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Protecting yourself from bedbugs when you travel

If you are like most people, you travel at least a few times per year. During your travels, you sleep in a different bed, sit on a different chair and wash up in a different bathroom.  You really trust that the hotel is keeping things clean and free of pests.  Not only do you not want to get bit, the last thing you want is to take these bugs home with you.  To help avoid bedbugs, follow our helpful hints!

  1. Google the hotel name along with the word “bed bug”.  If you find a lot of recent reviews that complain of bedbugs, you might wish to book your trip somewhere else.  Most hotels do struggle with bedbugs, so a few reviews that are spaced further apart are pretty normal.
  2. Ask the hotel about their policy regarding bedbugs. They should be willing to share with you how they prevent and treat bedbugs.  Most hotels will respond pretty quickly to any complaint so that a few bedbugs do not turn into an infestation.
  3. Although it’s tempting to bring your own pillow or blanket, it’s best not to do this. Bedbugs can easily travel from the hotel bed into your own pillow and you can take it straight home with you.
  4. As you enter the room, put your luggage in the bathroom and do a thorough “bug search”. This includes pulling down the bedspreads, checking in the crevices in the mattress and lifting up the mattress. You can either see the bugs or telltale signs that a bug is nearby.  Telltale signs include small black dots on the mattress.
  5. Check the rest of the room. Pick up the telephone, move the furniture, pull up the couch cushions and look in the corners of the closet.  Although bedbugs are usually found near the bed, they can also be found around the room.
  6. Keep your clothes in the suitcase on the suitcase stand and do not put them in the drawers, closets or on the bed.
  7. You can keep your suitcase in a big plastic bag or plastic zip-up bag. Bedbugs can’t get through the plastic so your clothes should remain bedbug-free!
  8. If you think you’ve seen signs of bedbugs, call the front desk immediately and ask to be moved far away from the existing room.

If you do find you’ve gotten some bedbugs in your luggage or any other belongings, isolate that piece of property pretty quickly so it doesn’t come into the house.  Clothing should be washed in hot water and dried in the dryer at a high heat setting.  Spray your luggage with bug spray and vacuum well.

15 Jan

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