Bed Bugs often hitch a ride home with you when you stay in infested hotels. Learn how to spot them to prevent a nasty homecoming gift.
Waking up to a bed bug infestation is every homeowner’s nightmare, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to become a reality. Unlike other pests, bed bugs don’t migrate from the outdoors, which means you never have to worry about them sneaking through the small gaps and cracks around your home. In fact, most infestations start far away from the bedroom – sometimes across continents and oceans. If you want to avoid ever becoming a feast for bed bugs, perfecting pest-proof travel is the key.
What’s the Connection Between Travel and Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers, catching rides on clothing, luggage and furniture. Since hotel rooms have such a high turnover of guests from all over the world, they act as safe harbors for bed bugs that arrive via their last owner’s suitcase. What makes bed bugs especially problematic in the travel industry is lack of oversight. Because they stay in hiding during the day, bed bugs can be missed by the hotel’s cleaning staff until a guest makes a formal complaint. By the time bed bugs are spotted, they may have already spread to other rooms and gone back home with previous guests.
Can Bed Bugs Make Me Sick?
While their bites can cause allergies, red, welt-like marks and intense itching, bed bugs aren’t considered harmful to human health. Most of the damage is psychological, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. It’s not uncommon for homeowners who experience bed bugs to report elevated stress levels, insomnia and fear of recurrence long after the initial infestation is over.
How Do I Check My Hotel Room for Bed Bugs?
1. Leave your luggage on the luggage rack or in the bathroom while you inspect the room. If you see any warning signs such as droppings, eggs, or actual bed bugs, you want to be able to leave without wondering whether anything had a chance to hop in your bag.
2. Check the mattress and headboard for dark red stains, discarded skins, eggs and live bugs. If the headboard is attached to the wall, try using your phone or flashlight to expose the hidden crevices.
3. Look around the room. Although it’s the most common, the mattress isn’t the only place where bed bugs hide in hotel rooms. Luggage racks, television stands, dressers, heaters and nightstands are other danger zones worth checking.
If you end up needing to switch, ask for a room that isn’t adjacent or directly above or below your first one.
Worried that you might have brought bed bugs home from a recent trip?
Contact Burns Pest Elimination or visit us online to learn more about our extermination services in Phoenix and Tucson.