Bed bugs. Just the thought of them gives people nightmares and sends shivers up and down their spines. These creepy crawlers hide in our mattresses and come out at night while we’re asleep and defenseless and feed on our blood. If this gives you the heebie-jeebies, you’re certainly not alone. No doubt you’ve done everything in your power to make sure your home is free of these nasty critters, right?
But what about when you’re on the road? How can you be sure that the mattress you’re sleeping on in your hotel room isn’t infested with these little suckers? Here are some tips to keep free of bed bugs, no matter where you go:
Check the Registry
The first and most important thing you can do is check the online Bed Bug Registry. This free website offers up-to-date information about where bed bugs have been spotted. Go here before making any reservations, and if, during your travels, you encounter bed bugs, make sure to let the registry know so they can warn future travelers in turn.
Check the Room
Assuming your hotel is in the clear on the registry, the next important step is to perform a visual inspection when you get into your room -- but BEFORE you bring any of your bags into the room! Now, most bed bugs aren’t stupid enough to hang out where you can see them -- especially during the day -- so you’ll have to do a little digging. First, look for bed bug excrement. It will resemble tiny blots of ink, like what you might get from a pen. Look everywhere, including pillow cases, under the bed and on the curtains. While we call them “bed bugs,” they do not confine their activity to the bed, and neither should you.
Check the Mattress
Of course, you want to make sure to spend extra time inspecting your mattress. Lift it up to look under it. Check the seams of the mattress. If you see the ink blots mentioned above, or if you catch actual bed bugs (they look like apple seeds, and are very, very round in shape) then get out of the room immediately. Grab your bags -- which have not been put in the room yet and are hopefully free of bed bugs -- and go straight to the front desk. Ask to speak with the manager and get a refund. Chances are they will offer you another room, but honestly, if you see them in one room, there is a good chance that they have spread to others.
The last thing you should do is make sure your home is safe as well. Even if you think you didn’t get any on you, those critters can hitch a ride for thousands of miles. Check your bags, your clothes and your body before going home.
If you want more tips on how to keep free of bed bugs, or if you think you might have picked up a hitchhiker on your last vacation, please contact us at Rid Pest Control today!