Bed bugs inhabit places where people stay for long periods of time such as apartments, homes, offices, schools, and hotels. Aside from homes, bed bugs are found in many travel accommodations starting from the cheapest motels to the most luxurious hotel resorts.
If you are planning to travel this year, you should be alert and careful to not bring home any unexpected souvenirs from your vacation. There are certain things that you can do that will help you prevent and protect yourself from getting bed bugs in hotel rooms.
The guide below has all the steps you should follow as soon as you arrive at your travel accommodation:
- Head for the bathroom upon entering your room
Just like Air Canada’s pilot protocol, you should put your luggage in the bathtub to prevent bed bugs from latching on your luggage upon arriving. If a bathtub is not available, you can use a suitcase rack and simply keep it away from the walls and furniture inside the room.
The reason why you should head to the bathroom first is that bed bugs are less likely to be found in the area. Bed bugs are not into tile floors and there are no possible hiding spots in the bathroom for them to breed and feed.
Throughout the duration of your stay, make sure that you don’t leave any of your clothes or other personal belongings lying around on the floor, even after your inspection. You might not see any bed bugs after your initial inspection, but you never know if the neighbouring units have them. There is a chance that these bugs will crawl into your unit, looking for another food source.
- Next, inspect the bed
No matter how beautiful the bed arrangement, fight the urge to lie down and get some much-needed rest. Get started with the inspection and check for a possible bed bug infestation. Remove the linens and inspect the surface, edges, seams and under the mattress. Don’t forget to check the headboard as well as the entire bed frame for any signs of bed bugs.
Look for blood and black stains; also try to look for the bugs if possible. Some features that you should know about bed bugs are that they are as small as an apple seed. If you see any of the aforementioned signs, see to it that you contact the hotel staff as soon as possible. If not, continue with the steps below.
- Check the entire room
The next step requires you to broaden the space of your search around the bed. Not only check the drawers or furniture, but make sure that you check all the items in the room such as alarm clocks, picture frames, the telephone and even reading materials.
Though bed bugs prefer staying in a close proximity to the host, there are some that hide in furniture or other items that are a bit far from the bed. If there are couches or chairs near your bed, you might want to check them as well.
- Use plastic for wrapping suitcases
An extra measure of protection for your luggage is to encase your suitcase in plastic wrap throughout your trip. There are zip-up bags that you can get for this specific purpose from luggage and storage retailers. Some who are also precautious when travelling often wrap their items in garbage bags just to keep bed bugs out of their luggage.
This will not only protect your luggage whenever you are inside the hotel room, but when you are in transit - going to and from the hotel, riding on an airplane, taxi or train.
- Move two floors away
In the case that you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs, report to the hotel staff immediately and ask for another room. They should be willing to oblige to your request and handle the bed bug issue immediately.
When requesting a new room, make sure that it is at least two floors away from your previous room. Remember that bed bugs can spread easily through electrical sockets and wallboards, so there is a possibility that neighbouring rooms will also be infested by bed bugs.
- Ask the staff about their bed bug prevention plans
Most hotels observe strict prevention plans for bed bugs. Asking them about their plan will give you an idea of their commitment to protecting their guests and staff.
- Read reviews from reliable sites
Look for reviews on the hotel where you’re about to stay. Make sure that you only read from reliable travel sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. However, don’t only rely on these resources. There are times when reviews are made by competing businesses or disgruntled employees. Also, keep in mind that the problem for one day in a certain room doesn’t mean that the same problem will come up on another day, or that every room in the hotel has the same problem.
Just be cautious when you stay in any travel accommodation to prevent any bed bug issues.
- Have a post-vacation plan
When returning home, you should have a post-vacation plan ready. This should include washing both used and unused clothing in hot water and dry it at the hottest setting. For delicate items, you can send them to the dry cleaner to make sure you don’t damage them.
Inspect and vacuum your suitcase and backpack prior to storing them. If you have a plastic case for your suitcase, wrap and seal it until your next trip.
- Watch out for bed bug bites
Bed bug bites usually form a pattern. They come in threes, and these three bites are called “breakfast, lunch and dinner” in the industry.
Tips for your Next Travel
Given that bed bugs are becoming more widespread, it is only necessary that you take precautionary measures when travelling. You’ll never know if the accommodation you get is infested by bed bugs.
For your next travel, we recommend that you bring some of our travel kits to prevent bed bugs from going home with you. We recommend our Deluxe Bed Bug Travel Kit and the Beapco Home and Travel Kit. These kits include all of the travel essentials that will help you get the protection you need from these pesky critters from latching on your luggage and going home with you.
Another item you can use for your travels is the Packtite Closet, where you can store all of your clothes in and use heat to kill any bed bugs and eggs latching onto them. Dissolvable laundry bags are also great items you should carry as you can contain your used clothes inside these bags and put them directly in the washer upon arriving home; thus preventing bed bugs from spreading in your home.
You can also get our Bed Bug Blue Pro, which is a fecal matter test that will easily confirm the black stains you have seen on your bed at the hotel are indeed from bed bugs. It is easy to use and is a cost-effective solution for quick detection of bed bug presence.
If you have any inquiries regarding our products or would like to know a little more about our options, feel free to send an email or contact us any time at your convenience.