There are endless benefits to traveling, including making memories that can last a lifetime. Then there are the handful of cons, which can include some very unsavory souvenirs: bedbugs. These little guys have been around since the days of Aristotle and back in the 50s, people were acutely aware of prevention methods. However, thanks to fumigation and better hygiene, we’ve become lax in our preventative ways and they’ve snuck back with a vengeance.
While hotels have become more vigilant than ever, there have still been more than a few cases of bedbug infestations even in high-end properties. Here are a few ways you can stop these gross little critters from coming home with you and becoming a very unwanted memory of a great vacation.
Inspect your room: As soon as you step into your hotel room, inspect the most common hiding spots for bed bugs, these include mattress seams, box springs, and hidden corners are some of their favorite places to lurk. Look for exoskeletons (casings that the bugs leave behind when they molt) and dark, rust-colored spots. Adult bedbugs, nymphs, and eggs are visible to the naked eye
Keep your luggage off the bed: With so many folds and pockets, luggage can be a hotspot for any critter to move into. Don’t make their job easy for them by placing all your belongings on the bed. Stow your suitcases on a luggage rack or a hard surface after checking it to make sure it’s bedbug-free, or…
Take it to the bathroom: Due to the hard tile and very few places to hide, the bathroom can often be the best place to keep your luggage. All of the furniture in your hotel are places bed bugs can hide, particularly if it’s older. So be safe and stash your luggage in the bathroom.
Buy hard-shell luggage: Luggage that isn’t soft and full of tiny pockets makes it more difficult for bedbugs to make a home out of it. Splurging for bug resistant luggage can save the worry of bedbugs coming home with you.
Pack your belongings in plastic sealable bags: This extra precaution will help make sure the bedbugs don’t settle in on dark clothing and inside shoes. It may seem tedious, but the effort is worth it.
Dry everything when you get home: Bed bugs can survive in temperatures above 100 degrees, so it’s best to give all your clothes a good run through the hot dryer for at least 30 minutes (just washing won’t kill them.) If you can store your empty luggage in a hot garage, basement, or attic. Temps above 120º kill the bedbugs.