I know when I stay in hotels I’m nervous! I worry I may bring bed bugs from the hotel into my home. Bed bugs can attach themselves to your clothes, luggage, and purses. When it comes to bed bugs in hotels you can never be too cautious.
When your vacation is over and you decide to head home bed bugs can easily come home with you and cause an infestation. In this article, we’re going to teach you how to prevent that from happening.
Read the Reviews
Before booking any hotel take a look at its customer reviews. You will find its sanitation standards, housekeeping services and cleanliness well in advance and this will also save your time in inspecting it.
I suggest looking at consumer reviews because no hotel is going to voluntarily admit to having bed bugs.
How to avoid bed bug infestation in hotels:
When you must travel, what can you do about bugs in hotels? You can’t be certain whether or not a hotel has them. Sadly bed bugs are becoming more and more frequent in hotels.
Do your research
Search for hotels in the area you’ll be staying in. Find reviews written by former patrons. It’s not probable that a hotel would voluntarily reveal it’s had a bed bug problem, therefore you should look for consumer reviews.
Just because a hotel is not listed as having a bug problem, doesn’t necessarily mean it is bug free. Travelers may bring them into a hotel within their clothing or luggage at any time.
When you arrive at the hotel you can even go as far as asking the receptionist if the hotel belongs to the International Housekeeper’s Association or whether it has been certified by the International Sanitary Supply Association.
Hotels that belong to such associations typically prioritize cleanliness and can be trusted to be fairly clean and bed bug free.
Check your linens and mattress
How can you keep form getting bed bugs in hotels? You should always perform a visual check of the bed linens and mattress. Seek out smears of blood or dried specks of dark brown or black. Those are bed bug droppings.
If you see those common and obvious signs of infestation I suggest finding another hotel to stay in. Any hotel owner that knows anything about running a hotel would have trashed those sheets if they had bed bugs in the past. You shouldn’t have to stay in a hotel with bugs, nor do you want to.
Check the headboard as well as the mattress. If close to the bed, dressers and night stands should also be checked. These insects like to hide in dark places, so drawers are a likely place to find them.
Protect your luggage
Do not put your suitcases on the floor. Put them up on a dresser or bureau. If the hotel has supplied a luggage rack, be sure to use it. Do not put your purse or discarded clothing on the floor because bed bugs can climb onto them undetected. Your purse should be hung in the closet or off a shower rod if possible.
After undressing for the day, place the clothing you won’t be wearing again in plastic bags. Use plastic bags that you can seal tightly. I have found that Hefty makes some extra large zip bags in which travelers may seal clothing for protection from bed bugs. This is so great! Like extra giant baggies, there are eleven-gallon bags that zip shut, effectively sealing out bugs and giving you complete protection from them.
By using the Hefty bags you have contained any bugs you may not have known were in the hotel. When you return home it will be easy to put your clothes in the washer and then dry them on hot, just in case.
You may wish to be even more cautious about avoiding bed bugs in hotels, so when you remove and bag up your clothing, take it to a laundry mat the following day to wash and dry. A laundry service is sometimes available at hotels. This procedure assures you that should you have unknowingly gotten bugs on your clothes from the hotel or motel, you will have contained and killed them.
You should always check your luggage prior to leaving. If you want to be super cautious, I suggest using a non-toxic bug spray on my suitcase, inside and out.
Please use only safe, natural bug sprays, thus avoiding contamination of your personal items with toxic pesticides. There are various types of very effective bed bug sprays that are convenient and easy to use, as well as non-toxic.
I would rest easier using a product that states it is safe around pets and kids, such as Green Rest Easy Travel Spray. It comes in a twin pack of two ounces, perfect for carrying in your suitcase. Scented like cinnamon, it does not have a nasty chemical odor that toxic bug sprays do. At the end of this article, you can find a link where you can purchase this spray.
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Hang your clothes
Place your hanging clothing in dry cleaning bags in the closets if the hotel supplies them. Your clothing should be kept as far away from the bed as possible, and off the carpets. Plan ahead and bring your own dry cleaning bags, thus protecting your clothing from hotel bed bugs.
Undress in the bathroom and hang clothing on the shower if possible, thus avoiding contact with the floor altogether. If you travel frequently, it would be a good idea to bring hangers along so you can hang your clothes on the shower rack. As an extra precaution, bring your own clear plastic bags as well, and hang your clothes inside them.
What to do if you find anything
If you find anything that alarms you, talk to the front desk about your concerns immediately. Most likely they offer you another room but moving to another room may not be the answer.
You should carry out your inspection in the room you are offered. If you aren’t satisfied, speak to manager and if this still gets you nowhere, consider staying at a different hotel.
Bed bug cases are on the rise all over the world — but the majority of hotel rooms are free from these irksome insects. Your best bet is to check your bed for bed bug signs, keep your suitcase in a trash bag during your stay and vacuum your suitcase when you get home.
Bed bugs in hotels have become a serious concern to travelers. If you have never had them, you can ensure you never get them in the future either. If you are diligent and pay attention to your surroundings, you can prevent them forever, even if you stay in a hotel.
Have a backup plan
Report the problem to the front desk. Speak with a manager. He may not even be aware of the problem. It won’t necessarily help you to change rooms because they can easily spread from room to room. For your peace of mind, just leave and find another hotel without bed bugs.
Something everyone should do before traveling is to get information on several hotels in the area. If you find bed bugs in your hotel, perhaps the next one will be bug free. It’s best to plan ahead so that you have a choice between staying in a hotel with bed bugs and staying in one that does not. Have a list of hotels as a backup.
Remember, avoiding bed bugs in hotels is far more preferable than trying to get rid of them.
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