Nothing can ruin a vacation more than getting bitten by bed bugs in your hotel room. Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, so the bad news is they are hard to spot, and you usually don’t notice them until you have been bitten. It’s gets even worse because they hide easily in your luggage, and you wind up taking them home. Now that people are traveling more, bed bugs are spreading more, and you don’t want to become a victim. Here are my tips to avoid bed bugs in hotels.
1. Look At The Bed Bug Registry
If you are traveling in the US, the UK, or Canada, look up your hotel on The Bed Bug Registry. This helpful website has user-based reports of bed bug experiences that people have had in these areas, and can protect you from booking in a hotel where infestation is a known problem.
2. Don’t Put Your Luggage On The Floor Or The Bed
Use the luggage rack, the top of the dresser, or the bathroom to store your luggage. If you want to take extra precautions, put your suitcase inside of a bed bug resistant plastic encasement. Even better, use one of these encasements on the plane as well. Many people pick up bed bugs in the cargo hold of the airplane, as bed bugs easily move from suitcase to suitcase.
3. Inspect The Room
Inspect your hotel room thoroughly, and look for signs of dead bugs, small black spots, or bloodstains. Check out the sheets, mattress, behind the headboard, rugs, curtains, carpets, and even in and around the night stands. Use a flashlight while you are looking, as bed bugs usually hide in the darkest parts of the room.
4. Use A Bed Bug Detector
For the best peace of mind, use a bed bug detector. The UV frequency causes bed bug droppings and eggs to fluoresce so you can easily see them. The cost is less than $10, and it’s well worth having to spot what your naked eye cannot.
5. What To Do If You Do Spot Bed Bugs In Hotels
Notify the management and ask for a room that is at least two floors away from the room you are in. Do a thorough inspection in your new room, and if you do find bed bugs in your new hotel room, then look for a new hotel to stay at. For more advice, make sure to read, “How to kill bed bugs while traveling“.
6. Once You Arrive Home
It can take up to ten days for people to notice they have been bitten by bed bugs, so it’s necessary to take further precautions once you are home from traveling to make sure you aren’t carrying bed bugs. Leave your suitcase outside until you inspect it. Wash all of your clothing in hot water immediately (bed bugs can’t live at temperatures over 122 degrees Fahrenheit), and inspect your suitcase and the seams of it before bringing it inside. If you have a vacuum, it’s a good idea to also vacuum it to make sure you remove all traces of anything you can’t see.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to avoid bed bugs in hotels, airplanes, taxis, and other spots they are lurking. Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!
photo credit: Leopard Bed Bug via photopin (license)