Avoid Bed Bugs When you Travel
come home from a trip you want to make sure that all you
bring back are memories, a few photos and maybe some
souvenirs in your suitcase. The last thing you want to
bring home are hitchhikers like bedbugs.
Unfortunately for much of the traveling population this
has become a concern. What used to be thought of as a
condition found in third world countries and seedy
hotels is now fairly common in the United States.
As the world’s population has become more mobile, so do
our pests. A bedbug from one location can hitch a ride
in a suitcase half way across the state or half way
across the world and find its way to a posh New York
So what’s a traveler to do?
I have come up with some tips and tricks that I have
used to help me avoid and keep my home free from bedbugs despite my
travels to both the high and low places.
If you have rented a car and have room in the back seat
for your luggage stow it there. The little buggers like
to travel in suitcases. If the prior customer was
bringing home a bed bug or twenty, chances are one might
have hopped off in the trunk. Your chances of
contamination are greater in the trunk than they are in
the back seat.
Upon checking in to your room, take your bags to the
bathroom and sit them in the tub. Your bags will be safe
and bedbug free while you conduct a quick inspection of
your bed. Pull back the sheets. If there is a mattress
pad or cover, are there specks of brown or red? If the
mattress is exposed, does it show brown or red specks?
These are signs where bed bugs have been feeding. If you
see anything, get your bags and go back to the front
desk and ask for another room. Be polite but be firm!
If the bed checks clear, put the covers back (you won’t
need turn down service tonight!) and fetch your bags
from the bathroom. We always bring our own
bedbug covers to put on the
pillows. If there is room on the bathroom
counter, keep your bags there. If there is not room,
place them on a table or use the baggage stand that most
hotels provide while you unpack. If you plan on placing
any of your clothing in the furniture, be sure to
inspect it first for signs of bugs. In no circumstances
should you place your bags on the bed or on the floor.
These are the most common places to find bed bugs. When
you wake up in the morning, if you have any signs of
bites, whelps, or itching, check the sheets. If you see
brown or red spots, get dressed and get down to the
front desk to request a refund and a room change.
When you arrive home, do not bring your bags into your
house. If possible, unpack your suitcase in your garage
and leave the bag there for several days. If you do not
have a garage, unpack in your bathroom or kitchen. Wash
your clothing right away before it goes in your bedroom.
While there is no guarantee that you won’t ever bring a
bedbug home. These steps will decrease your chances of
Wishing you the best of