Bed bugs

Bed bugs

A guest checked out five days ago, leaving a BO smelling room and blood smeared sheets. He had an (unauthorised) guest, and I assumed these factors were related to that. The blood (not photographed) came out easily enough, and I aired out the bedding and room extensively (for the next few days) before sleeping in it again. I began waking in the night with itchy welts and fear the guest may have introduced bed bugs. I have asked the guest via message whether this is related to the blood stains and have yet to receive a reply. FYI this room has not been rented for months, as it is my bedroom. No problems prior. I'm tempted to cancel the next booking as I don't want to expose her to potential bed bugs, but aside from not wanting to lose the booking worry that she will not find anything else at this busy time at such late notice. Advice appreciated. 

26 Replies 26
Level 7
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I am sorry this happened to you. Lessons I learned the hard way 😞  

#1 Not having waterproof matteresand pillows protectors.

#2 Not having pictures of the damage.

#3 Not reporting it inmediatly .


When I see something in my place the first thing I do is take a picture of it, before I even try to clean it.  Thankfully you do have a security deposit in place!. If I was in your place, I would open a resolution request for whatever ammount you need to fix the problem.  

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately the guest left five days ago so the 48 hour window probably does not apply to my situation. I'm surprised that I didn't take photos but the fact was I was so disgusted by the odor as well as what I assumed were stains caused by relations with his unnanounced companion that I just wanted to rid the room of his presence. When the bites first surfaced I assumed I had been bitten by mosquitos during the night, so it was only after multiple nights of it happening repeatedly that I started to put it all together. Unfortunately from my research it seems I have months of stressing over the presence of eggs and nymphs ahead of me at both my house and potentially my partner's house where I have been staying. 


I will retain any reciepts but I suspect my best response will be to learn my lesson and not use Air Bnb again.  

Hey, in future if someone gets unregistered guests, please feel free to ask them to leave or contact Airbnb to cancel their booking at their place. airbnb will have them escorted to a new place or will explain that additional guests aren't allowed. 



@Sarah66, you should call airbnb. Your next guest will not want to stay where she gets bed bugs into her clothes or suitcase to carry them on  and on. Airbnb will cancel that for extenuating circonstances. 

Write to the last guest on the message thread to make him aware, if you did not already. (For proof)


I read in another forum from a host who had this problem, nearly a year ago. Airbnb refunded him the professional removal of the bedbugs out of their pocket. 


Do not let the new guest stumble into the situation unaware !!! She will probably leave after the first bites and make a claim, so you would not get the payment anyway. Better to ask for help immaediately. Call customer service, number on the booking confirmation.

Hi Helga, thanks for your advice. 


I cancelled the other guest about an hour ago. I figured I would rather not risk it if I were her. The loss of a stay is annoying financially but I'm more worried about her finding alternate accommodation at such late notice. We are in peak tourism season at the moment. Do you know if Air Bnb assists guests in these kinds of circumstances?


I contacted the previous guest who has denied ever having contact with bed bugs. He apologised for the stains and suggested that perhaps they were from something else. At least he admitted to causing the stains I suppose. 

@Sarah66, did you cancel without notifying Airbnb first? In that case you face penalties and fees. Contact them and explain the situation. 

They don't always help the guest but if there is need to do it, they can. 

When a friend host was hospitalized, they took over for her, handling everything. 

But on the other side I have had a few guests last minute who were quite upset about a host cancellation and had to fend for themselves. If nobody tells airbnb that there is a problem, how should they know? Many guests are quick to find another accomodation, so I suppose the system does not automatically involve a CS person when there is a cancellation. Only if one side cries for help and the guests often don't know they can.

Any advice on how to contact them? They don't make phone numbers or email addresses available. I searched to no avail. When I cancelled I did so flagging the extenuating circumstances option, to which I was notified by the app that I may have to provide documentation as proof. I assume that to do so they need to provide me with contact details. I have notified the guest who was fine with it although she ended up booking a hotel at twice the price of my place so she has certainly been put out. 

@Sarah, the number is on every booking confirmation - open it on a computer not the app. Or type contact airbnb in the search field here. I think Dave + Deb or Deborah did a guide on that.

We had an unhappy guest experience recently. The place was filthy, including bugs despite great reviews. Airbnb suggested I look around on the Airbnb site to find an alternate place. There were none (football finals) so we ended staying in the filthy place. Not even a hotel available. No fault of Airbnb but they did make me do the legwork to try to find something.

For anyone reading this with a similar problem, in regards to Airbnb refunding the professional removal of bed bugs out of their pocket, so far Air bnb have offered me some money to assist in the inspection / diagnosis, and I am yet to determine whether they will contribute the final two thirds of the cost. 

Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hello @Sarah66,


Thanks for the update. I know it can be a stressful experience, so I am so glad to hear you are getting this all sorted. 🙂


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.

Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

Hi @Lizzie,


Make no mistake, this is far from sorted. Air Bnb have offered me $400AUD. That doesn't come close to covering this problem. Home remedies cost around this amount to purchase however professional intervention is widely regarded as the only bankable solution, at an additional $1200AUD. I have spent hours every day doing the necessary leg work while paranoid I am going to infect my car, friend's houses and other areas of my home due to the very nature of these pests. 


The person who infected my house is also free to stay at other unaware Bnb's as I have been so caught up in sorting that out that I missed my opportunity to review him. 


This is a real problem that people should be aware about and is a real threat to unaware hosts. Airbnb should do more to educate their hosts on this. $400 is not enough to sweep it under the rug. 




I feel your pain.  In short, the Host Guarantee Terms and Condition has MANY conditions (“Excluded Losses” and “Excluded Property”).  Both hosts and guests are NOT covered for tons of things, such as bed bugs issues.  “(vi) damage caused by insects, animals or vermin (including pets);” 

Hosting has positives and negatives.  In the end, it is up to the host/guest to determine and find a balance as Airbnb only serves as a broker. 

Many hosts have had only positive experiences, while many have gotten bed bugs, etc.  Hosting is somewhat of a gamble, though preventive measure help a great deal.

If a guest brings in bed bugs to your place, Airbnb will not cover any costs/damages resulting from vermin.  Read the insurance language carefully.  Costs are on you for a new mattress, new furniture, cancelled reservations. 

If you report that a guest brought in bed bugs (or that you have bed bugsin your place), Airbnb will cancel your reservations and UNLIST your listing. 

You will be told that there is no way to prove that that guest brought in bed bugs.  Again, there is a vermin clause that specifically states that both the insurance and the security deposit do not cover bed bugs/vermin. 

Airbnb will cover up to $100 for a pest company to conduct an INSPECTION to determine if there is any trace of bed bugs.  If there is no trace, you will get a certificate which you then send to Airbnb.  These types of inspections cost several hundred dollars.

You are on your own with bed bug issues so be very careful about who you pick as a guest.  

My suggestion:

Avoid accepting reservations from locals.  Meaning that if you live in Boston do not accept reservations from people who are also Boston.  Why?  Because they are probably between apts or for whatever reason go from Airbnb to Airbnb every month.  Or, maybe they left their apts bc of a bed bug issue. 

New Yorks: do not accept New Yorkers for this same reason.  Stick with travels on vacations because the in-between-apts are a HUGE GAMBLE!!