While traveling, bed bugs aren’t a concern most people think about. But nonetheless, traveling does our you at risk of contracting bed bugs. While most travelers will never encounter a bed bug in their lives, it is still wise to know how to avoid bed bugs when traveling and stop them from spreading to your home. The class of the hotel has little to do with whether or not there might be a bed bug infestation.
Despite all of the alarming stories, photos and tips that are spreading across the internet, Don’t let that stop you from traveling. There is no reason not to travel. If you see a bed bug, don’t freak out. It really is not that big a deal. Just don’t let them come home with you.
Bed bugs can easily hide in luggage, clothing, and other personal items, so take a few precautions while traveling to keep them from tagging along when you head home. Follow these 6 tips to avoid bed bugs when traveling:
Don’t travel with your pillow from home since that is a perfect place for bed bugs to hide. As well consider using a hard-shelled suitcase since it will have fewer folds and seams than a fabric suitcase where bed bugs can hide. Packing your belongings in separate plastic bags and opening them only when accessing the items is another great tip to avoid a cross contamination with bed bugs.
When you enter your room, place your luggage in the bathroom on the tile floor because bed bugs don’t like cold hard places. The majority of bed bugs will be near the bed. Look under and around nightstands and lamps, and in drapes. Look behind wall hangings, mirrors and paintings. Inspect under the telephone and alarm clock. In and around the bed, you are looking for tiny bloodstains or small black dots that look like specks of mold or flakes of ground pepper. Pull back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. Check the seams and sides of the mattress, box spring, and frame, and then check behind the headboard.
Keep Your Luggage Away
Never place your luggage on the floor or directly on a bed. Be sure to inspect the fabric straps on the luggage rack in the room and once you have cleared that, place your luggage on top of the rack and leave it there. If there is no luggage rack, you can place luggage on top of a smooth, high surface like a desk or dresser.
Keep Your Clothes Packed
As tempting as it may be to unload your clothing into the drawers in hotel rooms, don’t do it. Leave your clothes in plastic bags in your luggage, and access clothing only when you need to wear it. Place worn and dirty clothing into plastic bags. Always place your shoes in an open area. Do not store anything at all under the bed.
If You See, Speak.
If you find signs of bed bugs, tell the hotel. The management should be more than happy to immediately move you. Request that your new room be at least two floors away since bed bugs are tiny enough to move from room to room via wallboards or electrical outlets. Do not be afraid to ask the hotel to launder your clothing at no cost to help ensure the annoying pests don’t spread or make themselves at home later in your own home.
When You Get Home…
When traveling your luggage reaches places that you don’t such as in luggage compartments, next to other suitcases on the plane, sitting on the floor, etc. No matter how careful you have already been, your bag may still pickup unwelcome hitchhikers from those less careful. If you are getting off a plane and driving home, place your luggage into a garbage bag before placing your luggage in your vehicle. Once home, and before bringing luggage inside, place it on a hard surface away from any places bed bugs could crawl to and hide. Then check it carefully. Vacuum your luggage. Throw out the vacuum bag in a sealed garbage bag right away. Place your luggage into a clean garbage bag and store it well away from sleeping areas. Never store luggage under or near your bed.
Following these tips for your next travels can help you prevent bed bugs spreading into your home!