Don’t Bring Bed Bugs Home From Your Hotel Room

According to a 2015 study by the University of Kentucky and the National Pest Management Association, three quarters of surveyed pest controllers claim to have encountered bedbugs in motels and hotels during the previous year.


“They’re not discriminating travelers,” warned NPMA chief entomologist Jim Fredericks. “They don’t discriminate between a first-class resort or a low-rate motel. You could encounter them anywhere. It’s not just hotels, for sure. It’s hotels, vacation cottages, summer rentals at the beach, Airbnbs, even a visit to a relative’s house.”


The unwelcome parasites love to hide in nooks and crannies, and they’re proficient hitchhikers, easily catching a ride home on your luggage or clothing. Infestations can occur throughout the year, but it’s smart to take extra care during peak season. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of bringing the little bloodsuckers back to your own bedroom.


  1. Know How To Spot Bed Bugs

Firstly, it’s essential to be able to identify bed bugs, so you can advise the hotel manager if you see them. The adults are reddish-brown crawling insects, roughly a quarter of an inch in size. The smaller juveniles are a creamy white color. If you do discover a bug, pop it into a drinking glass or plastic bag as evidence.


  1. Inspect Your Hotel Room

Carefully investigate the mattress, bed frame and headboards, paying special attention to folds, seams, cracks and crevices. It’s also a good idea to check any other bedroom furniture or fabrics, including armchairs, couches, curtains and rugs. Even if you don’t spot active bugs, dark stains might indicate a hidden infestation, or you might see the bed bugs’ discarded shells or creamy white eggs.


  1. Don’t Leave Your Belongings On The Floor

Avoid leaving clothes and suitcases lying on the carpet. Place them on desks or other hard surfaces instead. To be really safe, some travellers even leave their belongings in the bathtub rather than the main hotel room. It’s all about reducing the probability of bringing home multiple bed bugs or a pregnant female (a single bed bug would normally be unable to reproduce, even if it does catch a ride home).


  1. Unpack Right Away

Bed bugs don’t tend to live on the human body. They prefer to bite and then scamper away to hide. But they can certainly sneak into your suitcase or cling onto your clothing. As soon as you get home, wash and dry your clothes. Thirty minutes in a hot dryer will eradicate any concealed bugs. During summer, suitcases can be left in a car in the hot sun for a couple of days – temperatures over 80 degrees will usually be sufficient to kill the unwanted visitors.

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