Is your property on "the list?" The list that nobody wants to be on? What I am referring to is the Bedbug Registry. It is a free, public database of bedbug infestations. It includes bedbug reports posted as recently as today. Travelers can search by hotel or general location to make sure they are not reserving a room at an infested property. Because reports are mapped on the website, one can quickly see the areas of the United States where bedbugs are most prevalent. The Northeast, especially the New York area, has had a lot of bedbug reports, according to the site.
In addition to searching by location, one can also view reports by hotel brand. Which one has seen the most reports on the site? Days Inn. The brand is followed closely by Marriott and Best Western. Of course those brands that have the most properties are more likely to have more reports but this is not a list one wants to be No. 1 on. Or, No. 2 or 3 for that matter. The site is certainly a great lead generator for any company that provides bedbug treatments. The website also includes an "alerts" tool. If a property located within a mile of where you live is reported to have bedbugs, you will be notified by e-mail.
Travelers cannot make claims anonymously and can be sued for libel if false claims are made. Owners and operators of accused properties can "appeal" to the site administrator if they believe their properties have been wrongly listed. Travelers certainly should report bedbug problems during their stay but this site provides an additional way to pressure an owner or operator to take action.
Bedbugs are a serious problem in our industry but they can be eliminated from a property without harmful chemicals. (See this November 2008 article.) Hopefully, those with bedbug issues will not find out about them for the first time at the Bedbug Registry.