Don’t let your trip be waylaid by little biting bedbugs. There are a few steps you can take to make sure the little critters stay away from both you and your luggage, leaving you to enjoy your vacation or time away from home in blissfully non-itchy peace. Follow these tips from the experts to avoid bites.
Nobody ever wants to wake up covered in itchy bumps and bug bites, but if you don’t check your hotel room well enough, you might be facing that exact problem. And to make matters worse, you could even end up carrying them back home with you.
“Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers, able to sneak inside suitcases and then make themselves at home once travelers return from their trip,” Brittany Campbell, Ph.D., staff entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), told Travel + Leisure. “As bed bugs are extremely elusive creatures, the only surefire way to avoid bringing them home with you is to be extremely vigilant while traveling.”
Don’t become another feast for bedbugs when you travel—follow this routine to mitigate the risk you face.
Step 1: Immediately put your suitcase on an elevated shelf or in the bathroom when you get into your hotel room.
Step 2: Use the flashlight on your phone to look in the sheets for little dark spots of blood or bug droppings, the hallmark of a bedbug infestation.
Step 3: Look under the mattress, around the edges, and in the seams for more dark spots, eggs about as big as a pinhead that look like rice, pale yellow exoskeleton remnants, or the bugs themselves—adult ones are about as big as an apple seed.
Step 4: Check the rest of the bed, the headboard, the nightstands, and basically everything else in the room, including curtains and loose wallpaper.
Some extra tips: Keep your suitcase off the floor and store your clothes in plastic bags. If you notice bite marks after you get home, unpack outside, steam clean your luggage, and wash and dry everything with high heat.
[Image: Ramstein Air Base]