Traveling for the Holidays? How to Spot Bedbugs and Not Bring them Home with You!

Bed bugs can be a major nuisance. Their bites are itchy and uncomfortable, and in some cases can even cause allergic reactions. While it may seem like bed bugs appear out of nowhere, the truth is, bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking from one location to another including from hotels to homes. All it takes is one pregnant bed bug hitching a ride in your luggage to start a full-blown infestation in your home. But, if you are diligent about checking for bed bugs when you travel, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of bringing them back as a souvenir!

Preventing Bed Bugs Starts As Soon As You Enter Your Room

In order to avoid taking bed bugs home, you need to protect your belongings. While it’s natural to want to set your suitcase down as soon as you check in to a hotel room, this is a major mistake. The longer your belongings are in an infested environment, the higher your chances are of the bed bugs sneaking inside for you to bring home. Before you let your luggage touch the ground, bed, or other furniture, you’ll want to check for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are roughly the size of an apple seed and are excellent at hiding, making them particularly challenging to identify. However, if you know what to look for and where bed bugs hide, you can reduce your risk of bringing bed bugs home. Here’s what you can do:

  • Place your bag on a bellhop or the luggage carrier (these are typically available at the front desk or in your room) as you conduct your search.
  • In most hotel rooms, bed bugs have a few favored hiding spots. Be sure to check these places out first. Some of the most common places you’ll spot bed bugs or evidence of bed bugs include:
    • On or around the bed: Bed bugs can hide in even the smallest spots, so you’ll want to check the bed frame, headboard, linens, box springs, and mattress. In the case of severe infestations, bed bugs may take over night stands, too.
    • Room furnishings, especially upholstered furniture: If your room has a couch or sofa, you’ll want to look in between and underneath the cushions. In some cases, bed bugs may hide in night stands or dressers.
    • Other small, dark crevices: While bed bugs prefer to hide out close to where humans spend most of their time, they will find other places to live if needed. Bed bugs are known to hide in electrical outlets, behind loose wallpaper and picture frames, and on curtains.
  • While the most obvious sign of bed bugs is seeing an actual bed bug, there are other things you can look for when inspecting your hotel room.
    • Firstly, check for bed bug fecal spots. Since linens are changed in between visitors, one of the more obvious signs of bed bugs may be their droppings. Bed bug feces can be found in mattress seams, behind the headboard, around the bed frame, and other areas near where the pests feed. Droppings usually present as small dark spots that can be easily missed, so make sure you check closely for this tell-tale sign.
    • Check for shed body parts. As bed bugs grow from egg to nymph to adult, they will molt their exoskeletons. These are usually spotted in the same locations as droppings.
    • Check for blood smears on bed sheets and other soft surfaces. Blood stains aren’t as common to find on initial entry, but if you wake up with itchy welts on your skin, you might want to check for signs that you were a bed bug’s dinner the night before. These blood smears are usually reddish-brown.

After you’ve checked your room and have deemed it free of bed bugs, you can start unpacking your bags. Throughout your stay, remain aware of the common signs of bed bugs listed above, and if you suspect an infestation, inform management immediately.

If a Bed Bug Still Sneaks Into Your Luggage

If you suspect that perhaps a stowaway bedbug came home with you from your trip or if you have already noticed bed bugs in your home, contact us immediately. While it may be tempting to try to treat for bed bugs on your own, these pests are extremely hardy and reproduce quickly. Female bed bugs can lay dozens of eggs per day, and it doesn’t take long for an infestation to become unmanageable.

Alexandria Pest Services is equipped to handle bed bug infestations of all kinds. Our trained bed bug experts can provide you with a free inspection and a recommended treatment plan to ensure your pest issue is handled as quickly and effectively as possible.

Contact us for Your Pest Control Needs!

If you find that you are having a problem with bed bugs, rodents, termites, or other pests and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office! Contact us today to learn more.


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