Don't bring bed bugs home from vacation
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Bed bugs don’t discriminate, making homes in one-star and even five-star hotels. And if those bloodsuckers get into your luggage, they’ll even come home with you and move in. But there are some simple things you can do to keep the critters away during your next hotel stay.
Consumer reviews on sites like TripAdvisor have some real horror stories. You can find headlines that warn about bed bugs at many hotels around the globe.
That’s why it’s important to take some simple steps when you check-in to help avoid any bed bug hassles and expenses when you check out.
It might sound extreme, but to be safe, put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter the hotel room.
“Bed bugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture, even inside walls, so the bathroom is usually a the safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters,” said Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports.
Check the sheets, mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs. Look for dark, rust colored spots and exoskeletons, the casings the bugs leave behind. Don’t forget to look at the head of the bed and in, around and behind the headboard too.
Be sure to lift and check under the mattress. It's important to take action if you do find anything suspicious.
“If you find any signs of bed bugs alert the manager immediately and ask for a new room in a different part of the hotel. Infestations can spread from wall to wall,” explained DiClerico.
Even if your room is clear it's a good idea to keep your luggage and clothes off the floor on a hard surface or luggage rack, clear of any potential bed bug zones.
If you're concerned about hitchhikers coming home with you, you can avoid bringing them into your house by throwing all of your clothes into a hot dryer for 30 minutes. And store empty luggage in your basement, garage or a hot attic.