At the peak of travel season every year, travelers are inundated with horror stories and tales of bed bug infestations in hotel rooms—from the most inexpensive motel rooms to the most luxury five-star resorts. So it’s no surprise that traveling can come with some hesitancy.

The key when traveling and avoiding bed bugs is to know what bed bugs are, how you can avoid them when traveling and how you can keep them from coming home with you after a stay.

Bed Bugs by the Numbers

  • The top 7 cities with the most bed bugs are:
    • New York City
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Detroit, Michigan
    • Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Denver, Colorado
    • Columbus, Ohio
  • One bed bug can produce hundreds of offspring
  • It takes a bed bug 3-5 minutes to feed
  • Bed bugs can live for one year without feeding
  • One in five people have encountered bed bugs

Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

While there is no way to ensure that there are no bed bugs in your hotel before your stay, there are a few ways to check for signs of bed bugs upon your arrival.

Step One: When you arrive to your hotel room, do not immediately unpack. Instead, place your luggage on a luggage rack or in the bathtub while you inspect the room.

Step Two: Pull the blanket and linens from the bed and inspect the mattress. Look for small rust-colored spots, specifically in the corners and folds of the mattress.

Step Three: Examine the creases and corners of the curtains for rust-colored spots as well. These spots note areas where bed bugs may have either been squashed or areas where they have left blood droplets behind.

Step Four: Check the creases, cushions and folds of any upholstered furniture. Remember that any surface contains fabric could be a home to bed bugs.

If you spot bed bugs in your hotel room, collect your luggage and leave immediately. Alert the front desk staff.

Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Home

When you return home from your vacation, there are also a few steps you can take to avoid bed bugs from getting into your home.

Step One: Unload your luggage from your car into your garage or carport. If at all possible, avoid moving your luggage into your home until it has been cleaned.

Step Two: Immediately move your clothes into the laundry. The hot water will kill any bed bugs that may be present.

Step Three: Once your luggage is empty, vacuum it inside and out. This will ensure any residual bed bugs are collected.

It’s important to always look for signs of bed bugs for a few weeks after you return home. Checking for signs of bed bugs in your home is a similar process as checking for bed bugs in a hotel. However, you will have a broader canvas to cover. It’s important to check:

  • Seams of chairs and couches
  • In drawer joints
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances
  • Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings
  • At the junction where the wall and ceiling meet

Bed bugs are only the width of a credit card, so it’s important to be as thorough as possible when searching for signs of bed bugs.

If you spot bed bugs in your home, contact a professional immediately. At Dodson Pest Control, our team is trained in the detection and extermination of bed bugs. If you are unsure if you have  bed bugs in your home, our free inspection can put your mind at ease.