Every year millions of Americans travel to visit family and friends for the holidays. Of these merry wanderers, nearly half end up staying in a hotel or vacation rental for the duration of their visit. While choosing a home away from home, you may assume that the most expensive hotel will be your best defense against bed bugs. The truth is, bed bugs can infest even the cleanest of rooms, all they need is a ride in.
Don’t be their ride out, follow these simple tips to prevent bringing home unwanted pests.
1. Check Reviews
While choosing a hotel, read reviews online to see if there have been previous incidents with bed bugs. If you are still unsure if the hotel you chose is the right one, call ahead and ask if they have their rooms regularly inspected for signs of infestation.
2. Read the Fine Print
Now that you have vetted your hotel, it’s time to check in! Be sure to read the check-in paperwork carefully, sometimes there are sections dedicated to bed bugs with helpful policies and information.
3. Stash your Bags
You will want to perform a quick inspection when you get to your room. Before that, make sure all of your luggage is in a safe place. If the room has a tiled restroom, that is a perfect space to leave your luggage while you look around. Bed bugs are much less likely to infest a room without carpet or upholstery.
4. Toss the Bed
Do a very thorough inspection of the bed and linens. You will want to remove all bedding, sheets, and mattress covers. Bed bugs like to hide out but they also leave evidence behind. Look for rusty reddish stains, very small eggs, clusters of brown or black spots, and of course, live bugs. Don’t forget to check underneath the bedspring as well.
5. Inspect the Room
Unfortunately, despite their name, bed bugs are not only found in beds. It is a good idea to do a quick and thorough inspection of the rest of your room before settling in. If you are not sure where to start, check out our previous post on places bed bugs hide that aren’t beds. If you do find signs of bed bugs, try not to panic! This may be evidence from a previous infestation that is no longer active. To be safe, quickly remove your belongings from the room and go speak with hotel management. If it is too late to switch hotels, request a new, pest-free room to transfer into.
6. Check Out with Care
Once your stay is complete, make sure to check all of your luggage and belongings for evidence of bed bugs. Whether you see evidence or not, it is smart to wash your clothes when you get home and vacuum out your suitcase.