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How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

Most people travel for business or pleasure and often look forward to seeing new sites and coming home with new memories. Unfortunately, it is possible to come back with a few pests picked up from the hotel room where you stay, even in nicer hotels. If you want to protect yourself while traveling and avoid bed bugs, there are a few key tips to follow.

Check the Bed Bug Registry

Utilizing the bed bug registry before booking a room will allow you to steer clear of pests where other guests have reported issues. You can check apartments and hotels across North America to filter where you plan to stay in advance to reduce your risk. The registry is updated continuously and will prove to be a reliable resource while traveling throughout the continent. Though this tool is helpful, it relies on voluntary reporting, so it is not foolproof.

Keep an Eye Out for Signs

Bed bugs can be difficult to spot, but there are some telltale signs that they leave behind. You may notice small brown spots on the bedding or sheets on the bed, which are droppings left behind by the critters. It’s also important to inspect the mattress to look for areas they may be hiding. They are most commonly found in seams and buttonholes. You’ll also want to look behind the headboard, sofa, and chairs. Outlets (and even the screws that attach outlets in the wall) are another good choice. If you don’t know what they look like, look online before you search. If you arrive midday, you can also place bed bug detector cups at the bottom of each foot of your bed and head out for a meal or a day of fun. Before you crash, check the cups for signs that you’re not alone.

Store Your Luggage in the Garage

Once you return home from your trip, you’ll want to leave your luggage in the garage or an outbuilding to prevent any possible bed bugs you’ve picked up from entering the home. If your garage is attached to your house and heated, consider putting it in a garbage bag for a couple weeks. Wash all of your clothes in the washing machine with hot water to kill any critters that latched onto your garments. Thoroughly vacuuming the suitcase can also remove any bed bugs or eggs that are present. Empty the vacuum cleaner into a sealed plastic bag to prevent the bugs from finding their way into the building.

Avoid Placing Your Suitcase on the Floor

Once you arrive at the hotel, make it a point to place your suitcase on the rack that is available in a well-lit area away from the bed. Closets in hotels were designed to be bug-safe locations for your clothing. Bed bugs are prone to crawling on the floor and can have easy access to your suitcase if it’s not on a luggage rack. Placing it in the bathroom and leaving the light on during your stay can also prevent them from finding their way into your belongings.

Knowing how bed bugs transfer and what to look for at hotels will allow you to protect yourself while traveling. Following these guidelines will reduce your risk of infestation and give you peace of mind while away from home.

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