Take these steps to make sure you’re the only one sleeping in your hotel bed tonight.
Getting bitten by bed bugs in a hotel is bad enough, but bringing the infestation home in your grip can be even worse. After bed bugs were reportedly on the rise earlier this year, one should be prepared to check their hotel rooms for the pests, no matter if they’re staying a night in a rural motel or a week in a five-star resort. After all, the presence of bed bugs is “not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Luckily, there are a few key steps you can follow, according to Rentokil, a nearly 100-year-old pest control company working in more than 60 countries.
Start off on the right foot.
First things first, don’t throw your suitcase on the bed or the floor where you’re most likely to encounter bed bugs. Use the luggage rack or place your suitcase on a hard surface, like a table. From there, the first place you should check is the most obvious: your hotel bed. Make sure to look for blood smears, live bed bugs, and tiny white bed bug eggs about the size of a mustard seed or grain of sand along the mattress seams and zippers, under the mattress, and at each joint of the bed frame. We don’t mean just lifting up one corner to look—that won’t cut it. Make sure to lift up each corner of the mattress and throughly check for signs.
Don’t stop at the bed.
According to the CDC, bed bugs generally live within eight feet of where you sleep. So check for the same bed bug signs along zippers and covers of the in-room sofa and chairs next. Their relatively flat bodies allow them to fit into tight crevices, so be sure to check under buttons and at the seams of the furniture. Look at the area where the carpet meets the baseboards and, before you unpack and hang up your clothes, be sure to check the joints of the closets and drawer seals. For extra back-up, use your phone’s flashlight to help you see the small signs of bed bugs in hard-to-reach corners.
Be willing to move.
Check around your bedside table. Do you find any signs of bed bugs around picture frames, the joints of your nightstand’s drawers, or around the lamps? If you suspect bed bugs after any of these steps, notify the hotel and ask to be moved to a different room—one that isn’t directly above, below, or next to the room you’re currently in.
If you’re worried about bed bugs before you even check in, look up your hotel on this registry to find out if a hotel has—or has had—bed bugs. While we’re all for coming home, bed bugs are not ones I would recommend you bring with you.
Last but not least, make sure the carrier is notified. Most importantly make sure you notify your local division LR (Legislative Representative) and LC (Local Chairman).