Bed Bugs and Hotel Rooms: What You Need to Know

hotel room

Even if you take great care to make sure that your home stays bed bug-free, there is a small chance you could end up with them anyway. You could unknowingly transport bed bugs from an infested hotel room to your home, so be sure to take these precautions the next time you are away:

Don’t Unpack Right Away

It’s tempting to kick off your shoes and pull everything out of your suitcase the minute you arrive at your hotel, but it is in your best interest to resist the temptation. Place your luggage in the bathroom or on a hard surface in the room until you have confirmed that your room is free of bed bugs. Do not put your luggage on the bed, furniture, or even on the luggage rack because these are the most common areas for bed bugs to reside.

Examine the Bed and Furniture

The most important step is knowing how to carefully examine your room for bed bugs. To do this, you will need a flashlight and a credit card. First, pull all of the sheets and blankets off the bed until you can see the bare mattress. Use the credit card to get underneath the folds of the mattress and use the flashlight to examine any areas that you cannot see very well with the naked eye. You will be looking for bed bugs themselves, dried blood, or dried excrement. Additionally, you should check the sheets themselves for any evidence of bed bugs and also any furniture that is in the room.

Separate Your Clothes

Even if you don’t see any bed bugs upon your examination, it’s still not a bad idea to take precautions with your belongings. Studies have shown that bed bugs are twice as likely to be drawn to dirty clothes than clean clothes (perhaps because the odors smell like a potential food source to bed bugs). As such, you should always use the plastic laundry bag that hotels provide or you should bring your own. Store all dirty laundry in a plastic bag and keep that bag as far away from your clean clothes as possible.

Sanitize Your Belongings Upon Arriving Home

Especially if you suspect that your belongings have been infested with bed bugs, you need to sanitize them upon arriving home to make sure they do not spread to the rest of your house. Immediately wash your clothes and tumble dry them for a minimum of thirty minutes on high heat. For your luggage, you should use a handheld vacuum to eradicate any bed bugs that might be hiding in the crevices of your suitcase. Then, place that suitcase in an airtight plastic bag to suffocate any bed bugs that remain.