Bed Bugs in Your Hotel Room: Part-1

You and your family have planned all year for some fun in the sun or a mountain getaway! However, waking up with bed bug bites or rash like symptoms on your body is probably not what you signed up for. Bed bugs will absolutely flourish in settings with a high guest turn-over rate. It does not matter if your stay is at a roadside motel, a quaint hideaway bed-and-breakfast or a luxurious five star resort. If you are not pro-active in your trip planning, then your stay away may become a memory that you would just as soon forget. If you have any concerns about finding bed bugs in your hotel room, then you should find the guidelines below beneficial in keeping your next vacation or business trip, bed bug free!

Before booking your hotel room:

Before booking your trip with your agent or reserving your accommodations on your own, you can check with bedbugregistry.com online to assist you with your preparations. It is a wonderful site to easily research and educate one-self on any bed bug activity that may have been reported at your hotel or resort of choice.Remember that cleanliness of the room is not a issue with this pest as it does not care where it gets its meal. This pest is a super hitch-hiker and can make its way into a high-end luxury resort just as easily as a roadside hotel and simply does not discriminate between the two. Please see “Home Bed Bug Prevention Part 1“, for more on how this parasite gets around.

You may want to take a peek at any user reviews of said hotel and its location, especially in the southern climates. This can be easily accomplished by typing into Google search the “name of the hotel/motel + bed bugs” to get more information on said establishment. A couple of other sites that you may wish to view concerning bed bugs in your hotel room are tripadvisor.com as well as bedbugreports.com Often enough, guests that have had issues with this parasite will report the event online. Any events reported may or may not have already been dealt with and it may be a good idea to communicate with someone from the management team directly before hitting the road.

Packing your Luggage and Protecting your Laundry:

Inspect and disinfect your luggage before leaving your home. A bed bug can survive for a great deal of time between meals and it is always a good idea to ensure that you haven’t picked up any unwanted pests in your luggage items from previous trips. Please view “Bed Bug Biology and Life Cycle”  for more on this subject.

Pack a bed bug travel kit! You can create your own traveling inspection kit quite easily from just a few basic household items. It will be a effective, yet very simple tool used to inspect your hotel room before settling in for the night. You can view “Home Bed Bug Inspection Part 1” in the “Helpful Tools that you will need” section for more on this subject.

  • Line your luggage items with a bed bug sealed luggage liner. This liner has many wonderful uses and will serve you well as a good deterrent against this pest from setting up home in your wardrobe while traveling. Remember that this pest travels well and could easily enter your luggage from the trunk of a taxi-cab or in the baggage holding area, if traveling by train or bus. If you are flying, then your luggage will undoubtedly come in contact with other travelers belongings that may be harboring this parasite. Airport baggage holding facility’s and cargo holds serve as gateways for this pest to move around freely and your luggage liner will keep them out of your clothing articles. After checking in, your luggage liner can also be utilized to line the drawers of the dresser in your hotel room.
  • Pack bed bug dis-solvable laundry bags. This is a very inexpensive, safe and easy to use item to keep soiled laundry items from having direct contact with hotel room floors. Also, if any bed bugs have gotten into your clothing articles, then these laundry bags will keep them from spreading throughout your home at the return of your trip. Simply drop the entire bag and its contents into your washing machine and wash at the highest temperature possible for at least half an hour before doing the same on the dry cycle.
  • Use bed bug proof fabric laundry bags. This top quality laundry bag has a life-time warranty and is a reusable solution to keeping these critters out of your laundry while traveling. This laundry bag has been entomologist tested and is machine washable. Any bed bugs that may have gotten into your laundry prior to bagging them will remain within the reinforced laundry bag until time to wash and dry them. This will keep this pest from spreading and/or multiplying in other areas of your home on return from your trip.

Remember, that Hotels and College Dormitories are among some of the more frequently troubled settings in which bed bugs reside and flourish. This is due in part to the close quarters typically associated with them, high occupancy and guest turn-over as well as the sheer volume of people simply coming and going into these establishments. You can view more on this subject at “Prevent Bed Bugs in my Dormitory“.

In Bed Bugs in your Hotel Room Part 2, I will provide you with more helpful tips when checking into your hotel room and what to do before unpacking your suitcase and climbing under the covers.  I will also cover in detail on what to look for while you are inspecting your room, how to perform the hotel room examination and what steps you can take should you find any bed bug activity during this process.  

Bed Bugs in Your Hotel Room: Part-2

In Bed Bugs in your Hotel Room Part 1, you packed your luggage items with great care to prevent bed bugs from joining you while enroute to your favorite destination. You may have also researched your hotel of choice online with bedbugregistry.com for any history of bed bug activity where you will be staying. Bed bugs are notorious hitch-hikers and can be picked up in your baggage from a variety of places such as luggage storage rooms in airports, the overhead of the plane itself or the trunk of a taxi-cab. Please visit Bed Bug Prevention Part 1 for more on bed bug awareness and how this pest gets around. In Part 1 of this post, I provided you with additional ideas on some very useful tools that you can pack along and protect your luggage with to discourage any unwanted visitors from joining you during your travels. These items are a great deterrent in keeping your luggage free of bed bugs. There are a few more things that can be easily accomplished prior to and after checking into your hotel room and it is my hope that the following guidelines will assist you in keeping your vacation, bed bug free!

Hotel Room Bed Bug Inspection Guidelines:

You are looking for and hopefully not find, black excrement spots/stains about the size of a small apple seed or smaller. In the event of an infestation, you may also discover some cast skins left behind while it is undergoing one of its many molting phases. The cast skins will appear from an opaque off-white to very light tan in color. If you locate any live specimens, then obtain a sample to report to a member of the hotel management team. You can do this with a piece of scotch tape. Just stick it to the evidence sample and fold in half.

  • Pull back each and every corner of all sheets from the mattress and use your flashlight from your bed bug travel kit to carefully inspect between/under/behind all of the seams of the mattress. This is especially important at the head of the mattress. Also, include the four corners on the bottom side of the mattress into your hotel room inspection.
  • Inspect behind the head board very carefully for any blood smears or stains. You will want to check between the cracks/crevices of the frame and headboard where they join together if possible. This parasite is quite small and flat in its body characteristics (please see Bed Bug Biology and Life Cycle for more details) and are often found on the bottom side of the headboard.
  • Inspect any bed-side furniture items, the dressers and all of its drawers. Pull the drawers out and inspect behind them and in the rail/slide parts of the dresser.
  • Any wall areas beside/behind the bed and/or nightstand will need looking at carefully for fecal matter. Especially, if the walls have overlapping wall paper that the seams have become loosened where the paper joins together.
  • Any periodicals or other paper literature to include the often undisturbed telephone book in the bottom drawer of the nightstand, can and will harbor bed bugs. You can thumb through any of these materials fairly quickly while searching for bed bug activity.
  • Check behind any wall hangings in your hotel room and especially near the head of the bed.
  • Inspect all bedside alarm clocks or other electrical gadgetry. Many of these devices are attached to the dresser or nightstand semi-permanently these days and will need a closer look. You can use your flashlight to look between the bottom edges of the alarm clock or TV and once again, you will looking primarily for any fecal matter or blood stains near the device. Electrical components and its outlets provide some of the warmth and quiet shelter that bed bugs seek.

If any suspect bed bug activity is found during your inspection, then alert a member of the hotel management team and take it from there. Be as thorough with your findings as you were with your inspection of the hotel room!

If you decide to stay and re-locate to another room, then it is advisable to stay away from adjacent rooms on either side as well as immediately above and below the infected room whenever possible. Many times this pest will have entered the room via other guests and are isolated to the one room. However, they can and will migrate to adjoining rooms when flushed out and/or carried out.If you are bitten or have any rash like symptoms, then alert your hotel management team and document everything!

You can view How to Treat Bed Bug Bites in the “signs and symptoms” and “home remedies”section of this site for more on this. If you are still checked in when any symptoms of bed bug bites or rash occur, then collect a specimen if at all possible to show to management.  Having a dead or alive specimen in hand is assuredly worth its weight in gold when stating your case to the hotel management!

Unfortunately, some will have more adverse reactions to a bed bug bite than others. Some people will have very little reaction to a bite and it may not occur for days, if at all. And others may have an adverse allergic reaction and may require some form of medical attention. The symptoms simply vary from person to person and this will sometimes make it very difficult to always pin down exactly where you may have been bitten and even what may have caused the bite or rash to begin with.  A couple of good sites to view on this subject are www.medical-answers.org and www.righthealth.com.  Just type in “bed bug bites” into their search bar and take it from there.

Before checking out of your hotel room, please remember to inspect and pack your luggage items with the same care as you did before going on holiday.  Please see Bed Bugs in your Hotel Room Part 1 for more on this.  Also, any of your Bed Bug Laundry Bags or Bed Bug Sealed Luggage Liners will need to be secured to keep any unwanted pests from hitch-hiking home with you.  You can view for more helpful tips on this subject in At Home Bed Bug Prevention Part 2.