Traveling, can be extremely rewarding and filled with endless amounts of excitement.
Going away on vacation with your entire family can be filled with joy and provide lasting memories, or visiting a new country even for a short while for an important business meeting can be great for experience and professional growth.
However, behind those exciting and fun-filled experiences, you’re about to experience – a seemingly perfect trip can quickly turn into a nightmare if you find yourself sharing your sleeping space with uninvited guests – bed bugs.
According to research, hotels, homes, and office spaces are some of the common places reported to have bed bugs. 68% of those reports came from hotels and other travel accommodations.
That being said, in one out of two hotels, you may find yourself booking a night in the same room where other guests before you have suffered from bed bug infestations.
But if there’s one thing you should know is that you have to learn how to protect yourself from these bugs, remember this – never set your luggage down on the floor or place your clothes immediately on the cabinet.
Staying Protected: Bed Bugs in Hotel and Other Accommodations
Oftentimes, travelers are filled with different things to worry about when going out of town.
We have a checklist of different things to consider, from luggage to carry to flight confirmations and accommodation reservations to passport renewal and insurance policies.
Sometimes though, we tend to forget one more important thing – to make sure that our sleeping spaces are bed bug-free.
Hotels have always been at risk for bed bug infestations. Beneath the fancy and lavish furnishings and fixtures, you may find yourself sharing your sleeping quarters with these pests.
To avoid getting bitten by bed bugs, and to prevent from bringing them with you as you get home, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Look Around First
Before you drop your luggage and stay in the room, inspect the area first. When you look around, check the bed sheets. Do they have bed bug mattress protectors?
Hotels that have these protectors have had their fair share of dealing with bed bug infestations, and if you spot one, it’s either bed bugs are still present, or the hotel may have had experienced an infestation prior.
While there’s a possibility that the hotel you’ve chosen is just trying to be safe and practicing preventive care, it’s still not a comforting thought.
All you need to do on your end is to look around more, and check the other areas in your room.
You Should Know What You’re Looking For
A thorough inspection is practically useless if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Bed bugs are tiny, and some signs of their presence is usually tucked away in the little crevices of the bed.
Brownish stains, red dots and even white eggs can be seen on the bed sheets, mattresses and box springs. Lift the covers and see the mattress. Check if the mattresses have any of these signs, as well as the headboard.
Check Around Your Beds
Bed bugs love beds, it’s their favorite sleeping space and they often nest in dark crevices and tight corners. Apart from checking on bed sheets and mattress protectors, you should also look at the headboards of your beds.
Are there any signs of bed bug shells or exoskeletons? Look at the seams of your mattress and check if they are lifted up, as this could be a sign that bed bugs have nested inside.
Don’t Just Leave Your Luggage on the Floor (Or Inside the Cabinet Drawers)
Hotels often have cabinets and drawers, but leaving your luggage inside there isn’t really a good idea. The last thing you’d want to do is to fill up the same space with your belongings and bed bugs.
These bed bugs may crawl into your clothing, and you may unknowingly bring one (or more of them) to your home.
What should you do then? Before leaving for your trip, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from bed bugs is to ensure that your clothes are packed in a resealable plastic bag.
This might sound like an inconvenience, but this is far better than leaving your clothes out in the open, free for bed bugs to crawl into.
Clothes inside plastic bags drastically decrease your chances of bringing bed bugs from your trip. It also helps to keep them away from your luggage, just in case they’re already present in the room you’ve rented.
Getting back from a trip, no matter how long or short it was, can get pretty exhausting. Packing before you leave, unpacking at the hotel, then packing and unpacking as you go home can take a toll on you.
However, after you leave the hotel, it is important to take a few extra steps. Before leaving your room, remember to check for and bag up any clothing items that were used during the trip.
Following this step will reduce the chances of bringing bed bugs home with you.
Once you get home, don’t forget to unpack your luggage in an area where you can easily inspect it. After that, take all of your clothes to the washing machine and dryer immediately.
These might seem like drastic measures, but it helps reduce the chances of bringing bed bugs to your home.
Bed bugs are resilient, but not enough to survive hot water washing. This is why it’s important to put all of your clothes in the washing machine and dryer right away.
It may be time-consuming, but this can help get rid of any potential bed bugs that have hitched a ride on your clothing.
It’s inevitable – bed bugs are often found in hotels, and not just that – even a simple trip to the grocery store as you ride a public bus can expose you to these pests. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to live in terror.
Knowing what bed bugs look like and how they might be lurking around your living space is important to prevent yourself and your family from getting infested.
Doing a thorough inspection of your hotel room before settling in helps ensure that there are no bed bugs in sight.
Checking around the beds, avoiding leaving your stuff lying around and taking extra precautions before bringing your luggage home can help protect you from these pests.
Taking time to do these simple steps can go a long way in keeping yourself and your family safe from potential bed bug problems.