Avoid Bed Bugs While Travelling

What was once a pest only found in “third-world” countries is now commonplace in all provinces and states throughout North America (and around the world). Yes, we’re talking about bed bugs! These elusive pests can be found in resorts, cinemas, motels, and even four-star hotels.

Not only do they ruin your sanity and a rob you of a good night’s sleep, bed bugs are some of the hardest-to-defeat pests once they arrive in your home. To help you avoid bringing back some unexpected “souvenirs” from your holiday, Cabot Pest Control would like to share some tips on how to avoid bed bugs while travelling. Pro tip: bring a flashlight!

If you’re reading this article wondering what went wrong on your travels and suspect bed bugs have somehow made their way into your home, you can always give us a call. We would be happy to provide you a quote on our bed bug inspection and eradication services.

1) Pack Defensively

The biggest risk of a motel or hotel stay isn’t actually being bitten by one of these buggers, but accidentally bringing them home in your luggage. Be sure to use hard-sided (non-cloth) suitcases and luggage that use non-zipping, snap-shut closing mechanisms. Bed bugs love cloth materials and can easily make their way through the small crevices between zipper teeth. Remember: if your suitcase isn’t airtight it won’t keep out the bed bugs!

2) Inspect Your Room Thoroughly

Once you arrive at the hotel, perform a thorough scan of your room before bringing in any luggage or belongings. If you feel your luggage isn’t safe left outside your hotel room, you can also place items in your room’s bathtub while completing the inspection. With a flashlight, pull up the mattress cover and inspect the seams of the mattress, comforter, the dresser drawers, headboards, and nightstands. Look for signs of:

  • Blood spots on mattresses and/or linens
  • Tiny black spots (bed bug doo-doo) on mattresses and linens.
  • Light brown-to-translucent skin molting cases
  • Live bed bugs

These steps may seem excessive to anyone that has never had a bed bug infestation, but just keep in mind: THIS IS WAR. If you do happen to find any of the previously mentioned signs of bed bug infestation, most hotels will offer you a refund. We recommend locating a different hotel since room attendants and guests act moving throughout the hotel are vectors for the spread of these obnoxious twits.

3) Keep Everything Off the Floor

As soon as you enter the room, locate a luggage rack (hopefully one is located in the coat closet of your hotel room). Bed bugs are floor-crawling insects and have no attraction to luggage racks with metal legs, so 99.9% of the time, they will not bother to climb these.

Also, be sure to place all your soiled laundry in an airtight container, such as a tightly wrapped plastic. You may also want to inquire if the hotel has a laundry service. Those high-heat commercial laundry machines are great at killing these blood-thirsty little suckers!

4) Home Sweet Home

Before you head off for home, be sure to make a quick scan of your suitcases and belongings. You may even consider taking your clothes to a coin-operated laundromat once you get back to your neighbourhood, or simply make an impromptu bonfire on the outskirts of town and buy all new clothes— the choice is yours. Remember: La guerre n'est jamais terminée. But, in all seriousness, hot wash and drying cycles are great at destroying these micro-vampires.

Have a great holiday and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

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