Airbnb Bed Bugs: How to Avoid and Report [2024] Complete Guide

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Are you planning a vacation or a weekend getaway and considering Airbnb as your accommodation? While Airbnb has made traveling more affordable and accessible, it’s not immune to issues like bed bugs.

Bed bugs are a common problem in hotels and motels, and unfortunately, they can also be found in some Airbnb properties.

But don’t worry! In this article, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Airbnb bed bugs. We’ll discuss the signs of bed bugs, how to prevent them as a guest, and what to do if you find them.

Plus, we’ll also provide tips for Airbnb hosts on how to prevent and deal with bed bugs. So, whether you’re a guest or a host, keep reading to learn how to protect yourself and your home from these pesky insects.

What Are Airbnb Bed Bugs?

If you’re considering an Airbnb stay, you may have heard the term “Airbnb bed bugs” used before. However, it’s important to note that this term is not used to describe a specific type of bed bug. In fact, bed bugs found in Airbnb properties are the same type of bed bugs that can be found in any household.

Bed Bugs and Airbnb REntals (Bed Bug TV)

Bed bugs are small, flat, and oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They are usually brown or reddish-brown in color and can range in size from the size of a pinhead to the size of an apple seed. While bed bugs are not known to spread diseases, their bites can cause itching and discomfort.

It’s important to be aware of the signs of bed bugs during your Airbnb stay and to take steps to prevent them from infesting your home.

Related Article – Bed Bug Shells, Skins, and Casings| Complete Guide

How Common Are Bed Bugs in Airbnb?

Bed bugs are a common problem in any type of lodging, and Airbnb properties are no exception. While there are no official statistics on the prevalence of bed bugs in Airbnb, reports of bed bug infestations in Airbnb properties have been increasing over the years.

One reason why bed bugs may be more common in Airbnb compared to hotels is the nature of the platform. Unlike hotels, where rooms are cleaned and inspected regularly, Airbnb properties are not subject to the same level of regulation and inspection.

Family vacation ruined by Airbnb infested with bed bugs (WSVN-TV)

Additionally, while Airbnb hosts are expected to maintain a certain level of cleanliness and provide basic amenities, there is no guarantee that they will take measures to prevent or address bed bug infestations.

It’s also worth noting that the very nature of Airbnb encourages travelers to seek out unique and off-the-beaten-path accommodations. This may mean staying in older or less well-maintained properties that are more prone to bed bug infestations.

Signs of Airbnb Bed Bugs

When staying in an Airbnb, it’s important to know how to identify the signs of bed bugs. Here are some common signs to look out for:

Signs of Airbnb Bed Bugs
  • Bites on your skin: Bed bug bites often appear as small, red, itchy bumps on your skin. They are usually in a straight line or clustered together.
  • Bloodstains on sheets or pillowcases: After feeding, bed bugs may leave behind bloodstains on the sheets or pillowcases.
  • Fecal stains: Bed bugs leave behind small black or brown stains on sheets or walls, which are their fecal matter.
  • Musty odor: If the room has a strong, musty odor, it could be a sign of a bed bug infestation.
  • Live bed bugs or shells: Bed bugs shed their skins as they grow, and you may be able to spot the shed skins or live bed bugs themselves.
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It's important to note that not all of these signs may be present in a room with bed bugs. However, if you do notice any of these signs, it's possible that bed bugs are present in your Airbnb room. It's best to take precautions and act quickly to avoid further infestation.

How to Prevent Airbnb Bed Bugs As a Guest

Airbnb Bed Bugs: How to Prevent Airbnb Bed Bugs As a Guest

As a guest, it’s important to take steps to prevent encountering bed bugs during your Airbnb stay. By doing some research, thoroughly inspecting your room, and taking precautions with your luggage and personal belongings, you can greatly reduce your risk of encountering these pesky insects.

So here we’ll provide some tips to help you prevent Airbnb bed bugs and enjoy a comfortable and worry-free stay.

Research the Airbnb property before booking and read the reviews

One of the best ways to prevent encountering bed bugs in an Airbnb property is to do your research before booking. Take the time to read reviews from previous guests to see if anyone has mentioned bed bugs or any other pest-related issues. If there are multiple complaints about bed bugs or pests, it’s probably best to look for another property.

Additionally, take a closer look at the property’s description and photos. Does the property appear clean and well-maintained? Does the host mention any specific pest control measures? These details can give you a better idea of the property’s cleanliness and likelihood of encountering bed bugs.

Remember, prevention is key, so it’s worth taking the time to thoroughly research the property before booking.

Thoroughly inspect the room upon arrival

When you arrive at your Airbnb room, take some time to thoroughly inspect the room for any signs of bed bugs. Start by examining the bed, as this is where bed bugs are most commonly found. Look for any reddish-brown stains on the sheets, as these could be bed bug droppings or blood stains from a bed bug that was crushed.

Next, check the mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs or exoskeletons. Use a flashlight to look for any tiny white eggs, as this could indicate a bed bug infestation. Don’t forget to check the headboard, bed frame, and nearby furniture as well, as bed bugs can hide in any cracks or crevices.

Keep luggage off the floor and in sealed bags or on luggage racks

When staying in an Airbnb property, it’s important to keep your luggage off the floor to prevent any potential bed bugs from hitching a ride back home with you. Instead, use luggage racks if they’re provided, or keep your bags in sealed bags during your stay.

If luggage racks aren’t available, consider using the bathroom as a storage area instead of placing your bags on the floor. Bed bugs are less likely to be found in the bathroom, making it a safer place to store your belongings.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack your clothes and belongings in sealed plastic bags before placing them in your luggage. This will add an extra layer of protection against any potential bed bugs that may be hiding in your Airbnb room.

Remember to also inspect your luggage before leaving your Airbnb room to ensure that there are no signs of bed bugs that could be brought back to your home.

Related Article – Found One Bed Bug But No Others?

Avoid putting personal belongings on the bed or furniture

Another way to prevent bed bugs from latching onto your belongings is to avoid placing personal items on the bed or furniture. This includes clothing, bags, and any other fabric items that may be attractive to bed bugs.

Instead, consider using hooks or hangers to keep items off the ground and away from the bed. You may also want to bring along a small foldable luggage rack to keep your suitcase off the floor.

Additionally, it’s important to keep the room tidy and clutter-free. Bed bugs can easily hide in cluttered areas, making detecting and eliminating them more difficult.

What to Do as a Guest If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Airbnb

As a guest, finding bed bugs in your Airbnb room can be an unpleasant surprise. It’s important to take immediate action if you suspect a bed bug infestation.

So here are some steps you should take if you find bed bugs in your Airbnb.

Airbnb Bed Bugs: What to Do as a Guest If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Airbnb

Notify the Airbnb host immediately

If you find bed bugs in your Airbnb room, it’s important to notify the host as soon as possible. You can do this through the Airbnb messaging system or by calling them directly. It’s important to let the host know about the situation so that they can take the necessary steps to address the problem.

When notifying the host, it’s important to provide as much information as possible about the bed bugs. This includes the location of the bugs, the number of bugs you have found, and any evidence you have collected. The host may also ask you to provide photos or videos of the bed bugs as evidence.

It’s important to note that some hosts may be hesitant to address the issue, especially if they are not aware of the proper procedures for dealing with bed bugs. In this case, it may be necessary to escalate the issue to Airbnb’s customer support.

Collect evidence

If you do find bed bugs in your Airbnb, it’s important to collect evidence. This can help you in case you need to contact Airbnb’s customer support or consult with a bed bug lawyer.

One way to collect evidence is to take photos of the bed bugs or any signs of their presence, such as blood stains on the sheets. You can also use a flashlight to search for bed bugs and their eggs in the seams and folds of the mattress, as well as any nearby furniture.

It’s a good idea to keep any evidence in a plastic bag or container to prevent the bed bugs from spreading to other areas of the room or your luggage. If possible, try to collect a sample of the bed bugs or eggs using a piece of tape or a vacuum cleaner.

Remember to be discreet when collecting evidence to avoid causing panic or disturbing other guests on the Airbnb property.

Contact Airbnb’s customer support

If you have found bed bugs in your Airbnb room, it’s important to contact Airbnb’s customer support as soon as possible. You can do this by going to the “Help” section of the Airbnb website or mobile app and submitting a report.

Here are the ways to contact Airbnb support:

  • Neighborhood Support hotline: +1 (855) 635-7754
  • Email –
    • General support:
    • Automated assistance:
    • Urgent assistance:

When contacting customer support, make sure to provide all the relevant details, such as the date you checked in, the room number, and a description of the bed bugs you found. It’s also helpful to provide any evidence you collected, such as photos or video footage.

It's also a good idea to document all communications with Airbnb's customer support and the host regarding the bed bug infestation. 

Keep records of phone calls, emails, and social media messages in case you need them for future reference.

Airbnb takes reports of bed bugs very seriously and will work with you to find a solution. They may offer to move you to a different room or even a different property, or they may provide a refund or credit for your stay.

Make sure to read this article for more info – What to do if the place you’re staying in isn’t clean at check in

Airbnb has a Host Guarantee program that may provide reimbursement for certain expenses related to bed bug infestations, such as cleaning and replacement of personal items. So Don’t hesitate to reach out to Airbnb’s customer support for assistance if you encounter bed bugs during your stay.

It’s important to note that contacting customer support should be done in addition to notifying the host.

The host may be able to take immediate action to address the issue, but contacting customer support ensures that Airbnb is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action to prevent future incidents.

How to deal with bed bugs at your Airbnb (Kemoy Martin)

Consult a bed bug lawyer

In the unfortunate event that you have encountered bed bugs during your stay in an Airbnb property and have suffered damages, it may be a good idea to consult with a bed bug lawyer.

Bed bug lawyers specialize in cases related to bed bug infestations and can help you determine if you have a case against the Airbnb host or management company.

A bed bug lawyer can assist you in collecting evidence of the infestation, including photos, videos, and any medical bills or receipts related to the infestation. They can also provide you with advice on how to proceed with your case and represent you in court if necessary.

It’s important to note that not all bed bug cases are suitable for legal action. Your lawyer will assess the strength of your case and advise you on whether it’s worth pursuing legal action. In addition, some lawyers may offer a free consultation to assess your case before taking it on.

To find a bed bug lawyer, you can search online for law firms specializing in bed bug cases or ask for referrals from friends or family. It’s important to choose a reputable lawyer with experience in bed bug cases to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

What to Do if You Are the Airbnb Host?

As an Airbnb host, finding out that your property has bed bugs can be a nightmare. Not only can it lead to negative reviews and loss of income, but it can also harm your reputation as a host.

So here are some crucial steps that you can take as an Airbnb host if bed bugs are found in your property.

Airbnb Bed Bugs: What to Do as a Host If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Airbnb

Apologize and offer a refund

One of the first steps to take is to apologize to the affected guest and offer a refund for their stay.

When apologizing, it’s important to take ownership of the situation and express genuine concern for the guest’s wellbeing. Be transparent about the steps you are taking to address the issue, such as calling in an exterminator or deep cleaning the affected areas.

Additionally, offering a refund can go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to resolving the issue and ensuring a positive guest experience.

Keep in mind that bed bugs can happen to any property, regardless of how clean or well-maintained it may be. So, instead of blaming the guest or denying responsibility, it’s important to handle the situation with grace and empathy.

By doing so, you can minimize the potential damage to your reputation and maintain a positive relationship with the affected guest.

Postpone all upcoming bookings

The next step you should take is to postpone all upcoming bookings until the issue has been resolved. This is not only to protect your guests from potential bed bug infestations but also to prevent the spread of bed bugs to other areas of your property.

Contact your current guests immediately and inform them of the situation. Be transparent about the issue and assure them that you are taking the necessary steps to resolve it.

Once you have postponed all upcoming bookings, it’s time to focus on eradicating the bed bugs from your property. This can be a time-consuming and costly process, but it’s essential to ensure that your property is safe for future guests.

It’s important to note that simply postponing bookings may not be enough to solve the problem. It’s essential to take further action to eliminate the bed bugs completely.

Clean after each guest

As an Airbnb host, it’s important to clean your property thoroughly after each guest to maintain a hygienic and pleasant environment. This is especially crucial if you’ve recently had a guest who reported bed bugs in your property.

In that case, you need to ensure that any bed bug infestation is eradicated completely before welcoming new guests.

To clean after each guest, start by washing all linens, including bed sheets, pillowcases, and towels, in hot water with high heat to kill any bed bugs or eggs that might be present.

Related Article – When You Should Call an Exterminator For Bed Bugs

Vacuum all furniture, carpets, and mattresses thoroughly, paying close attention to any cracks or crevices. You should also consider using a bed bug spray or powder to treat any areas where bed bugs might be hiding.

It’s also essential to inspect the room thoroughly to ensure that there are no bed bugs left behind. Check the bed, mattress, and bed frame for any signs of bed bugs, such as small reddish-brown bugs, dark spots or stains on sheets, and eggs or eggshells.

Seal up any cracks and gaps

Sealing up any cracks and gaps can be an effective way to prevent bed bugs from entering an Airbnb property. This could include gaps in walls or floors, cracks around windows or doors, or any other entry points. By doing so, you can help prevent bed bugs from infesting your property and causing problems for your guests.

To seal up cracks and gaps, you can use a variety of materials such as caulking, weather stripping, or sealant. It’s important to ensure that any materials you use are appropriate for the area you’re sealing and won’t cause any damage or harm to your property or guests.

By taking the time to seal up cracks and gaps, you can help prevent bed bugs from entering your property and causing problems for your guests. It’s just one small step that you can take to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for your guests.

Protect mattresses with covers

When it comes to preventing bed bugs in your Airbnb, protecting your mattresses with covers is a crucial step. Bed bug-proof covers are designed to fully encase the mattress, preventing bed bugs from getting in or out.

They are typically made of a smooth material that bed bugs can’t cling onto and are also waterproof, preventing any fluids from seeping into the mattress.

By using bed bug-proof covers, you can create a barrier between your guests and any potential bed bugs. If any bed bugs do happen to make their way onto the mattress, they will be trapped inside the cover and eventually die off. This can help prevent a full-blown bed bug infestation and keep your guests safe.

It’s important to note that bedbug-proof covers should be used on all mattresses in the Airbnb, including any sofa beds or air mattresses. They should also be checked periodically for any tears or holes and replaced if necessary.

Additionally, guests should be informed of the use of bedbug-proof covers and encouraged to report any signs of bed bugs during their stay.

Provide luggage racks to guests

Providing luggage racks to your guests is a great way to prevent bed bugs from entering your property. By providing a designated area for guests to place their luggage, you reduce the risk of bed bugs hitchhiking their way into your home.

Luggage racks are also a convenient amenity for guests, as they offer a clean and elevated surface for them to place their bags while they unpack. This simple addition to your Airbnb property can help enhance the guest experience while also protecting your home from potential bed bug infestations.

When selecting luggage racks for your Airbnb property, consider choosing options that are easy to clean and maintain. Look for racks that are made of materials that can be wiped down easily, such as metal or plastic.

Additionally, choose racks that are durable enough to withstand frequent use and are easy to move around to different areas of your property.

Choose metal furniture to reduce risk

Choosing metal furniture can reduce the risk of bed bug infestations in your Airbnb property. Bed bugs are attracted to furniture with crevices and upholstered materials, making wooden furniture and fabric couches more prone to infestations. On the other hand, metal furniture has a smooth and hard surface that makes it difficult for bed bugs to hide.

By furnishing your Airbnb property with metal furniture, you can decrease the chances of bed bugs making their way into your property.

Some great options for metal furniture include metal bed frames, metal chairs, and metal tables. Additionally, metal furniture is often more durable than wooden furniture, making it a smart investment in the long run.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of metal furniture in your Airbnb property, consider adding cushions or decorative pillows to metal chairs or using a bed skirt to hide a metal bed frame.

By making these small additions, you can enhance the appearance of the metal furniture while maintaining a bed bug-free environment for your guests.

Can My Guests Sue Me for Having Bed Bugs in My Airbnb?

As an Airbnb host, it’s important to be aware that guests have the ability to sue if they suffer injury or harm as a result of bed bugs on the property.

However, it’s important to note that Airbnb will only be held responsible if they were negligent in allowing the host to rent out a property that they knew had a bed bug infestation.

As a property owner or Airbnb host, your primary obligation is to provide a safe and sanitary living space for guests that won’t harm their well-being.

If a guest gets bitten by bed bugs, they may have grounds to sue the host for violating this obligation. It’s important to address any bed bug infestations promptly and take measures to prevent future infestations.

If a guest brings bed bugs into the Airbnb property, it’s still the host’s responsibility to call in an exterminator to treat the issue. While Airbnb does not directly reimburse hosts for bed bug infestations caused by guests, it’s worth noting that short-term rental insurance policies specifically cover damages related to bed bugs.

In some states, such as California, guests have the legal right to sue property owners if they are bitten by bed bugs while renting a property or staying in a hotel. However, the right to sue is against the property owner, rather than Airbnb directly.

It’s important for hosts to take proactive measures to prevent bed bug infestations and address any issues promptly to reduce the risk of legal liability.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs After an Airbnb Stay

Coming back from a vacation can be stressful enough, but worrying about bringing bed bugs home with you can add even more anxiety. To prevent bed bugs from infesting your home after staying in an Airbnb rental, there are some simple steps you can take.

Firstly, as soon as you get home, unpack your luggage outside or in a designated area that is easy to clean, like a garage or laundry room. Wash all clothing and bedding in hot water and dry them on the highest setting possible. This will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride on your belongings.

Next, thoroughly inspect your luggage, backpacks, and any other bags you brought on your trip. Look for signs of bed bugs, like small rust-colored spots or shed skin, and vacuum them thoroughly.

If you can’t wash certain items, like shoes or electronics, use a hot hair dryer to kill any bed bugs or eggs. Alternatively, you can place these items in a sealed plastic bag and leave them in a hot car for a few hours. The heat will kill bed bugs and eggs without damaging your belongings.

It’s also a good idea to inspect your home for any signs of bed bugs. Check your mattress, headboard, and furniture for any small rust-colored spots or shed skin. If you do find evidence of bed bugs, call a professional exterminator immediately to prevent the infestation from spreading.

By taking these precautions, you can help prevent bed bugs from infesting your home after a stay in an Airbnb rental. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and a little extra effort can save you from a lot of stress and expense in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Bed bugs are a potential problem in any type of accommodation, including Airbnb rentals. As a guest, it’s important to take preventative measures such as inspecting the property, keeping luggage off the floor, and washing all clothing and linens in hot water upon returning home. If bed bugs are found during your stay, it’s crucial to notify the host and Airbnb immediately and follow the proper protocol to get the issue resolved.

For hosts, it’s important to take steps to prevent and address bed bug infestations, including getting professional help from an exterminator, sealing up cracks and gaps, protecting mattresses with covers, and providing luggage racks and wardrobes instead of drawers. In the event that bed bugs are found in your property, it’s important to apologize to guests, offer a refund, and postpone upcoming bookings until the issue is resolved.

While the risk of bed bugs in Airbnb rentals may be concerning, it’s important to remember that with proper prevention and treatment, the issue can be resolved. By being aware of the risks and taking appropriate actions, both guests and hosts can ensure a safe and comfortable stay.


How do you report bed bugs to Airbnb?

To report bed bugs to Airbnb, you should contact their customer service as soon as possible. You can do this through the app or website by clicking on the “Help” section and then “Contact Us.” Provide as much information as possible, including pictures of the bed bugs and any bites you have received.

What happens if you get bed bugs at a VRBO?

If you get bed bugs at a VRBO, you should contact the host or property manager immediately to report the problem. They may offer to refund your stay or provide professional pest control services. If they do not take action, you can contact VRBO customer service for assistance.

Can Airbnb suspend your listing due to bugs?

Yes, Airbnb can suspend a host’s listing if they have received multiple reports of bed bugs or other pest infestations. The host will need to address the issue and provide proof of pest control measures before the listing can be reinstated.

Can Airbnb guarantee that their properties are bedbug-free?

No, Airbnb cannot guarantee that their properties are bed bug-free. However, they do have policies in place to protect guests and hosts from bed bug infestations. They encourage hosts to take preventative measures and provide resources for guests who encounter bed bugs during their stay.

Can I sue the Airbnb host if I encounter bed bugs?

If you encounter bed bugs during your stay at an Airbnb property, you may have legal grounds to sue the host for damages. However, this will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and whether the host was negligent in addressing the bed bug problem.

Will I Get a Refund on Airbnb if Host Has Bugs?

If you encounter bed bugs during your stay at an Airbnb property, you may be eligible for a refund. However, you will need to provide evidence of the bed bug infestation, such as pictures or medical records, and work with the host or Airbnb customer service to resolve the issue.

Can I bring bed bugs home from an Airbnb rental?

Yes, it is possible to bring bed bugs home from an Airbnb rental. Bed bugs can hide in clothing, luggage, and other personal belongings, so it is important to inspect your items carefully before leaving the property. Take precautions, such as using luggage racks and inspecting the bedding, to reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home.

Should I Give My Guest a Refund If My Airbnb Has Bed Bugs?

If your Airbnb has bed bugs, you should take action to address the problem immediately. This may include hiring a professional exterminator or temporarily suspending your listing. You should work with the guest to resolve the issue and offer a refund if necessary, depending on the circumstances.

Resources – (for further reading)

Airbnb – Refunds – Airbnb Help Center , Get help or contact Airbnb Support

I'm Ernest M Noah, the founder of I have years of experience as an exterminator in Texas and Idaho, and I'm passionate about educating people on how to deal with pest problems effectively and safely.