Traveling to different regions should be an exciting and relaxing experience. When you arrive at a hotel, your pillows and bed linens should be as new and fresh as the rest of the room. However, what if you encounter bed bugs? These tips will help you avoid bringing those pests home or dealing with them during your stay.
Research as Much as You Can
Before booking a hotel, check the Bed Bug Registry. It keeps track of hotels that have had confirmed cases and contains customer reviews. You can search by the name of the hotel, city, and state. Even if you find a building that has five stars and luxurious options, still do some research!
Place Your Luggage in the Bathroom
When you first enter your hotel room, you should put your luggage in the bathroom. This area might seem odd, but it is a safety precaution for your luggage. According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bugs are least likely to be found in the bathroom. In this room, they do not have many places to hide and do not like the tile floors. So you can leave your belongings here while you inspect the room.
Thoroughly Inspect the Room
Make sure you cover every section of the bed and room during your inspection. Pull the sheets up and inspect the mattress (especially along the seams). Even though bed bugs are usually visible, you will more likely see the droppings they leave behind. The residue comes in the form of brownish-red or black dots. Do not forget to look behind the headboard and any bedside tables either. Last but not least, check any other spaces in chairs, pillows, drapery, windowsills, or peeled-back wallpaper.
If you discover any bed bugs, specks, eggs, or casings, immediately grab your bags and report your findings to the front desk. You have the right to request a different room or move to a new hotel and repeat the inspection.
Protect Your Belongings
Even if you find no bed bugs during your inspection, that does not necessarily mean they are not there. Take precautions by keeping stuff off the floor and the bed. You can store suitcases on a luggage rack or other hard surfaces (away from the walls). For extra protection, carry large trash bags to store your luggage. You can also place your clothing, shoes, and dirty laundry in resealable plastic bags inside your suitcase. Any bags should be sealed when not in use to avoid contamination.
Clean Everything Once You Return Home
Bed bugs migrate to various places. After your trip, look over your luggage before bringing it into the house. Vacuum suitcases thoroughly before putting them away. Another method is using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage. It will help kill any bed bugs or eggs.
Things To Remember
Bed bugs are sneaky pests, but it is possible to steer clear of them. Along with the tips above, you can take advantage of bed bug control products. There are luggage liners, anti-bed bug sprays, laundry additives, and even bed bug heaters. The heaters can clean any items you cannot wash, such as books. Your luggage can even be treated in one.
Make sure you are prepared for your next trip with vaccines and advice from Passport Health. Call 937-306-7541 or book online to schedule your appointment today.
Written for Passport Health by Shelbi Jackson. Shelbi is a freelance writer from Illinois. She enjoys writing about various topics from health care to music and book reviews. In her free time, you can find her at a live event, taking a stroll outside, or playing with the family dogs.