There have been many times when we’ve dropped little hints here and there about what you should do when you’re traveling if you want to avoid bed bugs. Sure, we sell a lot of bed bug treatments for people who have them in their home, but if we could educate people and simply sell them all some luggage covers and avoid the problem in the first place, that would make us perfectly happy. We’d be happy to find another business if all bed bugs would just die.
Today is the day for an in-depth article to let you know the best way to deal with bed bugs every time you travel.
Before You Travel
When you’re choosing a hotel, why not check to see if they’ve had problems in the past? Go to http://bedbugregistry.com/ to see if the hotel you’re considering has been identified as recently having bed bugs. Now to be clear, the hotels that pop up don’t necessarily have bed bugs. They might have addressed the problem immediately and been bedbug-free for years. You can always call them up and ask about the situation, and they might even tell you!
Remember, there’s no difference between a high-priced hotel and a dive when it comes to bed bugs (find out why here). So even if you’re staying at a $500-a-night hotel, you’ll want to check things out...
When You Get There
When you show up to your room, put your luggage in the bathtub. Wait, what? Well, the bathtub is a smooth surface on which you’re unlikely to ever see a bed bug, so it’s a protective measure as you check the room to make sure that it’s livable.
First, check the bed. Take off the sheets and see if the mattress has any signs of bed bugs. The seams of the mattress are one of the most common places to find the bed bugs themselves. The flat parts of the mattress are more likely to show the bloody bed bug excrement, so look for reddish-black stains. Look behind the headboard and in any furniture that’s touching or nearly touching the bed, such as the side table. Also, be sure to check any upholstered furniture. Look in the bureau drawers, even though we advise you to not use them (more on that below).
If you see any signs of bed bugs, let the management know immediately. They need to know if they don’t already. Maybe they thought the problem was over when they dealt with rooms 101, 102, and 103, but the bugs moved on to your room, room 104. Or maybe the room was infected within the last week, and they need to get the problem under control as quickly as possible.
Ask for a different room, as far away from the first as possible and on a different floor (don't forget to take your suitcase from the bathtub!). Just because one room has bed bugs doesn’t mean the whole hotel does. Repeat the inspection process as necessary, and never be ashamed to ask for another room, or a refund if you need to head to another hotel entirely.
Protect Your Stuff
Once you’re satisfied that there are no bed bugs in your room, you’re not done. That’s because “not seeing bed bugs” does not equal “there are no bed bugs.” It could be a recent infestation that doesn’t show any signs, and most of them could be hard-to-see nymphs and eggs. You certainly don’t want to let your guard down and become their next victim.
Pull out the luggage rack and place it a few inches from the wall. Go ahead and inspect it, because they’re usually held together with nylon straps that bed bugs can grab onto. It should now be safe to bring your suitcase from the bathtub and place it on the luggage rack. It should also be safe to use the coat hangers and closet if you want to hang up items. The slick and slanted nature of a luggage racks legs or a metal hanger will keep most bed bugs off those items.
When you’re not using your luggage, it’s a good idea to keep it in luggage protectors. These stretchy covers cover your luggage to ensure that bed bugs don’t crawl inside or hitch a ride in the seams. They zip uptight and are machine washable, so you can just toss them in the washer when you get home. They come in two different sizes for your different sizes of luggage, and they don’t just protect against bed bugs but mites and scabies as well! They’re also water-resistant, which makes them even more appealing.
If you use stretchable luggage protectors, you can simply leave most of your clothing in the luggage. Putting your clothes or other items in the dressers isn’t a good idea, because, as we mentioned in this post, dressers are very commonplace for bed bugs to retreat to. Seeing the inside of the dresser means you’re seeing only about half of the space in it, meaning that the bugs could be hanging out just about anywhere.
Remember, don’t put anything on the floor! Just like us, it’s how they get around. Keep everything you can on raised, flat, glossy, easy-to-keep-an-eye-on surfaces that bed bugs tend to avoid. Bed bugs can't hurt your possessions, but you don't want to give them a place to tag along when you head home.
Now that your luggage is protected from “the bed bugs that you can’t see but might be there anyway,” why not make sure you’re protected with our travel bed bug repellent? Give it a spray around the bed, the headboard, and along the edge of the sheets so that it creates a barrier to the top of the bed. It’s completely safe to humans (and pets), and it makes the room smell a little better than the average hotel room does! It also doesn’t stain, so you won’t have to worry about being charged for damages. This 3-ounce bottle is TSA compatible, so you can take it in your carry-on luggage as well.
If you really want to make sure that you're covered, take some bed bug traps with you and place them along with the beds' support. Traps draw bed bugs to their doom so that they don’t make it from the carpet to your bed, and they can also draw the bed bugs that are already in the bed down (especially if you activate them and leave the room for a while).
When You’re About To Leave
Shake out any clothes that are in the dresser and put them back in your luggage. Spray them with bed bug spray if you’d like, and leave the hotel room knowing that you’ve done everything you can to protect you and your home from these horrible pests.
Let us at Bed Bug Store assist you. All our products come with a 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. We have been relieving customers of their bed bugs for over 15 years. Our products are also 100% all-natural, chemical and pesticide-free. The smell you notice when using our solution, is the fresh scent of peppermint.