How to prevent bed bugs while on vacation

It's this time of year you've been expecting for months, and you're finally going away for a well-earned break. Unfortunately, hotels are often associated with bed bugs. Here are a few tips to spot them and keep them from travelling with you. 

What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs can easily be seen with the naked eye if you pay attention. They are oval in shape, flat, and brown-red in color. Adult are 5 to 8 mm in length and look like an apple seed or lentil. They have no wings and walk to move about.

Places to check when arriving in the room

You must pay good attention to notice them, but it's possible to see them with the naked eye. Remember that most bed bugs keep within 5 m of the bed. Here are a few places to check upon arrival:

  1. Look under the mattress, seams, folds and labels. 
  2. Check bed sheets and pillow cases by turning them inside out.
  3. Inspect the back of the head board; there could be nests there.
  4. Have a look at curtains, armchairs, nightstands, dressers, etc.
  5. Inspect walls, closets, cracks and crevices thoroughly. 
  6. Check clocks, carpets, phones, outlets and switches.

If you see any signs of the presence of bed bugs, request a change of rooms. 

Additional recommendations

We recommend that you leave your luggage on the floor or in the bathtub rather than on the bed or carpet. If there is a luggage rack, check the straps and metal frame before using it. During your stay, keep your shoes in an open space.

Steps to follow when you get back home

To prevent bed bugs from infesting your home, conduct a thorough inspection of your personal belongings upon your return. For example, have a good look at your hairbrush and make-up bag. Put your suitcase on a smooth surface while inspecting. As a means of prevention, spray your mattress and bed frame with a bed bug killer. Wash your clothes and dry at high temperature to kill any bed bugs that made it back home with you. Anything that can't be washed should be put in the dryer for 30 minutes.