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Checking For Bed Bugs When You Travel

family arriving at a hotel

There’s nothing quite like getting away for a fabulous vacation. You get away from day-to-day responsibilities, see what other locales have to offer and enjoy new experiences. However, one downfall of traveling is that you don’t always know what you’re in for. For example, a hotel might look gorgeous in pictures and when you first walk in, but do a little searching and you might be surprised at what you find: creepy crawlies in the form of bed bugs. Gross! Before you book your next vacation, read the following tips for how to do a hotel room inspection for bed bugs before you settle down in bed for the night.

The absolute first thing you should do is check the mattress. As nice and inviting as that mattress with fresh sheets might look, you’re going to have to take off those sheets. Look under and on the mattress especially along the bends, seams, crevices, folds, and tags. While you’re at it, check the pillows, sheets, and dust ruffle.

Box Spring
Checking the mattress isn’t enough; you have to check the box spring as well, even if it means you have to lift it up a bit to look underneath. Don’t forget to inspect the frame. As with the mattress, you’ll want to check out all the little folds, seams, nooks, and crannies. Bed bugs are incredibly small so they can fit practically anywhere.

Wait, the headboard, too? Absolutely, even if it’s not upholstered. Look along and behind the headboard from the top of it to the bottom and even along the sides. Even though the headboard is probably attached to the wall, you can use a bright flashlight to check in between the headboard and the wall and where it connects to the frame.

Couches and Chairs
Unfortunately, bed bugs can make their way over to any seating that’s upholstered, especially if the infestation has gotten pretty bad. Check along the seams, in between the cushion and the back of the chair, along with any crevices, and even underneath. You should even check upholstered kitchen chairs if they’re part of your hotel suite.

The Floor
Check out the carpeting where it meets the wall, especially that which is near the bed. You’ll also want to inspect the molding along the floor and doors which are – once again – where a flashlight can come in handy.

What to Look For
So what exactly are you looking for? Well, first of all, you’ll be looking for the bedbugs themselves, but there’s more to search for than that. Another sign is small reddish colored blood stains, not just on the mattress or upholstered seating, but also on the sheets. Lastly, you should check for the skins left behind from nymphs as well as small, dark marks of excrement.

When you walk in the hotel room, don’t put your bags near or on any soft surface until you have a chance to check everything out. Should you notice any signs of bed bugs, inform management immediately, pack your bags, and consider making a reservation elsewhere.