Many of us have a story or two about a vacation taking a wrong turn, but stories involving bed bugs typically tend to be brief and terrible. Although almost microscopic in size, bed bugs have the power to turn your dream vacation into a nightmare that you can’t wait to escape from.
Before we get into the steps you should take if you run into any bed bugs, let’s first take a moment to see what bed bugs are exactly and why we should steer clear of them.
Although the name ‘bed bug’ implies that you can typically find them in a bed, bed bugs can actually be found in just about any nook and cranny and can survive there for months. Aside from latching on to you, bed bugs can infest your suitcase, clothes, and any other belongings you may have brought with you.
Cimicosis or bed bug bites mostly manifest on the skin with symptoms such as:
- allergic reactions,
- skin rashes, and/or
- psychological effects.
Some people have no visible symptoms, while some may develop serious blisters which may become infected. Additionally, bed bugs have been established as pathogen carrying vectors which means they can and could transmit certain diseases from their bites.
Now that we know what bed bugs are and the threat they pose, let’s take a look into what your plan of action should be in the unfortunate case that you encounter them.
1. Locate the bed bugs
If you suspect that you might have a case of bed bug infestations on your hands, your first step should, of course, be to find where they are. The first place you should check is the bed. Examine it thoroughly, and look for any small blood stains, small, dark droppings or insect skins.
Next, check your clothes and other belongings. If you have found evidence of the bugs’ presence, it’s time for step number two.
2. Take pictures
Having clear evidence is crucial in order to prove bed bug presence. As such, take multiple photographs and video of each bed bug you find. You should let the owner or manager of the place you’re staying in know that they are having an issue of this sort. Try to take “action” shots and shoot them anywhere you find them, as well as any evidence you find of blood stains, fecal matter, shell casings and nests. Also, be sure to take pictures of any symptoms you may have developed since your arrival. Additionally, if someone at the property goes to the room to conduct an inspection, film the inspection as it occurs.
Having good evidence will drastically improve your chances of getting compensation or a refund. Keep in mind that if you do not have any photographic proof of infestation you may be denied the opportunity to recover any compensation, so remember to take photographs of any bed bug evidence you find.
3. Notify your host and report the issue
Approach your host diplomatically, present them with all the evidence you have gathered and describe your experience and any problems you may have encountered because of the bed bugs. Request the full name of the person you report the infestation to and the name of any other individual at the property you encounter while dealing with the situation.
If the property representative denies your allegations or becomes combative, you should consider alerting department officials, such as the department of health about the dangerous condition you encountered.
To sum up, remember to always check your hotel for these problems when you travel, as you can save yourself a lot of stress. If you encounter an issue, make sure you document it thoroughly and obtain as much evidence as possible. We hope this article helps prepare you in case you encounter bed bugs during your travels.