Bedbugs are ugly little creatures that suck your blood while you sleep, leaving nasty bite marks. And they seem to be everywhere, including in the headlines. With holiday travel season approaching, it’s important to know how to avoid bringing bedbugs home from your hotel. Here are some top tips for protecting yourself from bedbugs when you travel:
Before you book a hotel
When packing for your trip
- sealable plastic bags are your best protection against bedbugs.
- pack as much as you can inside sealable plastic bags, and keep them inside the sealed bags in your room, to keep any bugs out. That includes your shoes on the floor. Travel supply companies like Magellans have large sizes of thick, re-uasable sealable plastic bags.
- protect yourself by adding anti-bedbug products such as Rest Easy Bed Bug Luggage Spray to your packing list.
In your hotel room
- do not put your suitcase on the luggage rack, especially if its one of those carpeted designs atop a low bureau or cabinet. Luggage racks are top hiding spots for bedbugs, because of all the guest suitcases that have been there in the days and weeks before yours, according to a report in the Washington Post.
- before you unpack anything, check the headboard and bed covers for signs of creatures. Run a piece of blank white paper along the wall behind the headboard to catch black specks that look like pencil shavings. These can be dust, but more likely can be — ick — bedbug fecal matter or molten sheddings.
- use a travel-size flashlight to look under the dust ruffle, around the base of the bed, in the corner behind the curtains, in the seams of the easy chair.
- look for brown blotches, the color of dried blood on upholstered chairs, curtains, carpeting. If in doubt that it could be paint or varnish, rub it with a wet napkin or cloth, suggests RandMcNally. If it dissolves, it’s blood.
- if you see any evidence of bedbug infestation, go to the front desk and request a different room. Take your unpacked suitcase with you so they know you are not kidding.
When you return home from your hotel
- put everything in the dryer on low or medium for at least 15 minutes. Bedbugs can survive the washing machine, but they cannot survive heat.
Some additional resources to find out how to avoid bedbugs at home and on your travels, including products to protect you:
This article was published originally on my green travel blog, www.EcoExplorer.com.
photo : Flickr/louento.pix