Nothing can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare faster than bedbugs. These pesky little insects will leave you itching, scratching, and feeling like your environment is less than sanitary.
Before you get comfortable in any hotel room, be sure to follow these steps to ensure that it’s bedbug-free. Only then will you truly be able to relax.
University of Maine educator, Jim Dill, has some excellent tips for how to investigate a hotel room for bedbugs. But before he explains what you should be doing – here’s a little background.
The Mayo Clinic describes bedbugs as,
“…small, reddish-brown insects that bite the exposed skin of sleeping humans and animals. Although bedbugs aren’t known to spread illness, they can cause other public health and economic issues.”
If that’s not enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, they go on to say:
“About the size of an apple seed, bedbugs hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards, bed frames and any other objects around a bed. The risk of encountering bedbugs increases if you spend time in places with high turnovers of nighttime guests — such as hotels, hospitals or homeless shelters.”
Before you get comfortable in your next hotel or motel room – here’s how to take action.
A lot of people will toss their suitcases on the bed or luggage rack when they first get to a room. But according to Jim, this is a big “no-no.”
Instead, carry all your bags into the bathroom and leave them in the tub. Don’t bring them into the living space until you’ve completed your investigation.
The first focus will be on the bed.
Your bedbug search is going to start on the bed’s headboard. Just know you’re going to need a bright flashlight in order to see in all of the dark areas.
Jim demonstrates how to thoroughly look for the insects, which includes every corner and crease, on both the front and the back of the headboard.
Next, move over to the mattress.
Using your flashlight, check the piping for any bedbugs. Go along the entire mattress on both the top and bottom – looking closely for their presence on the piping.
The investigation gets a little grosser at this point.
What you’re going to be checking for next is spots on the mattress and mattress pad. The reason is that it could be a sign that bedbugs have been feeding off a host.
Time to check the nightstand.
Open up the drawer and investigate every corner and edge, which also includes the bottom of the drawer as well. Jim explains that,
“Bedbugs are very secretive. Usually, in most cases, they’re within 20 feet of their host. So in a hotel room like this – you know, there’s not a lot of space for them to be – so chances are they’re going to be right on the bed or on the night tables…”
The last place to check is the luggage rack.
Believe it or not, this convenient item can actually be the perfect hiding spot for bedbugs. It’s typically close to the bed too.
Jim suggests you take your flashlight and do a thorough search of the luggage rack. There’s a lot of tight webbing, so look close – and even fold the rack some to give a better look at the straps.
Hopefully, you turn up empty-handed in your search so you can sleep well knowing your room is bedbug-free. However, if you do find there’s an infestation, Jim has a couple of very simple solutions that he explains in the video.
Press play below to see first-hand how to check your hotel room for bedbugs. It’s useful information everyone should be aware of.
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