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How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Hotel in 2023

Checking your hotel room for bed bugs in a timely manner can mean the difference between a great vacation and falling victim to a stubborn bed bug infestation. Make sure you follow these 6 steps to thoroughly sweep your hotel room before you accidentally spend the night with an uninvited guest. 

This process can be broken down into 6 steps: 

Step 1 –  Inspect The Sheets

Pull out the blanket and inspect the sheets, pillow, and comforter. The #1 place to begin your bed bug search is to check the bedding. There’s a reason these insects have the word “bed” in their name. 

Start with the covers, including inside the duvet and pillowcases. Look for any small spots or suspicious stains that could be indicators of bed bug feces. 

Pay attention to smells as well. Bed bugs in large numbers will cause a musty odor if a severe, long-standing infestation is present. 

Bed bugs like to live in beds because they offer a warm hiding spot with a close proximity to a food source at night. 

Step 2 – Look at the Mattress

Next, you will want to check the mattress itself. Sometimes bed bugs will not be present on the sheets or blankets, but will instead be hiding underneath.

You should specifically examine the corners of the mattress, rather than focusing on the center. Make sure to check under the mattress and inspect the box spring. This is where you are most likely to find bed bugs congregating as a group. 

You may also find bed bug eggs or nymphs here. Nymphs are young bed bugs that are smaller in size and pale in comparison to their adult counterparts.

Step 3 – Go Through the Bed Frame

The next likely spot to find signs of an infestation is in the bed frame and headboard. Stealthy bugs may not be able to get away with living directly on the mattress but are more difficult to detect in the frame. 

You will want to look in the corners of the frame and in the cracks between fitted pieces. 

Step 4 –  Check Other Furniture

In addition to the bed frame, other furniture in the room is not exempt from bed bug inspection. Just like on the bed, these insects can sneak into the creases between cushions and the frame parts of furniture. 

Your most likely suspects are furniture that is covered in fabric where it’s harder to detect bugs living there. However, you should still check non-fabric furniture pieces like tables and shelving. 

For shelving in particular…

You should look between the shelf and the wall. Sometimes bed bugs will conceal themselves in hard-to-reach areas where regular cleaning may not take place.

Step 5 – Check The Floors

Many hotel rooms have plush carpet flooring in the living space. Bed bugs can take advantage of this and live concealed in the carpet itself. 

Just like with furniture frames and cabinetry, you can use a flashlight to get a good look at the surface and what’s just underneath to see if any bugs are crawling around. 

Step 6 – Go Through Other Surfaces

Lastly, look inside electrical outlets, along baseboards, around curtains, or any additional dark corners of the room for signs of these pests.

How Do You Know If There Are Bed Bugs in a Hotel?

If there is a severe bed bug infestation in your hotel room, it’s critical that you discover this before you spend the night. 

Common bed bug signs include any of the following: 

  • Live adult bed bugs
  • Bed bug eggs
  • Nymphs (baby bed bugs)
  • Bed bug droppings
  • Blood stains on the sheets

A strange smell may also be an indicator, or the presence of dead bugs. 

If you’re staying in a hotel room and you haven’t yet undergone an inspection (something of which we are all guilty), and you unfortunately wake up with multiple bites and skin irritation, you are not completely out of luck. 

A bed bug injury lawyer may be able to assist you in the recovery of financial compensation from damages you experienced while staying in a hotel room with bed bugs. 

How Likely Is It to Get Bed Bugs From a Hotel?

A hotel is one of the more common places where you can contract bed bugs. Bed bugs travel from place to place by latching onto your belongings, and ‘hitchhiking’ within your clothes, luggage, or handbag. 

The good news is that the hotel industry is required to conform to certain standards and regulations for the condition of the rooms that they offer, and the absence of harmful pests is more often than not, one of those standards. 

Many hotels must follow these rules and train staff accordingly to spot an infestation. 

In addition, these hotels may also need to train the cleaning staff in bed bug prevention, and ensure that hotel guests are safe during their stay. 

In other words, there is no need to completely avoid staying in hotels, but it’s best practice to be aware and take the few minutes needed to undergo a proper inspection.

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