How to detect bedbugs while travelling
Don’t let bedbugs spoil your vacation. Here are some precautions to take at the hotel and when you return home.
Before packing your bags
You should know that bedbugs love pillows. Don’t bring pillows along in your luggage as they might become contaminated - and you don’t want to bring those pests back into your home.
Also pack some garbage bags: you can bag personal effects if ever you detect the presence of bedbugs while travelling.
At the hotel
You should inspect your hotel room top-to-bottom before bringing in your luggage.
Start with the bed by bringing the 4 corners of the sheet and the pillows to the centre of the bed. Thoroughly inspect the mattress, box spring, bedding, mattress cover and bed skirt. Also ensure there are no bedbugs around the bed frame and headboard.
Use a flashlight to check inside furniture and investigate corners and cracks, if any.
If you spot bedbugs
Demand another room or switch hotels. If you decide to get another room in the same hotel, make sure it’s far away from the possibly infested room.
If everything is in order
Bring your belongings into the room. Do not put them on the bed. Place them on the luggage rack (that you have previously inspected) or even in the bathtub.
Hang items instead of storing in dresser drawers. Avoid leaving your clothes on the floor or bed.
As for your shoes, leave them outside (if possible) or on the ground. Avoid putting them under the bed or in the closet.
Not over until it’s over
You need to thoroughly inspect the contents of your luggage when you return home. It is recommended to do this on a hard surface such as the entryway, garage or even bathroom floor and certainly not on your bed!
Check all of your clothes, but also personal effects such as your hairbrush and towels.
Wash all clothing and cloth items in hot water, whether they’ve been worn or not. Dry at a high temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Heat non-washable items in a dryer bag in the dryer at the highest temperature possible for 30 minutes.
You must use a vacuum to completely clean your luggage. If your vacuum cleaner has a bag, place that in a plastic bag before tossing in the garbage. If you have a bagless model, empty its contents in a plastic bag and wash the tank in warm, soapy water.