Bed bugs are notoriously illusive little guys. In fact, most people who have a bed bug infestation in their homes never actually see the bugs themselves, rather they see evidence that the bugs have been there. And unfortunately, even in the nicest hotels, many bed bug infestations go unnoticed. With so many people coming and going, hotels tend to be a hotspot for bed bugs. To prevent bringing home unwanted guests, we recommend you always check your hotel room for bed bugs before you snuggle in for the night. Here are a few tips.
Step 1: Protect your belongings and prepare for the inspection.
First things first: don’t unpack anything until after you check your hotel room for bed bugs. Instead, just put your luggage on the luggage rack (usually in the closet) or inside the bathtub. Be sure to keep everything off of the floor until you’re finished with the inspection.
Next, there are a few “tools” you’ll need to be able to thoroughly inspect the room. Make sure you have some kind of flashlight – the flashlight on your phone should work. You’ll also need a credit card or something similar. You’ll use these to check in tight, dark areas where bed bugs like to hide.
Lastly, quickly read through this blog about signs of bed bugs so you know what you’re looking for. You’ll be keeping an eye out for copper-colored stains (excrement or blood spots), sticky, translucent eggs, or the bed bugs themselves, which are about 4mm long and usually dark brown or black.
Step 2: The Inspection.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t just live on the bed, so you’re going to inspect a few other places in the room as well. Keep your flashlight and credit card handy so you can inspect each of the following places:
Take all of the blankets and linens off of the bed. Lay the sheets out flat or as flat as possible. Inspect each sheet with your flashlight, paying particular attention to corners and folds.
Corners of the Mattress
Next, with your flashlight and credit card, you’re going to closely examine the folds and seams in the corner of the mattress. Use your credit card to get underneath the folds and creases in all four corners. Bed bugs often lay eggs in the creases around the bed’s corners. (Remember, they look like very small, clear or translucent beads.)
Mattress Seams and Folds
Just like you checked each corner with your flashlight and credit card, do the same in the seams along the perimeter of the bed. Anywhere there’s a crevice, check it!
Under the Mattress
While all of the linens are off of the bed, lift up the mattress itself to look beneath it. Bed bugs love to hide in dark, cramped spaces, especially during the day. Use your flashlight to look for any stains on the underside of the mattress.
Top of the Mattress
Now that you’ve checked in some of the most likely places you’d find bed bugs, work your way along the top of the mattress. Check closely for any of the signs we mentioned: eggs, bugs, or stains.
Headboard and Nightstand
Bed bugs will hide anywhere they think they’ll be able to get a meal, so check in other parts of the room as well. Use your flashlight to carefully inspect the grooves and any crevices in the headboard. Look behind and under the bed and nightstand.
In the same way you used your flashlight and credit card to check in crevices of the bed, check in folds and crevices of any upholstered furniture in the room.
Finally, the last place you’ll check is inside the curtains. Smooth out any wrinkles in the curtains to be able to inspect either side of the curtains.
Step 3: Enjoy your vacation!
If you followed each step and saw no signs of bed bugs, it is very unlikely that you will be entertaining any uninvited guests on your vacation. We know it might be a pain to inspect your hotel room this thoroughly, but trust us, bed bugs are a lot more annoying than this! They can reproduce extremely quickly, so if you accidentally bring them home with you, you’ll have even more to deal with than a hotel room inspection.
Worried You Have Bed Bugs?
In the case you think you may have brought bed bugs home, check out this blog, and give us a call right away! If you think the steps above were thorough, you should see how we handle a bed bug infestation! We know a pest infestation of any kind can be a major stressor for homeowners. Let us help make sure you can relax even when you come home from your vacation.