It’s hard to find a hotel these days that hasn’t had a problem with bed bugs. It’s up to you to learn how bed bugs spread and how to protect yourself. Reduce the risk and decrease the chances of bringing bed bugs home as an unwanted souvenir. As soon as you check in, the potential of a bed bug infestation begins. Here are ways they spread, and ways to avoid bed bugs while staying in a hotel.
How Bed Bugs Spread
While there is no way to ensure you won’t bring home a bed bug from your vacation, taking a few precautions will certainly help. Bed bugs usually travel to a new destination in suitcases or on clothing. Once a visitor has unknowingly delivered the bed bugs, they quickly spread around the room and lay their eggs. Bed bugs love the warm and safe seams of a mattress, the dark interior of luggage, and folded clothing.
Bed bugs hide inside suitcases, so the first step to avoid bed bugs is to protect your luggage even before you leave home. Start by using a sealed luggage liner. Your clothing offers bed bugs lots of hiding places, so sealing them inside a plastic liner will prevent bugs from getting in.
How to Avoid Bed bugs
When you enter your hotel room, do not immediately toss your luggage on the bed or lie down. Set the luggage in the doorway and quickly inspect the room for any telltale signs of bugs. Pull back the corner of the fitted sheet and check the folds, seams, and corners of the mattress for bug shells, fecal matter, or eggs. Open the drawers of the bureau. If you find any bugs, call the front desk immediately and ask to be moved to another room. Examine that room before agreeing to stay there as well. Don’t put anything in the drawers or on the bed until you’ve done a thorough inspection.
Frankly, one of the best ways to avoid bed bugs is to leave your luggage in your car. Just bring in a change of clothing and your toiletries and leave everything in the bathroom. If you decide to bring your suitcase with you, consider keeping it packed and in the bathtub. Bed bugs are unable to climb the smooth porcelain sides of the tub and are unlikely to infest your luggage there.
After you return home, be sure to leave your suitcases, clothing, and even the clothes you’re wearing outside. Don’t allow the possibility of a stray bed bug to get in the house. Keep everything in tightly sealed garbage bags until you do the laundry. The warm or hot water wash cycle and heat from the dryer will kill any eggs or bed bugs that may be lurking in your clothes.
Finally, thoroughly inspect your suitcases. Look at the seams, folds, and zippers for any signs of bed bugs. Like your laundry, tightly seal it in a plastic bag until you can treat it with a bed bug spray. With just a little work, you can avoid bringing bed bugs home from your vacation.