Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Alene Schill
Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Bed bug infestation is a major problem in many parts of the world, and it can be very difficult to get rid of.
If you are a frequent traveler, it is important to know how to prevent bed bugs when traveling and avoid a bed bug infestation.
8 Tips To Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling
1. Use a Hard-Shelled Suitcase
One way to deter bed bugs from infesting is to use a hard-shelled suitcase when traveling. Bed bugs are attracted to soft surfaces like fabric, so they are less likely to enter a suitcase with a hard exterior.
In addition, it is easier to spot bed bugs on a hard surface than on a soft one. If you suspect your belongings are being infested, carefully inspect your luggage and luggage rack before leaving the hotel.
2. Store Clothes Inside Plastic or Ziploc
Before you pack your bags for your vacation, take a few minutes to consider how you can protect your clothes from bed bugs. These small insects are experts at hiding in tiny spaces, making them difficult to spot when packing your luggage.
However, you can take a few simple steps to minimize the risk of bringing bed bugs home with you. One of the best ways to protect your clothes is to store them in a protective cover, such as a plastic bag or Ziploc. It will help keep bed bugs out of your clothes and make it easier to spot them if they manage to crawl inside.
3. Inspect Your Hotel Room Before Unpacking
Traveling can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to be vigilant to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans (food source), and they’re experts at hiding in small spaces.
Before unpacking your luggage, take a few minutes to check the entire room and hiding spots of bed bugs.
Check under the mattress, room’s closet, wall sockets, box springs, picture frames, behind the headboard, and any small cracks or crevices.
If you spot any insects inside the room, notify management immediately and request to change rooms. But how do hotels deal with bed bugs?
4. Check the Mattress & Pillows
When traveling, it’s important to be mindful of bed bugs and take steps to avoid bringing them home with you. To prevent bed bugs from coming home with you, check your hotel’s bed sheets, mattress, or bedding for any signs of these pests.
Be sure to check the mattress seams and look for small brown spots, which could be bed bug feces. Prevention is the best defense against bed bugs, so look for places in close proximity to where they may hide.
5. Inspect the Furniture
If you’re planning to travel, there are a few bed bug prevention tips you should keep in mind to avoid bringing home bed bugs as a vacation souvenir. Bed bugs are small insects that thrive in dark, enclosed spaces. They’re often found in hotels, and they can easily hitch a ride home on a bag or clothing when you return home.
To prevent bed bugs from coming home with you, inspect all furniture carefully before bringing it into your house. Pay particular attention to upholstered furniture, hollow bedposts, bed sheets, box spring, cracks, and crevices. Also, it would help if you keep an eye on hotel housekeeping carts, as bedbugs can often be found hiding in them.
6. Inspect Your Luggage Before Unpacking At Home
Before unpacking your luggage after a trip, it’s important to inspect it carefully for any bed bugs hitching rides. Bed bugs can easily hide in clothing or other belongings, and they can quickly spread through your home if they’re not caught early.
Take a few minutes to inspect your luggage before unpacking. Look for any tiny creatures that might have made their way into your bag, and check for signs of bed bugs. If you find any signs of suspected infestation, put everything in a sealed plastic trash bag and contact pest control professionals for assistance.
7. Wash Your Clothes
If you’ve been traveling, it’s important to wash your clothes as soon as possible because it will help to prevent the spread of bed bugs. According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bugs are often introduced into homes via luggage, dirty clothes, or used belongings.
The pests can quickly multiply, and it can happen whether you stay in a one-star or five-star location. You can use hot water when washing your clothing and do it as soon as you get home from a trip. Also, use a clothes dryer to kill any bugs that may have hitched a ride on your clothing.
8. Vacuum & Steam Clean Your Luggage
Bed bugs do not spread disease, but it has to be avoided because it is extremely difficult to deal with the infestation. You can use a garment hand steamer to kill any pests hiding in your clothes.
Also, heat treatment is the best way to kill these pests, so travelers can use hot water and a high temperature when steaming garments. By taking these simple steps, you can help to prevent an infestation in your home.
What should I do if I find bed bugs in my hotel room?
If you find bed bugs in your hotel room, alert the staff and ask to change rooms. Let them conduct a bed bug inspection because, based on Ohio Laws regarding bed bugs, they should be responsible for keeping the establishment bed bug free .
If the hotel bed bugs thrive and infest your home, you can sue the establishment for damages and ask them for pest control management.
How easily do bed bugs travel?
Bed bugs can travel as easily as 100 feet or more per hour, and at their peak, they can move as fast as 4 feet per minute. They are travelers, and they hitchhike their way into your home on luggage, clothing, and used furniture. Learn how to move without bringing bed bugs with you here.
Travelers are prime targets for bed bug infestations. These small, parasitic insects are experts at hiding in luggage and clothing, and they can quickly reproduce once they’ve made their way into your home.
Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking back home with you after your trip. Defeat bed bugs while traveling by taking these precautions, so you can have a peaceful vacation!
Alene Schill is a property manager from Columbus, Ohio, who has dealt with numerous pest control agencies. She helps families find the perfect homes and knows very well that bed bugs are an ultimate deal-breaker. She enjoys cycling around Scioto Mile during her spare time.