Don’t Let Bed Bugs Hitch a Ride Home

Don’t Let Bed Bugs Hitch a Ride Home

School is out hurray!  Summer is a popular time for travel and vacationers aren’t the only ones looking to see the world. 

Have a great vacation but don’t bring hitchhikers home.  Bed bugs love to hitch a ride where ever they can so don’t let bed bugs hitch a ride to your house. The last thing you want to do is wake up with bites from a bed bug. 

Inspect Upon Arrival

These unwelcome insects can be found in the priciest resorts as well as budget hotels.  That means no matter where you stay, inspect your room upon arrival.

  • Keeps Bags Safe.  When you arrive, put your luggage and carry-on bags in the bathtub.  It is one place they will be safe from infestation.
  • Check the Mattress.  Pull back the sheets at the corners and check for bugs.  They like the seams in the corners.  If you don’t travel with a flashlight then use the app on your phone as an extra light. You are looking for small bugs or brown spots.  Use the plastic room key to gently check under the seams.
  • Check the Headboard.  Shine your light on the wall behind the headboard and see if the suckers go running.  Then check the grooves and any decorative carvings in the headboard for signs of bugs.
  • Check the Furniture.  If the room has upholstered furniture, check the seams of the material.  You are looking for bugs and dark brown spots.  Hard surface furniture doesn’t provide much cover unless it is ornately carved.

Have Fun.   If you find any signs of bed bugs, politely but firmly inform the management and ask for a different room.  If you don’t find any signs of bugs then you can sleep safely. 

By the way, no matter how nice the facility; I absolutely never ever ever place my luggage on the floor.  Throughout my stay it always stays on the luggage rack, a table top, or the bathroom counter.  I also never place my clothing in the furniture provided.  It’s just not worth the risk of bringing a bed bug home.

Inspect for Bed Bugs At Home

All good things come to an end.  Your trip will be over and its time to come home.  Now you run the real risk of letting unwanted hitchhikers in to create havoc in your home.  Here’s how to keep the little buggers out.

  • Unpack Outside.   Do not unpack your luggage inside.  Immediately bring backs into the garage, carport, or balcony.  Unpack clothing outside and inspect for signs of bugs.  Wash all clothing and place in the dryer.
  • Inspect Suitcase.  Inspect the seams and folds of fabric lining your suitcase. If you see signs of bugs you have a couple of options. If you own a chest freezer that is large enough for the suitcase or backpack then you can freeze it for two days.  If you can’t freeze it, purchase the No Pest Strips, and place them in the luggage and seal the luggage up in a plastic bag.  No Pest Strips are toxic, so be sure to wear gloves when handling them and keep the closed bag in an unoccupied area.  In about a week, the luggage will be fumigated and you can remove the strips.

    Year Around  Protection Against Bed Bugs

    If your mattresses are protected with bed bug mattress covers, then if you bring bed bugs home the infestation will be much easier to control.

    These zippered covers prevent bed bugs from making a home in your mattress.  No matter what you do; where ever you go; you aren’t going to get bugs in the mattress.  As a bonus, they double as allergy-proof mattress covers as well. 

    Have fun during your travels this summer.  Pack plenty of sunscreen, stay up too late and sleep in the next morning.  Just make sure you check the room when you arrive and be careful when you get home.

    There’s no need to bring home bed bugs from a trip if you just apply some common sense. Besides that, a bed bug infestation is no way to remember a vacation. 

    Til Next Time!


    Additional Reading

    What are bed bugs and where did they come from? 

    Have an Airbnb? Bed Bug – A Problem No Host Wants to Face

    How long do bed bugs live? Longer than you think.