When staying in a hotel it is a good idea to inspect your room for bed bugs as soon as you arrive. You do not want to unpack or settle in until you have checked to see if there are bed bugs in your room.
Bring a small flashlight with you when going to stay at a hotel; this will make it easier to inspect your room. As soon as you arrive, keep your suitcase on the floor away from the bed or place it in the bathroom. These areas are less likely to have bed bugs. Never put your suitcase, clothes or personal items on the bed as this is the most common way to get bed bugs in your possessions and transfer them to your home.
Start your inspection with the mattress, as this is the most common area for bed bugs. Gently lift the sheet and mattress pad inspecting along edging, seams and other small areas a bed bug might hide. Continue your inspection with the headboard. In most hotels the headboard is attached to the wall. Use your flashlight to look in the crack between the wall and the headboard.
Another important place to inspect for bed bugs that is often overlooked is the luggage rack or valet. Once again, inspect carefully, concentrating on cracks and crevices. Bed bugs are often found on the luggage rack because they have come in on other travelers’ luggage.
If you find bed bugs in your hotel room notify the front desk immediately and ask to be moved to a new room, which is not next door to the room where you found bed bugs. Repeat your inspection of the new room.
Inspecting these areas might not absolutely guarantee a bed bug free stay, but it will reduce chances of bringing them home.
If you stay in a hotel room and are worried about bed bugs take these precautions:
While staying at the hotel
- Keep your suitcase and belongings away from the bed and upholstered chairs.
- Keep all dirty laundry in a plastic bag.
- Where necessary, hang up clothes in the closet
When you return home to reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home:
- Immediately launder all the clothing you brought with you, or seal inside a plastic bag until it can be laundered. See Laundering Items to Kill Bed Bugs for more information.
- Vacuum your suitcase, inside and out. Once you have finished vacuuming your suitcase immediately discard the contents of the vacuum in a plastic bag which can be sealed tightly shut and then put in the trash. The suitcase can then be stored inside a large plastic bag or box to insure that if a bed bug did travel home it will not move from your suitcase into your home.
- Shoes can be wiped down with a cloth and hot water to reduce the risk of them being infested with bed bugs.
- There are devices you can purchase that enable you to heat-treat your luggage if you travel frequently.