Planning for your Journey
Getting ready to go on a trip can be overwhelming. These simple tips can help you prepare for your trip and protect yourself from bed bugs:
Reading reviews from previous guests is a critical part of choosing a hotel for your summer vacation. Saving a few dollars on a cheap hotel can end up costing you dearly if you ultimately contract bed bugs from it, so read up on those reviews first!
On the other hand, just because a hotel is expensive doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still check for bed bugs in your room. Although we would all like to believe that a “clean” hotel won’t have bedbugs, this is not necessarily the case. Bed bugs like 5-star hotels too! And since they travel around in people’s luggage, even the cleanest expensive hotel can be infested without being aware of it.
Start by taking advantage of plastic or metal luggage, which make it more difficult for bed bugs to grab onto. While it might seem unlikely, it is possible for your canvas or fabric luggage to pick up bed bugs in the cargo hold of an airplane. Another protection for your baggage is to place all of your clothing and other articles into plastic bags inside of your suitcase to keep bed bugs out. Packing a small flashlight can be particularly helpful in identifying bed bugs if you arrive to your hotel after dark and the lighting in your room isn’t very good.
Inspection When You Arrive
Before getting too comfortable in your hotel, you’ll want to perform an inspection. Place your luggage and other items on a tiled surface (the bathroom floor works well) while you take a look around. If there’s a luggage rack, inspect it prior to use.
Pull back corners of bedding and look on the box spring and mattress for signs of bed bugs. Black marks on the mattress may be an indication of problems. Inspect the night stand for signs of bed bugs. Any upholstered chairs can also house bedbugs so check in the cracks and crevices and near the baseboards around the furniture. Check behind dressers and inside drawers as well.
Once you’ve arrived home, immediately check your suitcases, backpacks, or purses, particularly the seams and edges. Place all of your clothing, towels, pillows, or anything else you took with you into your clothes dryer on high heat for about 15 minutes. If there are any bed bugs that might have hitched a ride home with you, you’ll kill them with your dryer. Don’t forget to check your shoes for bed bugs also. As a general rule, it’s best to store your suitcases somewhere remote in your home, such as in a basement, attic, or closet. Never store suitcases under your bed as this could invite an infestation.
Read More: What to Do When You First Notice Bed Bugs
If you do find that you’ve brought little critters into your home after vacation, a bed bug exterminator is going to be your first phone call. While waiting for an exterminator to come and get rid of bed bugs in your home, your vacuum cleaner will be your best friend. Use the crevice tool to get into all of the nooks and crannies of your beds, upholstered furniture, and other parts of your house.