Tips for Preventing an Encounter with Bed Bugs
- Treat the outside of your luggage with appropriately labeled insect repellent to deter bed bugs from hitching a ride home.
- Avoid bringing personal items like pillows, blankets, etc. to the hotel or lodging.
- Bring a small pen-light flashlight to inspect dark places.
- Place luggage on luggage stands located on far walls, away from beds, sofas, and nightstands.
- Avoid placing clothing in bureau drawers. Live out of suitcases on luggage stands if possible.
- Look inside bedside tables and nightstands for bed bugs and blood stains.
- Turn down sheets and mattress covers at the corners exposing mattresses and box springs looking for bed bugs and blood stain spots
If you find signs of bed bugs report this to hotel management and require your room be changed. Be sure your room is not immediately adjacent to the old one. There are other harmless insects that could be confused with bed bugs, so collect the evidence for the hotel management to view.
Bed Bug Information
Bed bugs are small, brown, flat, oval-shaped insects that are less than 1/4” long. They feed on the blood of humans, small animals, birds, and may live for many weeks without feeding. They do not fly or hop, but are fast-moving. They usually come out at night and hide during the day. They lay many tiny white eggs that hatch into more young bed bugs.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Besides actually seeing live or crushed bed bugs, a common sign is the presence of blood spots and dark fecal spots on bedding and furniture. Shed skins of the young bed bugs can usually be found where bed bugs hide during the day. Again, it is important to get a positive identification.
If bed bugs are suspected of being present in your luggage, do not bring it into your bedroom at home. Unpack on a table or surface where bed bugs can be easily seen.
Wash all suspect clothing in the warmest temperature that is safe according to clothing washing directions and dry on high heat if possible.
Bed Bug Bites
Do the prudent things to avoid bringing them home. Despite the fact that bed bug encounters are becoming more common, the odds of running into them is still slim. Don’t stop traveling but travel smart.