Every time you slip between the sheets at a hotel, B&B or guest house, be aware that you may not be alone! You could very well be sharing a bed with bed bugs that have taken up residence in the bedding. Protect A Bed shares some advice for how to check your hotel for these little pests!
These blood-sucking spread by stowing away in clothing, baggage and other belongings… making anyone a potential plague carrier. Once through the door, bed bugs rapidly set up home in cracks and crevices. The seams of mattresses, bed bases, and behind headboards are favourite hiding places, allowing them to have close proximity to you, their human food. If left to their own devices, bed bugs will put their hitch-hiking skills to good use and travel from room to room in a hotel with housekeeping.
After feasting for several minutes during nocturnal raids when you are fast asleep, they then crawl back to their hiding places, engorged and undetected. You’ll probably only notice the first sign when you wake up covered in itchy red welts on exposed skin. Since bed bugs aren’t the only insects responsible for bites, don’t raise the alarm until the hotel has carried out a thorough inspection.
There can be little more damaging to an establishment’s reputation than an accusation of bed bugs! So before you climb into any bed, take the following precautions:
1. Keep luggage out of reach. Never set your luggage on the bed. Instead, place it on the luggage rack, in the bathroom, or any hard surface where bed bugs are less likely to hide.
2. Inspect the bedding. Pull the sheets back, peel the mattress off the box spring, and look for signs of bed bugs. How to check for bed bugs, you ask? Well, evidence can include reddish stains from crushed bed bugs, tiny dark spots from faeces, eggs, moulted exoskeletons, and even the bed bugs themselves. Needless to say, if you spot an infestation, ask for a different room, preferably in another part of the building.
3. Check other common bed bug locations. While they typically hang out in a bed, they can also be found in curtains folds, behind electrical outlets, between couch cushions, along door frames, and anywhere else a tiny insect can slip through.
4. Check that the hotel is using mattress protection resistant to bed bugs. There are products on the market designed to deter infestations. The Buglock Plus from Protect-a-Bed, the world’s No. 1 selling mattress protector, uses a patented three-sided zipper system to completely encase the mattress in an impenetrable barrier that ensures current bugs cannot leave the mattress to feed, and new bed bugs cannot enter the mattress to breed.5. Take preventative steps when you return from your trip. Thoroughly wash and dry your clothes on the hottest permissible temperature for at least 30 minutes (taking care to keep dirty clothes sealed in a plastic bag until they are ready to be washed).
Contact: Protect A Bed