Bed bugs aren’t just a problem within your home. They can be carried around and spread without even realising it.
However, if you know the signs you can prevent the spread of bed bugs when travelling.
Bed bugs require dark, cool areas to live and multiply. This means that your luggage or clothing can quite easily pick up bed bugs from infested areas and carry them with you to other areas.
Hotel rooms give bed bugs a good opportunity to live, hide, and even hitch-hike from one area to another, as they have a constant supply of new hosts.
They feed off the blood of humans and animals and can grow to the size of an apple seed. They look like small, oval, reddish-brown critters. However, they can go unnoticed as they like to hide in cracks, and crevices in walls or furniture, as well as the seams and pleats of bed linen.
What steps should you take to protect yourself from carrying bed bugs?
1. Protect items in your luggage
You should use Ziploc bags to protect the items in your luggage. This means that clothes should be kept sealed, and not simply thrown into a suitcase. Electronic equipment, books, and toiletries should also be stored in separate cases, plastic Ziploc bags.
2. Inspect hotel rooms
It may not be the most enjoyable part of your travels, but inspecting the room you’re about to sleep in can save you unpleasant experiences. Look out for actual live or dead bugs, and notice if there are dark brown or reddish stains on the mattress and bed linen. Observe the crevices of the bed and the framing. If there’s an infestation you may smell a musty odour as well.
If there are signs then it’s best to seek alternative accommodation, and report the issue to the property owner.
3. Keep your luggage away from the bed
It’s best to raise your luggage off the floor using a luggage rack and keep it away from the bed. You should also avoid leaning luggage against a wall as bed bugs can hide and crawl out from small cracks.
4. Routinely check items of clothing
Before checking out, inspect your clothing to ensure there are no critters catching a lift. When returning home, or arriving at another accommodation, inspect your luggage in a bathroom or garage area to avoid accidentally spreading them.
Heat treatments can remove infestations, so wash your clothes at the highest degree possible and dry them on high heat for 30 minutes.
Remember, bed bugs can move through very small gaps meaning that hard shell suitcases offer no protection when preventing the spread of bed bugs. Expensive, high-class hotels can also be infested with bed bugs regardless of how clean and hygienic they are.
Following these tips may mean you have to alter your habits. However, it’s always better safe than sorry when dealing with bed bugs.