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How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

Several brown bed bugs crawl around a ripped seam in a mattress

Typically, when you go on vacation, you may want to bring home a few souvenirs with you to remember your time from your trip. However, one memento we’re certain you don’t want to bring home with you are bed bugs.

Recognized by their flat exoskeleton and reddish-brown color, these bloodthirsty pests are known for reproducing rapidly, so if you spot one it’s likely that there’s more lurking nearby. Keep an eye out for some common signs of an infestation during your next hotel or Airbnb visit. 

How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are exceptionally good at remaining hidden until it’s too late. Knowing some common signs can help alleviate stress and potential heartache. Some typical indications of a bed bug infestation include:

  • You experience itchy, red bites on various parts of your body, such as the neck, arms, and legs.
  • You notice bloodstains on your bedding.
  • There are dark spots or eggshell-like remnants on your bedding.
  • Your home emits a lingering, musty scent that proves difficult to eliminate.
  • You observe apple seed-sized insects with a reddish-brown hue in your residence.

Unfortunately for humans bed bugs love to feast on blood, which makes them a major health concern. Transmission of bacteria and germs is common as they travel from one place to another.  Nocturnal by nature, these pests will live in couch cushions, mattresses, box springs, bed frames, or anywhere dark and warm. 

Since bed bugs are so small and their bites don’t cause any immediate pain, they often go unnoticed for quite some time. This is important to remember when traveling because bites might not show up for a few days. If you believe you may have encountered bed bugs while on vacation, it’s best to let the hotel or owner  know as soon as possible. 

Before Checking In 

As with any service, reading the reviews is imperative when it comes to traveling. Make sure you check to see that the reviews are credible and recent. Since reviews are user submitted, there may be one or two that are negative, but don’t let that be your deciding factor. 

Upon arriving at your destination, be sure to ask what the policy is for bed bug prevention. This may look different depending where you’re staying at, but there should at least be some sort of protocol in place. 

For Airbnb’s or other vacation home rental services, get in touch with the owner of the residence you’re staying with and ask them when the last time their property was inspected. While it may seem trivial, it’s not uncommon for a home to never have been evaluated for bed bugs. 

A magnifying glass is held up to a bed with white linens, showing bed bugs

Thoroughly Check the Room

When you get to your room, resist the urge to fall right onto the bed and give your room a thorough search. Leave your luggage in the bathroom (bed bugs typically avoid bathrooms because they have limited hiding places) and start the search.

Take off the sheets and look around mattress corners, seams, headboard, and bed frame. Keep an eye out for blood stains, fecal matter, dead carcasses, as well as any actual living bugs. Be mindful of the fact that they are the size of a seed, so look carefully during your search.

Once finishing with the mattresses and seating areas, broaden your search to the rest of the room. Check areas near the beds like end tables, under lamps, and behind picture frames. Don’t forget to look in the closet too, as they like to cling onto fabrics.

If you happen to find any traces of bed bugs or suspect that there might be an infestation alert management or contact the owner. 

Avoiding Bringing Bed Bugs Home

Similar to humans, bed bugs love traveling, and they’ll do anything for a free ride. To combat this avoid leaving your suitcases and bags on the ground during your stay. Even after a thorough inspection, it’s still good to take as many precautions as possible. 

The last thing you should do to avoid an infestation when traveling is to wash your clothes as soon as you arrive home. Directly put dirty clothes in the washing machine and to be extra careful dry them on a higher heat setting to eliminate any unwanted stragglers. 

A brown bed bug stands upon a pillow

Handling a Bed Bug Infestation

Even if you’ve done everything correctly, there’s still a chance that you may run into an infestation in your home. If that’s the case get in contact with Burns Pest Control to effectively handle your pest problem. 

We extend our services to the hospitality industry as well. With years of experience and full-trained teams who are equipped to handle any level of bed bug infestation, your hotel or Airbnb will be in good hands with Burns Pest Control. 

Included in our services is our specialized K-9 unit. Independently trained to identify traces of bed bugs, our furry friends make excellent inspectors. Together with our experienced technicians, we are able to create a treatment to eliminate these pests and prevent them from returning. 

Don’t let these freaks stop you from experiencing the world around you and remember if you ever run into bed bugs or any pests, give Burns Pest Control a call!