Just like us, bedbugs love to travel. They’re great hitchhikers, and they’ll often invite themselves into items like suitcases, purses, and shoes. They may even make themselves comfortable in unusual places like cellphones, laptops, and other types of electronics with casing. If you’re on the move, make sure you follow a few simple tips to help make sure that you don’t bring home any unwanted souvenirs from your vacation or business trip.
Check Before Unpacking
The number-one rule for traveling is to make sure that you check your hotel room or apartment rental when you first walk in, before getting settled in. When you’re checking for bedbugs, make sure your suitcase and belongings are placed in the bathroom, inside the shower or on other tiled area. An alternative option is to put your luggage on a luggage rack that’s elevated from the ground and not near any furniture or walls.
Before leaving for your trip, familiarize yourself with the signs of a bedbug infestation, even when adult bedbugs aren’t physically present. This is helpful because bedbugs are mostly nocturnal, meaning they’ve primarily active at night. This means that you’re likely to have less luck searching for them during your normal waking hours. Aside from viewing the small, oval-shaped, brownish-red bugs, look for eggs or droppings.
Look for the following signs of bedbugs:
- Reddish or rust-colored stains, caused by crushed bedbugs that contained blood from their latest victim
- Bedbug excrement, which can be seen as dark, round spots that may leave “bleed” like a marker
- Eggs, eggshells, and pale yellow skins that are shed by young bedbugs as they grow into adulthood
Where to Check
While checking for bedbugs doesn’t need to be painstaking, you should make sure to cover all the bases. Bedbugs are sneaky, and like to find their way into small spaces and wedge inside seams and between small spaces. This is why you should be prepared to perform a thorough search. To help get a better view in difficult spaces, use an old credit card and a flashlight, if possible.
When checking for bedbugs, use the following guidelines:
- Lift linens from the bed and check outside edges and underneath the mattress
- Use the credit card to separate the seams, life tags, etc. so that you can see better
- Lift the mattress and check the box spring in the same manner as the mattress
- Check under the bed, near the headboards, and underneath small furniture like lamps
- Check furniture such as couches and chairs, removing cushions and examining the seams