A vacation is supposed to be a time for you to rest, relax, and recharge. However, stress can arise on a trip if you forget to check your hotel bed and surrounding furniture for bed bugs! If you spend a night on a bed bug-infested mattress, the pests will dig into your clothes, your house, and your own mattress. Bed bugs often bite people and can cause some annoying itchiness.

The process of getting rid of a bed bug infestation can last weeks and it requires an intensive cleaning of your home from top-to-bottom. Thus it is ideal to take steps to identify if your hotel or motel bed has bed bugs, as opposed to dealing with the long-term consequences of having bed bugs take a vacation to your home. 

Bed Bug Precautions

A word of advice is to pack a few precautions when spending time in a hotel room. Bring a large plastic bag to hold all of your dirty clothes during your stay. Bed bugs can smell and are attracted to the scent of dirty clothes. Thus the bugs will naturally begin moving to your dirty laundry. Placing your dirty items in a plastic bag will prevent the risk of bed bugs sneaking into your clothes and luggage, as the bag makes it difficult for the bugs to get into. Consider packing a flashlight while traveling, as the tool can prove useful while inspecting the mattress for bed bugs, or simply rely on the flashlight available through your smartphone. 

Signs of an Infestation

While it may be tempting to immediately lay down on your cozy hotel bed, it is ideal to begin the bed bug inspection process. The first step to spotting a bed bug infestation is to know what to look for when arriving at your hotel room. As you check-in your hotel or motel room, remember to stash your luggage away from a bed bug-prone area and instead place your bags in the bathroom or on a luggage rack. While these areas are unpopular for bed bugs, it is still important to check your luggage rack for signs of the insect, as they can appear there as well. When inspecting the bed for bed bugs be on the lookout for exo-skeletons. These exo-skeletons will look like a small bug, and it’s symptomatic of a bed bug infestation. Another obvious sign of bed bugs is dark reddish-brown spots, or dried blood from previous bed bug victims or the bug’s feces. If you smell a sweet rot, that is another sign of a bed bug infestation. 

If those more obvious signs appear to be clear, start the more rigorous bed bug inspection procedure. First start by pulling the sheets and blankets back, and then begin observing the mattress and box springs for bed bugs. Adults and their heads are visible to the human eye. Also begin to examine the seams and the folds of the mattress, as these pests love to hide in the corners of the mattress. It can be helpful to use an item like a credit card or driver’s license to get in between the wrinkles of a mattress, another ideal bed bug hideout. Make sure to check all four corners of your bed’s mattress, as even a small amount of bed bugs in a single corner can infest the rest of the hotel bed and your belongings. 

To further ensure that your room does not have bed bugs, it is also advised to check the headboard and other furniture in the room. In the majority of hotel rooms, the headboard is attached to the wall. However, make sure to use a flash-light to inspect the in-between area of the headboard and wall, as bed bugs may lurk there. Similarly if there are framed pictures above your bed, make sure to inspect them as well. Framed pictures can be another tricky spot that bed bugs love to hide under. Also the pests enjoy hiding in other hotel room furniture, especially upholstered furniture, so take action by inspecting these items for bed bugs. When inspecting upholstered furniture, check the seams of a couch or chair, as the bugs love to stay in dark areas. Another unexpected place to check for bed bugs are hotel-room curtains, as the pests are known to live on them as well. 

After making all the necessary inspections, you can rest easy without having to worry about potential bed bug problems. If you spot bed bugs in your hotel room, make sure to notify the hotel staff and they arrange a new room for you. While all these observations may seem like a lot, especially when you want to immediately unwind on your time-off. Iit is much easier to perform a routine bed bug inspection, as opposed to dealing with the consequences of sleeping on a bed bug-infested mattress, having troublesome bed bug bites, and spreading the pests to your clothes, your luggage, and possibly your home. 

Preventing an Infestation at Home

If you are worried about potentially bringing bed bugs back home from your stay in a hotel room, there are proper ways to prevent the pests from getting all over your house. First, immediately wash your clothes when you return from your vacation. Use the hottest temperature that the items can withstand, as bed bugs die from the heat. Putting infested items within a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will kill all remaining bed bugs. 

Taking the necessary precautions by inspecting your hotel room furniture for possible bed bug infestations is faster and more effective than trying to eliminate pests. Taking these steps can prevent bed bugs from infesting your home and worrying about pesky bed bug bites during your relaxing vacation. Even the most luxurious hotels are not immune to bothersome bed bugs, so it is important for you to take time and make the proper inspections of your hotel room bed and its additional furniture and surroundings. No one wants their vacation souvenirs to be bed bugs, so make sure you take the correct precautions and measures to prevent bringing an unwanted bed bug infestation to your home.