False/Mistaken allegations of Bedbugs

About 6 weeks ago, I hired a property management company to Airbnb the 2 bedroom suite I had been renting out on a monthly basis. I spent a lot of money to furnish, including high pillow top mattresses, etc…
The laundry in the house is shared with my basement suite and it is coin operated. Despite putting coins in a container for the various cleaning companies that the property management uses, they found it too complicated?!! So started sending laundry out to commercial laundry company…using industrial detergents…hard on sensitive skin.
Last week, a booking for 5 days checked in. Day 2 I got a text saying that one of the guests had bites on her legs and blood spots on sheets that looked like bedbugs. After consulting with pest company, property management company dialed down their hysteria and said it was fleas. Pest company came in and said to leave light on floor over a bowl of water for 2 days to see if there was fleas. Still nothing. Not a critter in sight. As well he inspected for characteristic signs on mattress and bedding for fleas and bedbugs. Nothing.
Previous to these tenants, a friend of mine who is a physician had stayed in the suite and no problem. No bites, no issues.
Property management company started a big blame storm on me about the suite. We agreed to part ways.
Tenants filed their bedbug perspective with Airbnb and provided pictures of bites, none seemed to have the row of bites on the upper body. Single bites and some welts which looked like an allergic reaction that I too have gotten from commercial/ industrial laundry detergent.
Airbnb suspended the listing according to property management company and won’t reinstate until the suite is treated with pesticide for bedbugs. Costly and unnecessary. I am guilty until proven innocent.
Unfortunately all this is being done through the angry property management company and Airbnb because my place is in the name of the property management company.
I am going to list the suite myself. And get a friend to help me when I am away for work. Do I need to put pesticide and go through the BS that property management company has created or just list?
I tried Airbnb customer service to get an answer through Airbnb customer service. Person I spoke with although very nice must have been her second day on the job. Quite useless.
This has cost me a lot of money and so very unfair although I understand the ignorant hysteria of the departed tenants.

If Airbnb will allow you to go ahead and create a new listing…then no need to go through the cost if you feel confident there are no bed bugs, and this was just a ploy to get out of a reservation. Once in a blue moon I will get some kind of red bumpy rash on the underside of my forearm, and I have no idea what caused it. Then it just disappears the next day.

What about the claim of the blood spots on the sheets that mimiced bed bugs? Did the pest control company comment on this? Did they see it?

Since the listing was under the company’s name you can list it again under your name.

I wouldn’t go through with the pesticidies, if and only if there is no reason to be worried about the bedbugs. If you already got the inspection from the pest control and they could find nothing I wouldn’t worry over it.

Make sure you use different pictures and a different description, so it will not be easy to spot, it is the same suite your are listing.

I got exactly the same story. A couple of india came to my place and told me there were bed bugs at my listing- Airbnb immediately threatened me to shut down my listing but then as the customer service is really bad the case disappeared and never heard about anything.THANK GOD. I bought a high temperature steamer and steamed the whole flat. since then 400 people have slept at my place and no one mentionned a bug. I believe its a scam. Since then i edited my house rules and in case of bed bug i ask them to go to the doctor and ask for a police report, pictures etc to be send within max 24h else the claim is void

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Reports by guests of “Vermin”(which covers bed bugs, mice, etc) is something that automatically triggers certain responses. As you’ve learned, one response is to shut down the listing until a licensed pest control company provides you with evidence that they’ve treated for bedbugs.

I would create a brand new listings although the system might not allow the exact same address, so put something like Unit 1 (even if it’s a whole house) in order to get past the filters.

This is exactly why I won’t use a property management company - you give up all control and when a small thing goes wrong you’re left cleaning up all the problems.

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The police will make a report on bed bug activity? Are bed bug bites considered assault?


fyi after a bogus claim, added this paragraph to my house rules

I have almost a 2 page house rules and I am fully booked year round. People dont even bother reading the listing so the house rules imagine…I learned that once you have to deal with Airbnb, better be prepared for a few sleepless night. I had the case of a guest claiming there was a bedbug at my listing, immediately Airbnb wanted to cancel all my future booking and suspend my account. The claim was false and almost costed me 10.000+ usd for pest control, loss of revenue etc… Now I have adapted my house rules so in case of bedbugs etc the guest has to provide some solid proofs and not just words. You might feel its too much but believe me, you dont want airbnb to suspend your account when you are a full time host.

“Any claims in relation to any kind of insects/animals/ pest (for exemple bedbugs, mice, vermin etc…) has to be documented as per below house rule: for any type of complaint, a formal message should be sent to the host via the Airbnb messaging system at the latest 12 hours after official check out time. Any type of complaint should (without exception) be documented by at least three reports established by a third party such as a doctor (in case of any type of health issue for exemple) , the police (in case of damage, theft etc…) or any relevant third party. It must be documented with pictures and sent in English at the latest 12 hours after official check out time. Failure to comply will void the eventual claim from the guest and refund(s) will not be provided. The reports will be sent to my email cxxxxxxxxxxxxx he police report and doctor reports are mandatory for every case. All documents submitted after the deadline will be void and the guest claim cancelled.
Besides the police and medical report, in case of bedbugs claims, the guest has to get a proof from a pest control company that there are bed bugs at my listing. All costs related to those claims have to be paid by the guest and not the host. In no case will my listing and/or account be suspended, or my Airbnb activity damaged in the case of alleged bedbugs. Proofs have to be delivered and future bookings will not be suspended.”

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@viznou If I read these rules I would not book your place. If I did get bedbugs at your listing I would have to pay the pest control company? NO. I understand you were burned by the false claims of a guest but this is an overreaction on your part.


Hey Beaubeau, I can understand your condition of being feeling like guilt. According to me you could have done pest control service for once at your suite for customer satisfaction, before giving the room to others or you could have taken up some helpful hints from pest exterminator for investigation whether it was bedbug or just fleas.

Great advice!!!

You should consult with some professional and ask them on how to deal with these situations!