If you’re like most people, you’ve heard of bed bugs. But, you may not have actually had encounters with them. If this is the case, you’re not missing out. These insects are one of the biggest nuisances when it comes to bug problems. They can hide like champions, stuffing themselves into any tiny crack and crevice you can think of; they can even hitch a ride in luggage! Considering how hard they are to find, and how hard they are to kill, you do not want to encounter any, or bring any home with you from somewhere. So how do you know if the place you’re staying has had a problem with them?
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Don’t Forget to Inspect Your Hotel Room
When you’re staying in a hotel, a good idea is to look around and do an inspection of your own before settling in. After all, they can hide in your luggage or that coat you just put over the armchair in the corner. You don’t want to pick some up that will follow you home without doing a thorough search.
Take these steps to find bed bugs in your hotel room:
- Leave your luggage at the door: Bed bugs can hop a ride on your luggage. Since they’re so small and blend in so well, you very well might not notice them, and even if you switch rooms, you’ll ultimately bring them home with you. If you’re worried about bed bugs, a wise thing to do would be to leave your luggage outside the door while you go in and look around. Another option is to put it in the bathtub, which bed bugs won’t be able to get into.
- Look in the bed: It seems like it would be easy to find them in the bed, since their name comes from that, right? Since these insects are masters at hiding, it might be harder than you think. Make sure to look in all seams and crevices of the mattress, in between the mattress and box spring, and even in the headboard.
- Other furniture: Beds aren’t the only pieces of furniture that might harbor bed bugs. Armchairs are hot spots for them, as well. There’s a lot of places for them to hide in in a nice fluffy chair and you’ll need to examine the entire thing.
- Hotel robes: They can hide in clothing as well, and although robes may not be a likely place, you’ll want to check just to be sure.
- Edges of the carpet: Oftentimes, there’s a small gap in between the carpet and the wall that bugs can crawl into and hide. You can push it away to get a good look.
You don’t just want to find bed bugs, you want to kill them. And it doesn’t always need to be done by a professional. Details about how to kill bed bugs can be found here.
Signs of bed bugs
So you’re going to look for them in your room and you know where they might hide, but what about signs they leave behind?
- Rusty-colored stains on fabric from bed bug excrement.
- Clear and dry egg shells or shed skin from the bugs.
- A horrible, musty smell from the bed bugs’ glands.
If there’s an infestation, the ideal situation would be that you’ll just see the actual bugs themselves right when you begin your search. But if you don’t see them, yet notice the above signs, keep looking, as it sometimes takes a good amount of effort to find the creatures. If you’ve got a high suspicion of bed bugs but can’t seem to find them, ask the hotel for help in your search.
If you’ve found any in your hotel room, what to do next
First of all, don’t panic, although it may be a natural reaction. The best thing to do if you’ve found bed bugs in your room is to leave it, making sure to gather anything you’ve brought with you. Go to your hotel’s front desk and report the matter immediately, relaying the proof of the infestation so they can take care of the problem.
If you’re comfortable staying in the same hotel, ask for a different room nowhere near the infested one. Bed bugs don’t travel long distances, so they won’t be crawling down hallways and up elevators. However, if one room has the bugs, there’s a possibility that they’ve got them in some of the other rooms, too. If you’re too wary of the hotel in general, ask for a refund or credit, and go find another place to stay.
How to Use the Bed Bug Registry Online
Using the registry online is fairly simple. If you’re a customer looking to check out a hotel’s status before staying there, you can go about it this way:
- Go to the site – bedbugregistry.com.
- You can search in different ways, such as by City and State, or the name of the hotel chain. Currently listings are available for the US and Canada.
- Any reports of bed bugs will be listed for you to read. It should have a full account of what happened and if anything was done about it.
If you’ve experienced bed bugs at a hotel and are wanting to make a report yourself, here’s how to go about it:
- Go to the site you prefer.
- There should be a link somewhere, most likely at the top, that says “file a report, ” or simply “report.”
- Fill out the required fields which will be the hotel’s name and location, date of your stay, and a detailed report of exactly what happened, along with what the management did to remedy the problem.
Bed bugs are truly a horrible nuisance and something you’ll want to get rid of immediately. However, it can ease your mind to know that even though they bite you, they aren’t carriers of disease. Unlike mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs won’t spread a virus or bacterial agents to you in their bite.
Since a hotel’s reputation can be on the line, make sure you’re honest and upfront about your experience. Relay what happened and what was done about it, along with any pictures you feel comfortable sharing. Pictures may help others see what bites look like, and will also show in detail the bed bugs you’re describing.
So you’ve found bed bugs, now what? It’s a scary thing to have them in your house, but it doesn’t have to be for forever. More information on what to do if you have bed bugs can be found here.
Check and see if your hotel is on it
It’s easy to find a hotel on the bed bug registry. You might search by the name of your hotel, or by your hotel’s location. Once you find it, click on it and any reports of bed bugs will be listed for you to see.
It’s important to remember that one person’s review isn’t necessarily concrete evidence of a bed bug problem, which is a heavy accusation. However, you should also take other people’s experiences seriously.
What if you don’t want to use a pesticide? They are, after all, toxic and a little scary to have around kids. Fortunately for you, there’s several natural methods to pick from. Get more information on home remedies for bed bugs here.
If A Hotel Has an Infestation, How Do They Get Rid of The Problem?
Getting rid of bed bugs isn’t an easy fix. Since they can hide so well, it’s hard to kill them simply because of the fact that you can’t always get to them. Also, they’re becoming more and more resistant to pesticides and insecticides. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
There’s ways for both homeowners and hotels to get rid of these bugs infesting their rooms:
- Spray: There are great products out there that are formulated specifically for bed bugs. Hotel management will have someone spray all around the room, getting furniture and mattresses, spreading it enough to coat any surface a bed bug might cross.
- Steam: Something very effective is steam. And not just any steam, but very hot steam from a steamer machine. Heat kills the bugs, so when a hot steamer wand is rolled over a surface containing them, they’ll die. Something else good about a steamer is that the heat will penetrate an inch through a mattress or armchair where bed bugs might be hiding.
- Washing: The bedding will all be contaminated and will need to be washed thoroughly. After washing in hot water, the sheets and blankets will be dried in a very hot dryer setting for at least 30 minutes.
- Floors: Just to make sure they don’t leave anything untouched, they’ll inspect the floors and make sure to vacuum everything many times over.
- Mattress: Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you get a new mattress, seeing as bed bugs can just hide in something, then hop right back on a new mattress. But many hotels will choose to get rid of the mattress that was in the room and, once everything has been treated, put a new one in its place.
If you’re going to stay in a hotel or another facility and you’re worried about bed bugs, follow some steps to keep yourself from possible contact with them. If you don’t feel like waiting until you get there to see if there’s a problem, go ahead and use the registry, and sleep tight knowing your hotel hasn’t had the annoying problem of bed bugs.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.