How To Check Your Hotel Room For Bed Bugs Before You Start Itching

Image courtesy of frankieleon

Bed bugs aren’t in the news on a daily basis like they were a few years ago, but they’re still with us, ready to travel from infested areas back to your home. You can avoid them in part by not bedding down or stashing your luggage anywhere that’s infested.

You can do that by checking your hotel room or other lodging for signs of bed bugs when you first walk in. Here’s the process, from our vermin-hunting colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports:

First, stash your luggage in the bathroom to protect it, since since tile is not an ideal environment for bed bugs to lurk, waiting for humans to munch on. Bed bugs are less likely to have crawled in there.

Pull back the blankets and sheets to look for adult bugs, nymphs, and eggs, all of which will be visible without a magnifying glass. Places to check include between the mattress and box spring, along seams in the mattress, and close to the head of the bed. Use a flashlight (or the flashlight on your phone) if you’re feeling ambitious.

You should also check other furniture and even the luggage rack for signs of the bugs (adults, nymphs, eggs, exoskeletons, and little rust-colored spots) before setting down your bags or putting your suitcase on a luggage rack.

If you do discover signs of bed bugs, request a new room as far as possible in the building from your current one, and perform the same check of the bedding there, too.

If you’re concerned that you may have brought bugs home and not realized it,run any dryer-safe items you brought on your trip through the clothes dryer for at least half an hour.