Avoid Bed Bugs when Staying in Hotels

Avoid Bed Bugs when Staying in Hotels

After nearly disappearing more than five decades ago, bed bugs have been making an unwelcome resurgence in the last few years. This is due in large part to the ability of humans to travel far and wide in short amounts of time. While bed bugs are commonly thought to inhabit dirty or cluttered areas, they may also be found in establishments with sparkling reputations. Avoiding them doesn’t mean never traveling or staying in a hotel again. There are a few simple tips to keep in mind to avoid running into bed bugs while staying at a hotel.

While reports of bed bugs have been on the rise in the last few years, the vast majority of travelers will never experience the insects in their room. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

*Call the hotel ahead of time and inquire as to the measures it takes to avoid infestations. Check online reviews from customers who have stayed there before. If anyone had problems, they will be sure to post it. While bed bugs can survive in clean areas, they thrive in cluttered areas because they have more places to hide. Make note of any reviews which claim a hotel is messy or not clean.

*Bed bugs will hide during the day, usually in a five foot radius from the bed. It’s useful to know how to find bed bugs. Be sure to thoroughly look in the seams of the bedding, under the mattress, in cracks in the wall and under the baseboards. Other places to look include behind framed artwork on the walls and under any furniture that is upholstered. Bed bugs are small, flat and oval shaped. They are about the size of the power button on a standard remote control, have two antennae and are reddish-brown in color.

*If there is more than one person in the party, have one person hold the luggage while another looks for any signs of the pests. If not, place the bags on a luggage rack, a table that is away from the walls or on a shelf. Putting the baggage on the floor runs the risk of allowing bed bugs to get inside them and then be transported to another location. If elevating the suitcases is not possible, place them on the bathroom floor. The tile floor and bright light will make it impossible for the bugs to hide.

*Signs that bed bugs may be near include dark brown stains on fabric and a sweet, moldy odor.

*Immediately notify the front desk if there is any evidence found that bed bugs may be in the facility.

Because the pests were nearly eradicated 50 years ago, travelers have forgotten how to guard against them when staying at hotels. A little vigilance and a lot of precaution can go a long way to ensuring a peaceful and enjoyable hotel stay.

[box color=”green” icon=”information”]Guest author Karen Barnes writes for a website that has advice on how to get rid of bed bugs if they do manage to hitch a ride on your luggage.[/box]