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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 hotels because of bed bugs? More importantly, have you ever stayed at a hotel in NYC (or elsewhere) and wondered whether or not there were 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 from coming home?”. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent bed bugs, moreover, preventative treatment just doesn’t work, because the residual effect is not long-lasting. Given that you would have to be treating your home every 2-4 weeks which is not feasible health-wise or money-wise.


If you are staying at a hotel and have encountered bed bugs, first and foremost stop what you are doing and order a ZappBug bed bug oven. Furthermore, please get the size that would fit your suitcase. Specifically, this collapsable heater will get rid of bed bugs in your luggage.

ZappBug Heater bed bug killer with Real Reviews Time-Tested Excellent Customer Service
  • Kills 100% of bed bugs in all life stages, including eggs, nymphs and adults.
  • Completely non-toxic and safe: No pesticides, no chemicals, just heat.
  • Extremely easy to use: Set up, load with items and press on.
  • Large size. Measures 23" x 37.5" x 23"
  • One person set-up. Folds flat for easy storage.


Please heat treat all of the items that you brought into the hotel with the bed bugs. Additionally anytime I stay in a hotel or Air BNB I use the ZappBug to treat my suitcase and belongings. There is no way to know for sure if you are bringing bed bugs home with you after a hotel stay. Heat treat everything from the trip in the bed bug oven, believe me, it will give you peace of mind and reassurance.

Investing in the Zappbug will allow to you safely go to movies, hotels, Doctor’s offices, or anywhere else that might have bed bugs. 

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

Tips To Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Home With You!

Below you will find 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 bedbug-infested city this year, 2020? 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. With that being said, if you are still worried about traveling and want to know what to do to prevent bringing any bed bugs home from a hotel, 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. Likewise, our bed bug inspection teams work all hours of the day and night. More often than not,  we would be able to give you an appointment at any time of the day. Particularly you can check out Doctor Sniffs Instagram Page (@DoctorSniffs). here you will be able to read all about our bed bug dogs inspection success stories!


Above all the bed bug sniffing dog will search every nook and cranny of the hotel room. More importantly, this will give you peace of mind. In the event that 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. For the reason that this will prevent bed bugs from getting into your luggage.  Don’t create an opportunity for a bed bug to hitchhike a ride home with you. Provided that you bring a big black plastic bag and put your suitcase inside of the bag. Secondly, tie a knot in the bag anytime you are not using it.  With the intention that this will prevent any bed bugs from getting in and out of your luggage.


Are You Worried About Bed Bugs in Your Luggage?

To emphasize simply not putting your suitcase on the bed is just not enough. If bed bugs are in the hotel bed likewise they can also be elsewhere in the room. To emphasize, when I am doing my inspections I also find bed bugs in areas aside from the bed. To repeat, 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. To emphasize by bagging the entire suitcase you are preventing anything from crawling in or out. fecal stains from bed bugs on a bed frame


Yes, You Can You Bring Bed Bugs Home From a Hotel.

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. As a result, when I got home I treated all of my belongings as if they had bed bugs. In fact, 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.  First and foremost strip off all of your clothing and put it directly in the heater. Furthermore, 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. This bed bug killing machine is the best way to get rid of bed bugs in your luggage.

Treat Your Belongings with a Portable Bed Bug Heater!

ZappBug Heater bed bug killer with Real Reviews Time-Tested Excellent Customer Service
  • Kills 100% of bed bugs in all life stages, including eggs, nymphs and adults.
  • Completely non-toxic and safe: No pesticides, no chemicals, just heat.
  • Extremely easy to use: Set up, load with items and press on.
  • Large size. Measures 23" x 37.5" x 23"
  • One person set-up. Folds flat for easy storage.

In the event that you don’t want to buy a bed bug heater just make sure all of the clothing from the hotel is bagged. Providing that as soon as you get home you 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%-30% of people don’t react to bed bugs so they would have no idea that they are sleeping in a bed with bed bugs.  With that being said it is the main reason why I treat my luggage after every hotel stay.

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. Granted this is only true if you are the type that reacts to bed bug bites in the first place. Notably, 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!

In conclusion, these tips should help you safely return form a hotel 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 did not actually find a live bed bug. With this in mind know that they base it on the fact that they got bites while staying there. With that being said read these bed bug registry sites with caution.

Due to the fact that nothing is 100% and bed bugs are small creatures that squeeze into cracks and crevices, hiding from the light, the bed bug heater is your best bet.  Know that even if you follow all of the steps above, unfortunately, 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 bed bugs home from a hotel. In addition, if you suspect your hotel room has an issue, ask to switch rooms. Hotels are usually accommodating and want to please the customer. Above all, don’t let bed bugs and hotels stop you from having a great vacation.

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