Bed Bugs In Hotels: What You Need to Know
As the New England region continues to battle the cold winter months, many find that dreaming of their next get away to a warm place is helpful. If you have made reservations for a little beach side hotel room, make sure you do your research on pests before leaving. With the spread of bed bugs continuing to infest hotels across the country, travelers must be alert and ready to inspect every room they stay in while on vacation. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid these creepy crawling bugs from hopping a ride back on the plane with you to your home, it just takes a little extra preparedness. Read on to discover how you can make sure that your hotel room is clear of any unwanted guests.
Before leaving for your trip, look up your hotel on review sites and see if there are any past reviews regarding bed bug infestations. Not that this should be your deciding factor because even a five star hotel could have an infestation, but it’s good to do some preliminary research. Any hotel with a previous infestation is more than likely to have had it professionally exterminated and then treated to prevent future problems. But it doesn’t hurt to call your hotel and just check that they are in fact protected against pest invaders.
Once you have arrived at your destination, you want to do a very detailed inspection of your hotel room before you unpack your belongings. Keep your suitcases outside of the room as you are inspecting because if there is a bed bug infestation they will easily hop into your bags. As you are inspecting the room there are key signs that bed bugs leave behind which include:
Any small, dark spots on the mattress which would be the fecal matter after they have fed on human blood.
Light brown colored skins that they molt as they grow into adults.
Any live bugs themselves which vary in size but are about the size of an apple seed as adults.
Of course the mattress is a great starting place to inspect as this is where we commonly site bed bugs. To thoroughly check the bed, pull the sheets off and pay close attention to the tags of the mattress and the seams. But even if the mattress shows no signs of an infestation, this does not mean you are in the clear. Hotel rooms are full of hiding places for bed bugs. Some other places you will want to inspect are:
Television or entertainment stands
In picture or art frames
Any small cracks or dark places are a possible hiding spot for a bed bug. A flashlight is a good tool to help you see into the darker spots that will be hard to see with the naked eye. If your room appears to be in the clear, then you may bring in your luggage but just to be safe, you should keep it up off of the floor on a luggage stand which is usually provided in hotel rooms.
If you do have the unfortunate experience of spotting any signs of an infestation in your hotel room, contact the hotel staff immediately so they can have the space quarantined and the professionals come to exterminate. Just remember that even if you did spot a bed bug in one room does not mean that any other rooms are infested. That bad news is that if you do have to get a new room you will have to start at the beginning with your inspection.
This all may sound scary and make you think twice about your next vacation but that is not necessary. Bed bugs do not have to be a problem for you and your family on your next winter get away. As long as you pay close attention to all of the tips for preventing bed bugs, you will be able to enjoy your vacation without the worry of anything coming out to bite in the middle of the night.