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5 Tips to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Back from a Hotel

Bed bugs and hotels

Are you nervous to visit NYC because of bed bugs? Have you ever stayed at a hotel in NYC and wondered whether or not there are bed bugs lurking under the box spring? The number one question that people ask me when I am performing a bed bug inspection is “how can I prevent bed bugs?”. There is no way to prevent bed bugs and preventative treatment just doesn’t work, because the residual effect is not long lasting.

I do have some tips that if followed will ensure your home stays bed bug-free after a trip. 

Diatomaceous Earth is a long lasting natural residual but it is not 100%.  In order for it to work properly, acquiring the right tools is a must! The residual effect of most chemical treatments is not long lasting. You would have to be treating your home every 2-4 weeks which is not feasible health wise or money wise.

So what should you do in order to not bring bed bugs back from a trip?

Here are a few ways that you can make your trip to NYC or any city for that matter a little bit easier. Did you know that NYC is NOT number one on the list for the most bed bug infested city this year, 2019? Each year a few national pest control companies put out their list of “most infested bed bug cities” based on the number of calls they get. New York has not been number one in years. But if you are still worried about traveling and want to know what to do to prevent bringing any bed bugs back home you can follow these guidelines.

*this post may contain an affiliate link, any money made from the link will go directly into our Doctor Sniffs Science Major Scholarship Fund*

Follow These 5 Tips For Bed Bug Prevention!

  1. Hire a bed bug inspection company like Doctor Sniffs Bed Bug Dogs to sniff out your hotel room before you bring the luggage in. Goosey and I work all hours so we would be able to give you an appointment at any time of the day. You can check out Doctor Sniffs Instagram Page to read all about Goosey’s success stories! The bed bug sniffing dog will search every nook and cranny of the hotel room. This will give you peace of mind. If the dog happens to alert somewhere, you can simply ask to switch rooms. It doesn’t matter what city you are traveling to, there are bed bug dogs working all around the world.
  2. Do not put your suitcase on the bed. Bring a big black plastic bag and put your suitcase inside of the bag. Tie a knot in the bag anytime you are not using it.  This will prevent any bugs from getting in and out of your suitcase. Simply not putting your suitcase on the bed is just not enough. If bed bugs are in the bed then they can also be elsewhere in the room. When I am doing my inspections I find bed bugs all over the place. So you need to go the extra step and bag the entire suitcase while it’s in the room. Some pest control professionals like to advise putting the suitcase into the shower.  I have seen too many bed bugs showing up in bathrooms throughout the years. By bagging the entire suitcase you are preventing anything from crawling in or out. fecal stains from bed bugs on a bed frame


Tips for Bed Bug Prevention, When You’re Traveling!

3. Before bringing your luggage in, check the seams of the mattress and all sides of the box spring. Use a bright flashlight and slowly look along every inch of the mattress and box spring. Don’t worry if you didn’t bring a flashlight, use your phone’s flashlight. If you see any black ink like marks, take a photo and show the hotel manager right away. For many people, this would be difficult but if you are able to it would be best to flip over the mattress and box spring to really get a complete look on all 6 sides of each one. This is where the bed bug dog can come in handy because the dog can smell what we can’t see. I recently stayed at a hotel in North Carolina and found black ink marks on the seams. They were fecal stains from bed bugs. mattress showing fecal matter. Luckily I did not bring my belongings in and they switched my room right away. When I got home I treated all of my belongings as if they had bed bugs. This was the only way I could be sure that I wasn’t bringing a hitchhiker back home with me.

Don’t bring your belongings into a hotel room before doing a visual search of the mattress and box spring!

4. Have a Zapp Bug or Pack Tite bed bug heater ready for when you come home.  Always heat all of your belongings in the heater.  Strip off all of your clothing and put it directly in the heater. The bed bug killing heat machine will also kill bed bug eggs. Keep the items in the heater for 90-120 minutes.  The Zapp Bug Oven is also able to treat most electronics, laptops, and other clothing that you normally wouldn’t put in a dryer. The Zapp Bug will not destroy these items. Their web site says that it can safely treat a laptop.

Treat Your Belongings with a Portable Bed Bug Heater!

If you don’t have one then make sure all of the clothing from the hotel is bagged and as soon as you get home to put it through a high heat dryer. Even if you did not see any fecal matter or get any bites it still does not mean the hotel room was bedbug-free. 20% of people don’t react to bed bugs so they would have no idea that they are sleeping in a bed with bed bugs.

5.  Monitor your skin once you get home, there can be up to a 14 day delayed reaction from bed bugs. This means that the bed bug feeds on you but your skin does not show any bites or marks right away. This is only if you are the type that reacts to bed bug bites in the first place. If you get any skin reactions up to 2 weeks after returning from a trip you can keep monitoring, set out traps, or hire a K9 team to search your residence.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs When Traveling!

These tips should help you safely return form a trip anywhere in the world without bringing bed bugs back home with you. You can also feel free to check one of the many bed bug registry sites but these are providing anecdotal evidence. Many people reporting and listing on these sites never even saw a bed bug, they just base it on the fact that they got bites while staying there. With that being said read these bed bug registry sites with caution.

Nothing is 100%, bed bugs are small creatures that squeeze into cracks and crevices and tend to hide from the light. Even if you follow all of the steps above you still might pick up a hitchhiking bed bug. These tips will definitely help ensure that you are doing everything within your power to not bring any unwanted guests home. If you suspect your hotel room has an issue, ask to switch rooms. Hotels are usually accommodating and want to please the customer. Don’t let bed bugs and hotels stop you from having a great vacation. 

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