Travellers should always be cautious of bed bugs when staying in hotels or places with high tourist turnover. Bed bugs don't care about the cleanliness and reputation of a bedroom, even 5-star hotels are prone to bed bug infestation. This is why preparation and a thorough inspection of your sleeping area is essential to a bed bug free home.
Prior to your travel:
Conduct a little research of your hotel by entering its name and bed bugs in Google or any other popular search engine. This can be a good indicator if bed bugs are present in that particular hotel/motel etc... Sites like Tripadvisor are also helpful for real customer insight. We also suggest that you bring a dissolvable laundry bag, garbage bag or any other plastic bag that will hold all of the contents in your luggage. Dissolvable laundry bags are obviously the safest choice. This will be used in an emergency situation when bed bugs have been detected and you wish to minimize the risk of bringing them home. This way if bed bugs are hiding in your clothes they will be contained in the plastic bag. Upon your return home, carefully place the dissolvable and/or remove the plastic bag and put all of your clothes in the washing machine at the hottest setting. This will kill all bed bugs and bed bug eggs. We also highly recommend that you do not bring your pillow from home, this could also increase your chances of catching bed bugs and bringing them home.
Inspection of your hotel room is important before settling in, it only takes about 5-10 minutes and can save you lots of time, money and stress. Our recommendations are based on Air Canada's protocol for traveling employees. Upon entering your hotel room, place all your luggage in the bathtub, bed bugs have no reason to nest near and around the bathroom. If no bathtub is easily accessible, place luggage on a rack away from the wall. Proceed with an inspection of the bed. Check for signs of infestation by looking:
- Under the sheets of the bed
- Along the edges of the mattress
- In between mattress and box spring
- Underneath the bed skirt
- Between the frame and box spring
- Back of the headboard and along its edges
- Bedside table and the contents inside the drawer (Bible)
- All the pillows
Should there be any signs of bed bugs, immediately grab your luggage and make you way to the reception, ask to have a new room or simply get a refund and change hotels. Do not take the risk, let us remind you that bed bugs are the most difficult pest to eliminate in your home.
Before you bring anything into your home, isolate your luggage from the rest of your house like your garage or balcony. Start by carefully removing all the contents from your luggage and place directly into your washing machine using the hottest setting. This will kill any bed bug and or eggs nesting in your luggage. For clothes that cannot be washed with water or detergent, consider bringing them to the dry cleaners. Please warn your dry cleaners before cleaning of potential bed bugs in garments. If washing or dry cleaners is not an option, perform a thorough inspection of each item and consider placing them in the freezer for 24 hours. Don't forget to put them in a plastic bag so the garment doesn't absorb the freezer smell.
If you think you brought back bed bugs with you, have a look at our bed bug monitors and traps which will help you detect bed bugs earlier than later. This is a low-cost and effective way to personally detect bed bugs without the services of a professional exterminator. Should you require further consulting, please give us a call to speak with one of our experts. Its free and neutral advice.