How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs when Traveling

When planning a trip for business or leisure, the last thing you need to worry about is finding bed bugs when you stay at a hotel or other type of accommodations. Bed bugs are commonly found in the bedding and furniture of homes, lodging establishments, and medical facilities.

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal parasites that bite humans and feed off of their blood. The bites resemble small red bumps that typically itch; yet, disappear in time. Bed bugs are easily and unknowingly transported from hotels to homes by crawling in suitcases and other items like stuffed animals and garments. Therefore, it is essential to guard against bed bugs when traveling.

The following are some helpful tips to keep you bug-free when you take to the road. 

Read lodging reviews before booking.

Before making a reservation for overnight accommodations, visit online review sites to see how other patrons felt about their experience. Look for well-written reviews with detail and information relevant to the specific location where you plan to stay. The feedback in the reviews can give you a heads up about a pest problem the property may have.

Check the rooms for bed bugs.

Before unpacking or taking a nap after a long trip, check the room for signs of a bed bug infestation. The reddish-brown insects are thin and oval in shape. They can be one to seven millimeters (less than a quarter of an inch) in size.

Start by checking the headboards for small black spots that looks like mildew or live bugs. Pull back the sheets from the bed and inspect the mattress seams and crevices for specs of blood, feces, or live bed bugs. Also check any upholstered furniture in the room for signs of the insects. 

If you find anything that you think may indicate bed bugs, notify the hotel's management team immediately. Then, request a different room at least two floors above or below since bed bugs can travel from room to room. Be sure to thoroughly check the new room for bed bugs, as well. It's not worth bringing these pests home with you and having to spend thousands in exterminator fees to get rid of them. 

Of course, you may want to leave the hotel altogether and find a different lodging establishment for your stay.

Always keep luggage off the floor.

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and will find a way to get a meal. One of the best ways to keep your luggage free of bed bugs is to keep your suitcase off the floor. Place your suitcase on a luggage rack or a desk before opening it. Never put it on the spare bed because this would be the easiest way for bed bugs to find their way into your luggage. 

Things to do when you return from your trip.

When you come back after your trip, wash all your clothing – even the clothes that you didn't wear. Use the hottest settings possible on your washing machine and dryer to ensure that all bed bugs are dead. Vacuum out your suitcase and use a heavy duty steam cleaner to clean off your luggage inside and out. This should kill any visible bed bugs and any bedbug eggs. 

This article on how to protect yourself from bed bugs was written by Robert Webster, a bed bug expert and publisher of

Related Information - Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs 
Bed Bugs: A Primer  
Establishing Good Sleep Hygiene

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