Considering how many travelers hotels see on a regular basis, it’s not unlikely that rooms may be harboring a bed bugs infestation. Even high-end hotels are not immune. Unfortunately, a hotel infestation could easily turn into your infestation if you end up taking the bugs home in your luggage. The next time you check into a hotel, make sure to follow some inspection tips to ensure that your room is not infested.
Basic Inspection for Bed Bugs
When you first walk into your room, don’t set your luggage down on the bed, or floor. Instead, take the luggage into the bathroom or set it on a hard luggage rack if available. If there is a luggage rack in your room that has fabric elements to it, make sure to inspect all the crevices before setting your luggage on it.
Inspect the mattress first by pulling back all the bed clothes and sheets. Use a bright flashlight, such as the flashlight app on your cell phone. Look for dark spots about 4 mm which is the size of the bugs. Also look for rust colored stains which are blood spots. Look closely at the seams and folds of the mattress as these are favorite places to hide for bed bugs. Search areas near the bed as well such as the frame, headboard and nightstand.
If you want to make doubly sure that your room does not contain any bed bugs, don’t just inspect the bed. All upholstered areas of the room could potentially harbor bed bugs. Look closely at chairs, furniture near the bed, pictures and curtains. If you do find any bed bugs, or signs of bed bugs anywhere in your room, request a room change from the front desk. Make sure to specify that you do not want to be in either of the rooms next door.
Even if you don’t turn up any bed bug signs in your room search, you may still want to take some precautions. There are a few methods you can use to further ensure that bed bugs don’t end up in your house.
- Store your luggage in a plastic bag in your hotel room
- Place any dirty clothes in a plastic bag while traveling
- When you get home, run all travel clothes in a hot dryer for 30 minutes
- Store emptied luggage in a sealed plastic bag
- Vacuum your luggage inside and out
- Wipe shoes with a hot cloth
Infested, Now What?
If you still end up with a home bed bug infestation after traveling, don’t panic. Bed bugs can be removed safely from your house. However, it’s best to enlist a pest control company to make sure that it’s done right the first time. Bed bugs can multiply very quickly. If you attempt to get rid of them yourself and miss even one female with eggs, you can have a new infestation in as short as three months. A good pest control company will analyze your situation, implement a treatment and then monitor for signs of a new infestation.