From exploring castles, to seeing fantastic views, to getting some sand between your toes on a warm beach, is there anything better than traveling? Did you know that bed bugs love to travel, too? They are the world’s best hitchhikers, and once you have picked them up, they will happily follow you from hotel room to hotel room, and then all the way back to your house.
Bed bugs are great travelers, they know how to pack light and never complain about the food. They also feel just as comfortable in a cheap motel as they do a five star resort. Can you say that about your other traveling partners?
But what if you don’t want any extra travelers on your trip? How do you avoid bringing home some unwanted souvenirs from your hotel room? Here are a few ideas to leave the bugs behind:
- Research before you make a reservation: Simply booking a nicer or more expensive hotel room isn’t enough to avoid bed bugs. They are equal opportunity bugs who enjoy feeding on the rich as well as the poor, and anyone in between. Thankfully, people like to share their hotel experiences, so a quick internet search will likely tell you whether another traveler has had bed bug problems at your preferred hotel. Keep in mind, though, that any problems could have been taken care of by the time you visit, most hotel are going to evict bed bugs as quickly as possible. Some hotels also have a bed bug protection plan, you can call ahead and see what plan your preferred hotel has in place.
- Start in the bathroom: Bed bugs aren’t fans of the bathroom, so as soon as you get to your hotel, stash your stuff in the commode as you take a look around the rest of the room.
- Bring a flashlight: A flashlight will help you inspect the room as bed bugs love to hide in small, dark places. Start your inspection with the bed (of course). Pull back the sheets and check the mattress, especially in seams, crevices, and behind the tag. Bed bugs are about the same size and shape as an apple seed, and they can leave behind blood droplets and fecal matter. Smeared stains or what looks like black pepper is a bad sign. If the bed looks clear, expand your search to the back of picture frames, the headboard, around and in the bedside tables, anywhere small enough for one of your tiny friends to hide.
- Keep luggage off the floor: Once you have deemed your room safe and pest-free, take advantage of the luggage stand and store your luggage there. Never leave your suitcase or extra clothes on the floor, the spare bed, or in the closet as that gives easy access to any hitchhikers looking for transportation to a new home. The bath tub is actually the safest place for your luggage when you are out.
- Consider a plastic bag for clothes and/or suitcase: You can buy specialty plastic bags made specifically to protect your clothing and luggage from bugs. This can also protect you from picking up bed bugs in airports or taxi cab trunks.
- Request a different room at least two floors away: If you do find evidence of bed bugs, immediately request a new room, and don’t settle for something less than two floors away. You don’t want anyone wandering over in the middle of the night looking for a bedtime snack.
- Be safe even after going home: Even if you never saw any signs of bed bugs on your trip, you still could have brought some home with you. Just to be safe, unpack away from bedrooms and immediately wash everything in very hot water. Then make sure to store luggage away from bedrooms, just in case you have any stowaways.
Did I mention bed bugs are the world’s best hitchhikers? What I didn’t mention is the best of the best are pregnant females. When you bring her home, you are bringing in 500 more bed bugs when all of her eggs hatch.
If you do suspect you have brought home some unwanted house guests, Admiral Pest Control is always here for you. We will give you a free pest estimate and guarantee our work.