When you check into your hotel, you may have unwelcome guests already checked into your hotel room, anxiously awaiting your arrival. Unsuspecting hotel guests often carry bed bugs home with them in luggage or other personal possessions. The end result is a bed bug infestation in your home or apartment due to the negligence of hotel owners to protect guests from bed bugs.
You can significantly lower your risk of suffering bed bug bites and infestations by inspecting your hotel room before you unpack and settle in. Discover tips that potentially save you from the devastation of carrying bed bugs home from your hotel.
Bed bugs do not discriminate
It makes no difference if you stay at a budget-friendly hotel or an upscale hotel with all the amenities. Your hotel could still have a bed bug infestation. Jennifer Polland points out in Business Insider that even luxury hotels are at risk for having bed bugs. To lower your risk of suffering bed bug bites and becoming a victim of bed bugs traveling home with you, you must thoroughly inspect your hotel for bed bugs.
Never assume that the hotel could not possibly have bed bugs. That assumption could easily result in bed bugs hitchhiking a ride with you when you leave the hotel.
Before you start the inspection
As soon as you arrive, resist the urge to sit your luggage to the side or to immediately unpack. Instead, place all your luggage in the bathtub, suggests several sources, including Gwen Pearson writing for Wired. The bathtub offers the least likely place for bed bugs to hide. Leave all luggage and personal belongings in the tub until you complete your inspection.
Although some sources claim that it is okay to place your luggage and personal belongings on the luggage rack while conducting your hotel room inspection, the University of Minnesota advises against using the luggage rack or valet, calling these areas, “Often overlooked” in bed bug inspections.
Begin your inspection
Always use a flashlight to inspect a hotel room. A keychain style flashlight or the flashlight on your phone works fine if you do not have a larger one with you. However, you really should consider bringing a flashlight with you whenever you stay in a hotel.
Start at the bed area. Remove pillows and all linens from the bed. Do not get on or lean on any area of the bed while conducting your inspection. Begin at the corners because the corners offer an ideal hiding place for bed bugs. Inspect all corners, seams and the entire surface of the mattress and box springs.
Even if you do not see the actual bed bugs, blood spots, dark brown or black spots on the mattress or box springs are tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation.
Search the headboard and frame for signs of bedbugs. Make sure you check the space between the headboard and the wall, even if the headboard is fastened to the wall.
Carefully inspect all furniture in the room. When checking upholstered furniture check all seams in the same manner as you inspected seams of the mattress and box springs. Next, inspect all places where furniture parts connect, such as around the legs and backs of chairs.
Proceed to wood furniture next. People likely do not consider the fact that bed bugs can easily hide inside dresser drawers and nightstands. Remove every drawer in your hotel room. Inspect all joints, cracks and crevices of each drawer. Shine the flashlight inside the wood furniture and inspect the inside and back of each piece before replacing drawers.
You are not finished yet
Conducting a thorough inspection of your hotel room involves more than checking the bed and furniture. Bed bugs hide in unlikely places while awaiting their next blood meal victim. Using your flashlight, carefully check behind any pictures or other décor on the walls. Shine the flashlight along baseboards and outlet covers. Check on and around draperies and window frames and sills.
University of Minnesota suggests bringing a plastic bag that you can seal along when staying in a hotel because, “Bed bugs can smell the chemical that we leave behind on our clothing and are attracted to this smell.” Even if you do not find bed bugs during your inspection, it does not mean the hotel does not have them. Bed bugs have the capability to travel from one room to another, which means you could still carry them home if you leave dirty laundry or luggage in a chair or on the floor.
When you take the time and effort to thoroughly inspect your hotel room, you significantly reduce your risk of suffering the after-effects of a bed bug infestation.
If you do think you are a victim of a bed bug infestation, call a bed bug lawyer now to discuss your bed bug case.