Bed bugs are a travelers’ worst nightmare. In recent years, these resilient pests have experienced a resurgence in popular tourist destinations like New York City and London. Thousands of travelers have reported bed bug encounters at budget motels as well as expensive hotels, and many have unintentionally brought the tiny pests back home with them. If you travel frequently, there are a number of things you can do to avoid a bed bug infestation. Here are four tips for staying pest-free.
Do Your Research before you book
As reports of bed bugs have increased in recent years, many people have shared their experiences online. If you’re planning a trip, consider searching online for bed bug reports at potential hotels. Many travelers post about their experiences with the pests on consumer review websites, and there’s a dedicated bed bug registry available that lets users search for hotel-specific reports. Doing your research before you book can help you steer clear of these troublesome pests.
Store Your Luggage in the Bathroom
Many people experience bed bug infestations in their homes because the bugs got into their luggage without their knowledge. Always remember when you’re traveling that bed bugs prefer to lay their eggs and spend time where people are sleeping. They also like to stay hidden. If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s a good idea to store your luggage in the bathroom to reduce your risk of an infestation. Bed bugs are less likely to live in hotel bathrooms because there are fewer soft surfaces in which they can burrow and hide.
Inspect Your Hotel Room
If a hotel has a problem with bed bugs, you’ll probably notice some telltale signs in your room. After you’ve placed your luggage in the bathroom, begin your inspection. Pull back the covers on the bed and remove the fitted sheet. Inspect the seams of the mattress for live bugs and dark spots. It’s rare to see live bed bugs during the daylight hours but they tend to leave behind signs. There may be blood stains or small black flecks on the bedding if a room is infested. After you’ve checked the bed, look behind the headboard and in the crevices of nightstands and picture frames.
When all Else Fails, Call a Professional
Sometimes bed bug infestations can happen to even the most careful travelers. In this case, it’s important to contact a professional exterminator for assistance. Bed bugs are extremely resilient and difficult to eradicate. Many homes require an initial round of treatment as well as follow ups to ensure that they are completely pest-free.
Bed bugs have become a more common problem in recent years. Before you travel, always make sure to look online for bed bug reports. When you arrive at your hotel, store your luggage in the bathroom and inspect your room thoroughly. Despite your best efforts, these sneaky pests may find their way into your home. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, don’t wait to connect with a professional. The problem may worsen if you postpone treatment.