With the kids out of school and summer vacation in full swing, many of us are packing bags and making our travel plans. With the recent resurgence of bed bugs in the United States, here are a few precautions you can take to make sure you don’t bring any of them home with you!
• First stop: hotel bathroom. As you enter your hotel room, don’t drop your bags on the carpeted floor or the end of the bed. Instead carry luggage to the tiled restroom floor and leave them there until you’ve had an opportunity to check your room for bedbugs. If there are bedbugs in your room, they will be transmitted from carpeting or upholstered fabric to your luggage. Don’t give them a chance to hitchhike.
• Inspect your bed. Bed bugs hide in and around upholstery and fabric, usually within 15 feet of the bed. To check your hotel room bed before you recline, pull up the linens at a top corner of the bed, then pull off the corner of the mattress pad, and examine the mattress seams. Look for red or brownish specks or black, near-microscopic fecal material. If you don’t see signs here, chances are your bed is bug-free.
• Don’t forget couches, chairs, headboards. Just as you checked your mattress, check the corner seams of any upholstered furnishings. Another common hiding place is the vinyl-upholstered headboards bolted to the wall in many hotel rooms: look carefully at the seam between headboard and wall.
• Two floors of separation. Following your inspection, should you need to request another room, be sure to ask for one at least two floors away from the original. Bedbugs are known to travel hallways from one room to another and to travel inside walls via wiring conduit.
For more tips on avoiding bed bugs on your summer vacation, check out this article from Health.com.