pretty lucky to avoid bugs most of the year, but bed bugs are always an ongoing problem regardless.


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