How to Check Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs Before You Check In

Bed bugs can turn a dreamy vacation into a nightmare.

The last thing you want is to bring these unwanted guests home with you after a stay in a hotel room. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Here’s how to check your hotel room for bed bugs before you check in.

1. Arm Yourself with Knowledge

Understanding what bed bugs look like and where they hide is essential. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They typically hide in cracks and crevices near beds and furniture. Knowing this will help you focus your inspection in the right places.

2. Inspect the Bedding

Start your inspection by examining the bedding thoroughly. Pull back the sheets and inspect the seams and edges of the mattress, as well as the box spring and bed frame. Look for reddish-brown stains, which could indicate bed bug fecal matter, and tiny, translucent eggs or shed skins.

3. Check Furniture and Upholstery

Bed bugs are not just confined to the bed. They can also hide in furniture and upholstery. Inspect chairs, sofas, and other upholstered items in the room, paying close attention to seams, cushions, and any cracks or crevices.

4. Look Behind Headboards and Pictures

Bed bugs often hide behind headboards and frames, as well as behind pictures hanging on the wall. Use a flashlight to illuminate these areas and thoroughly inspect for any signs of bed bug activity.

5. Inspect Luggage Racks and Closets

Don’t overlook luggage racks and closets. Bed bugs can hide in these areas, especially if they’re close to the bed. Check the seams and corners of luggage racks, as well as the cracks and crevices inside closets.

6. Examine Electronics and Alarm Clocks

While less common, bed bugs can also hide in electronic devices such as alarm clocks and telephones. Take a close look at these items, paying attention to seams, buttons, and any other potential hiding spots.

7. Use Your Senses

Bed bugs can sometimes be detected by their distinctive musty odor. If you notice a strange smell in the room, it could be a sign of bed bug infestation. Additionally, if you see live bugs or notice any bites on your skin, it’s a clear indication that bed bugs are present.

8. Report Any Concerns to Management

If you find evidence of bed bugs or suspect their presence, don’t hesitate to notify hotel management immediately. They have a responsibility to address the issue promptly and take appropriate measures to eliminate the infestation.

9. Consider Using Protective Measures

For added peace of mind, you may want to consider using protective measures such as mattress encasements and luggage liners. These products can help prevent bed bugs from infesting your belongings and make it easier to detect any signs of infestation.

10. Take Precautions When You Return Home

Even if you don’t find any evidence of bed bugs during your inspection, it’s still a good idea to take precautions when you return home. Wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any potential hitchhikers, and vacuum your luggage thoroughly before storing it away.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs during your hotel stay. While it may take a few extra minutes of your time, the peace of mind you’ll gain is well worth the effort.

Before you check in, take the time to inspect your hotel room carefully. You’ll sleep much more soundly knowing you’ve taken steps to keep the bed bugs at bay.