How to Find Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room

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Travelers beware of bed bugs. These reddish-brown insects are pests that seek to hitch a ride on your luggage to make your home their new abode of infestation. They multiply swiftly and leave behind their characteristic bites that will leave you itchy for days or weeks at a time. Don’t let bed bugs turn your pleasant travel adventure into a nightmare. Take precautions to detect and prevent the spread of bedbugs in your hotel room and beyond.

How to Spot a Bed Bug Hotel Room

Bed Bugs don’t discriminate when it comes to hotel rooms. Whether you are staying in an affordable 2-star or expensive 5-star hotel, it is always best to check for bed bugs. These little critters hide just about anywhere, but they do have their preferred nesting spots. Here are a few guidelines to follow to determine if your hotel room is a bed bug sanctuary.

  • Check Reviews Online – reviews are your best resource to determine if a potential hotel is infested with bed bugs. People are more than happy (or not so happy) to share their discontent about hotels with bed bug issues. Read these reviews thoroughly and take the advice of others and book a hotel elsewhere. You don’t want to be the next bed bug tragedy story.
  • Luggage Off the Floor Until You’re Sure – An inspection is necessary to determine if your hotel room is bed bug-free. Until you know for sure, keep your luggage and other personal belongings off the floor. If necessary, place your luggage in the bathtub or on an elevated luggage rack.
  • Inspect, Inspect, Inspect – Take the time to thoroughly inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. The bed, specifically the mattress, is the main dwelling place for bed bugs. Remove the sheets and inspect the corners and the seams of the mattress and box spring for signs of bed bugs and specks of blood. The blood specks are from the bed bugs feeding on human blood. Also, check the pillows and all the crevices on and around the bed frame and headboard. Don’t forget to check the nightstand and other furniture in the hotel room. Make sure to pay attention to the creases, crevices, and seams where bed bugs are likely to hide. Open up all drawers for all furniture and thoroughly inspect the insides. You wouldn’t want to place your clothing in a drawer with bed bugs.

What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs?

If you find bed bugs in your room, remove your luggage and any other personal belongings from the hotel room immediately. Contact the front desk about the situation. If you decide to remain in the hotel, request a room in a different area of the hotel. Preferably one that is away from the previous room. It is best to be as far away as possible from bed bugs. They can travel to other rooms through cracks and vents.

Bed Bug Precautions

When it comes to preventing the spread of bed bugs, preparation is key. Here are a few precautions to take for before, during, and after traveling to prevent the spread of bed bugs to your home.

Pre Travel

  • Bring a large plastic bag for your dirty clothes. Placing your dirty clothing in a dedicated bag reduces the chance of bringing tag-along bed bugs home with you.
  • Research the hotels ahead of time to look for news of a bed bug outbreak.

During Travel

  • Even if you determine that your hotel room is bedbug-free, it is best to keep your belongings confined to specific areas in your hotel room. Scattering belongings throughout the hotel room increases the chances of bed bug transmission. Keep your suitcases and bags closed until you need to access your belongings. Doing so prevents bed bugs from crawling into your luggage.
  • If you have plastic luggage, that’s preferable to cloth luggage as bed bugs will have a hard or impossible time climbing on it.

After Travel

  • When you arrive home, immediately wash and dry your clothing. It is important to dry your clothes on the highest heat setting possible. Washing alone won’t do the trick. It is the high heat that kills bed bugs.
  • If you do find bed bugs, it’s time to follow this comprehensive guide to getting rid of bed bugs.
  • Vacuum your luggage thoroughly from the inside out. Don’t forget to vacuum the inside zippered compartments. After vacuuming, discard the contents in a sealed plastic bag outside of your home. For added protection, you can store your suitcase in a large plastic bag until future use. Doing so ensures that any potential bed bugs are contained to the bag and will not make their way into your home.