Advice on first bad guest

Hi there, we are fairly new at Airbnb it I think we are on our 18th guest. We have a 4.9 overall rating and are superhosts (for what it’s worth). We have had several comments in our reviews about how clean it is. We had a couple check in yesterday with a one year old. They rented a crib and that alone was a bit of a hassle as he wanted me to guarantee an early check-in to allow access to the crib rental company which I couldn’t guarantee but did offer to block the date for a fee, which he declined. It all worked out as no one booked and we were able to let them check in at noon. They texted last night saying there was a strange smell in the fridge. Said it smelled sour. The baby was sleeping so they didn’t want us to come over and check it out. Later they said it was coming from the sink and seemed to subside after running the water. This morning my husband checked with them and they said there were Brussels sprouts leaves and fruit flies in the sink and to stop in while they were gone. Now I personally cleaned that kitchen!!! We had some guests for 10 days that did a bit of cooking and there was a food odor in the kitchen but we aired it out and cleaned like crazy. Then we had guests for two nights that barely used the kitchen and I cleaned again. There is NO WAY there are fruit flies in that sink, or any type of vegetation. I’m worried about a bad review, but also don’t want to enter when they’re gone in case they try to say they took something. My husband has tentatively agreed to meet them there at 5:00, but just want to know if there’s anything I can/should do as I’m quite sure they’re lying. I originally was going to run some baking soda/vinegar/boiling water down the drain (no disposal) but now I am just irate that they are making things up. No fruit flies!!! Advice appreciated. Thanks for easing such a long saga

Sorry for the typos. Using my phone and hurrying on my lunch break at work.

So the guests are basically claiming that Brussell Sprouts were left in the sink, but you know you cleaned it?

Do you happen to have a fruit fly season in your location? The reason I ask is because at my rental the fruit fly season is all through Aug. to early Sept. and it can spiral out of control very quickly. So even if the fruit flies are pretty much gone before a guest’s stay, or let’s just say it is at the very start of the fly season and none were there when I cleaned - then your guest may be causing them.

During that time my guests have to rinse out all drink, wine bottles, wash fruit and store in fridge, keep the sink dry and clear of food before going to bed.

But if you don’t even have a fruit fly season, then that would be kind of weird.

Do your guests know that you clean yourself? If you believe they are lying then it could be because they assume you use a housekeeper and would buy their story.

BTW - did they have a rental car? If so, why did they need to check in early in order to be able to pick up the rental crib?

It is the wrong season for fruit flies here, and they have only been there one night. It’s been pretty cold too. No, they don’t know who cleaned it. The sink was spotless when I cleaned it the night prior and I took a quick look at the place the morning of check-in to make sure everything looked good. I noticed no odor or anything in the sink. I am very particular. After the ten day guests left I took all the shelves and bins out of the refrigerator and washed them.

Yes they have a rental car but had a service deliver and set up the crib. They originally told me it could only be delivered at 8:30 am but once I told them there would be a fee for me to block the night before to allow them access he suddenly said they could deliver between noon and three. They crib co was to contact my husband. As it turned out the guest was able to check in but then they left anyway leaving my husband there dealing with the crib company.

OK…the guest has already displayed dishonest behavior with pretending he needed to check in at 8:30 in the morning. He didn’t get the free night he was hoping for.

How did they leave your husband there to deal with the crib guy? Was your husband doing work outside on the property? What made them think your husband wasn’t going to drive away in his car?

Well if you know for certain that that sink was completely cleaned then I guess (depending what your husband sees) the guess is assuming a housekeeper cleaned.

Is there any chance that the prior guests shoved the brussel sprouts down the drain and the guests used a tiny utensil to pull them out through the drain? If not, then I guess your husband is going to have to ask directly if they ate brussel sprouts. And if they say no then he is going to have to tell them you cleaned that entire kitchen and there were none. What an awkward situation.

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Please don’t let the chances of a bad review put you off being firm with the guests. I once had a wonderful review from guests I’d had to ask to leave a day early because of their behaviour. We all get less-than-fantastic reviews from time to time and if your other reviews are good, then potential guests will see a poor review as being from nutcase guests.

Why not have your husband send them a message (on the Airbnb platform) saying that there must be some mistake because you clean the rental thoroughly and that both of you do a walkthrough and double check everything. If the guests then persist in their claim at least you’ve got that on record with Airbnb.

You can also suggest to them that the only thing you can think of is that there has been a weird plumbing problem and that you’ve called a plumber to come out to investigate. This way, you have shown to Airbnb that a) it’s unlikely that this is a genuine story and b) that you are doing your utmost to rectify it.

My husband had originally agreed to meet the crib people as we didn’t know if the unit would be ready and their flight was landing at 11:00 and could be delayed. I texted him saying it was ready and he said they were already here (in Seattle). The crib folks showed up before they did, and after they got the keys, etc they just left to visit family leaving my husband with the crib company. I guess I thought if they were here they would deal with them and it happened so quickly I think my husband was caught off guard.

That is a good idea! We will make sure this is all documented on Airbnb page. Sometimes I text guests in case they don’t have wifi all the time but will get this exchange on Airbnb.

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I tend to do both. I always leave messages on Airbnb and then text the guest telling them that I’ve done so. My excuse is that the keyboard on the phone is too small for my old eyes. :slight_smile:

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Yes, most hosts would assume the guest wouldn’t just walk off after being checked in (and leave host with the crib guy). Catching your husband off guard was intentional. They took advantage of your husband’s generosity to go off and do their own thing with him still there. Instead of showing appreciation, they thanked him by disappearing. They don’t respect others’ time and are selfish.

BTW - do these guests have prior positive reviews?


Yes they had two older, pre-baby reviews. They have family right down the street so we were hoping they might be regulars, but now I don’t want them back. My husband is going over there now. I am at my “real” job. I’ll let you know what happens (if you’re interested). Thanks for the support and ideas!!!


Your guests were horrible guests. How entitled. All I can say is that as you host more, you will see outrages such as asking for free early check in so that they can set up a crib as warning signs of difficult to please people and decline their requests to book. In my experience, fruit flies aren’t attracted to Brussels sprouts. The guests probably bought fruit that is overripe.

The real reason I replied to your post is to tell you that your pit bull is absolutely, completely adorable.

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Thanks Ellen. My husband went over there and really didn’t smell anything but he mostly smelled the baby’s diapers. They said the smell comes and goes. The wife said she saw fruit flies. My husband did the baking soda, vinegar, hot water thing. He told them that I have an amazing sense of smell and didn’t notice anything. He said we’d been listing on Airbnb for a couple of months and no one had mentioned any odor, and that we’d owned the building for 15 years with regular renters and not one has ever complained about an odor. They said they would let us know how it was tomorrow but since they only have one more night they’d just deal with it. Not to be petty, but this unit has a beautiful view of the water and mountains (we had one guest say in the review that they cancelled plans just to hang out and watch the ship traffic, etc.). These guests keep the blinds closed about 90% of the time. Very strange. I’ll just be glad when they check out in Monday.

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Ellen, the photo is of my dog Rupert, who I lost to a battle with lymphoma last February. I miss him terribly. I have another female pit bull that will be 16 in February! I work in animal welfare so both were rescues and the girl sleeps with our cat, who is 18. (Running an old age home for pets, haha). No pets in the unit, however. I wish I could ban babies instead, LOL.

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I just Googled, “Do baby diapers attract fruit flies.” Apparently, the answer is a resounding yes (actually similar insects to fruit flies). I think you have a definitive answer that they caused the flies.

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Please accept my condolences on the loss of Rupert. I can tell from the picture that he was a great dog. I always say that as there is only one perfect species; why can’t dogs live forever.

And where did the brussell sprouts in the sink all of a sudden walk off to?

I don’t know; that’s a good question. I suppose they would say they either threw them away or rinsed them down the drain? The fruit flies were miraculously gone also.