Bed bugs are equal opportunity parasites; they make their abode in five star hotels as well as budget priced dives.
To protect yourself while traveling and ensure bed bugs don’t take up residence at your home address, follow these bed bug proofing travel tips.
Pack in Plastic
One of the ways bed bugs hitch rides back to your home via luggage. Pack all fabric items into air tight sealed bags. Ziploc makes a variety of bag sizes that range from snack size to gargantuan sized.
Bed bugs seek warmth and shelter in fabric, sealed Ziploc bags act as a barrier to keep bed bugs out. Pack an extra Ziploc bag to store soiled clothes until they can be cleaned.
As soon as you open the door of your hotel room, place all your baggage inside the bathtub or shower. The hard surface of the tub or shower provides a bed bug free zone and your luggage will be safe while you conduct a room check.
Do a visual inspection of the room. Turn back bed covers layer by layer until you reach the mattress on each bed. Look for specks of blood and bugs the size and shape of apple seeds.
Check all upholstered furniture, including dining room chairs. If no evidence of bed bugs are found, it’s reasonably safe to retrieve your luggage from the bathroom.
Off The Floor
Don’t store anything on the floor or on upholstered chairs. Place luggage on top of a hard surfaced luggage rack. Don’t place clothes inside drawers or drape them over furniture.
Hang clothing on hangers and place on a rod in an open area that contains no hotel bedding on nearby shelves (like extra blankets and pillows on a shelf in a closet).
Unwanted House Guests
As a last precautionary move, treat any hitch hiking bed bugs like unwelcome house guest and get rid of them before they settle in.
As soon as you return home from traveling, wash all clothing, even if the item was not worn. Any fabric item that went along on the trip should be laundered in the hottest water possible and dried in the dryer.
And lastly, use the hose attachment on the vacuum cleaner to vacuum the interior and exterior of suitcases, shoes, boots, purses and so forth to remove any stowaway bed bugs.