Risk Management

A Bedbug Battle Plan?

By now, you've surely heard about the first Annual North American Bed Bug Summit, held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hyatt Rosemont in Chicago.

The meeting brought together 14 of the world’s leading entomologists to discuss the battle against bed bugs, which have come back with a vengeance in recent years, due most likely to the ban of pesticides like DDT.

Bed bugs are bad news for everyone — they have closed down more than one store here in New York City, the bed-bug capital of the U.S. And, as a Wall Street Journal blog post points out, infestations inflict both physical and mental suffering. Although experts say that personal cleanliness is not a factor in infestation, there is considerable stigma attached to having bed bugs in your home or hotel.

Bed bugs are of particular relevance to the meetings industry because they can be spread, among other ways, through rented furniture, hotel mattresses, and luggage. So far, I haven’t heard of any industry-wide campaign to address the bed bug surge, but it seems to me that a proactive, transparent, unified strategy would be a very good idea.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.