Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, the last thing you want to bring home from your trip are bed bugs. Bed bugs are increasingly common in hotel rooms, where they can go undetected by guests and hotel staff for a considerable amount of time. What’s worse, the bugs easily move from beds into your clothes and suitcase, making it likely you’ll transport them home with you if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for inspecting your hotel room for bed bugs, minimizing the risk of transporting them home, and what to do if you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation at home.
Check In – Then Check Out Your Room
When you arrive in your hotel room, place your luggage in the bathroom or on top of the desk away from the beds and prepare to quickly inspect your room for obvious signs of bed bugs. It will take just a few minutes to look in the obvious places where bud bugs are found. Check the mattress and box spring first by pulling back the sheets and the mattress pad on all four corner of the bed. Look for dark spots on the sheets: something that resembles the dot of a fine-tip marker which has bled a bit into the sheet. Also look for rusty or reddish stains (small dots, streaks or smears), which can result from crushed bugs. Look for the insects themselves, which are quite small and might look like little black or reddish flecks on sheets, pillows or blankets. Once you’ve inspected the bed (or both if there are two) look between the headboard and the wall, along the edges of the nightstand, in cracks or crevices and along framed artwork and mirrors in proximity to the beds. This inspection takes just a few minutes; do not unpack your bags until you’ve quickly looked around and then only if you haven’t found any sign of the bugs. If you do find signs of bed bugs, request another room and re-inspect.
Of course, in some cases you may feel the effects of bed bugs before you see them. Their bites can leave raised bumps or a rash that’s itchy and red. It can also resemble other conditions, such as eczema. If you get an unusual rash after staying in a hotel, bed bugs could be the culprit.
Best Practices for Hotel Stays
Even if your quick inspection doesn’t turn up any signs of bed bugs, they could still be present in your hotel room. Follow these best practices for reducing the risk of carrying bed bugs home with you:
- Avoid placing your suitcase on the bed or the luggage rack. Instead, opt for a hard surface away from the bed. A desk or countertop works well.
- When changing clothes or after showering, place your dirty laundry in a plastic bag. Bed bugs can be attracted to garments with natural body odors. You can use the laundry bag typically found in your hotel room’s closet, the plastic liner bag from one of the trash cans in your room, or simply pack a few plastic bags with you when you travel.
- Unpack and launder all of your clothes immediately upon returning home. Wipe down shoes with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum your suitcase inside and out. If you observed signs of bed bugs in your hotel room but had to stay there anyway, be sure to vacuum and then dispose of the vacuum bag outside of your home.
If You Suspect Bed Bugs in your Home
Despite your best efforts, bed bugs might still find a way to hitch a ride home with you. If you are worried about bed bugs because of recent travels or if you believe you’ve been bitten by the bugs, call ScherZinger Pest Control right away. At ScherZinger, we offer a complete, holistic approach to bed bugs that involves detection, mitigation and prevention.
Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter.