How To Avoid Bed Bugs When you Travel

When you 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 City hotel.

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 an invasion.

Wishing you the best of health


Cheryl Krause


800 771-ACHOO (2246)

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