To avoid bed bugs, that’s something we all want to do while traveling. Unfortunately, it’s quite common that cheaper hotels and hostels have bed bugs. Nicer hotels can also have bed bugs if they’ve bad luck with guests checking in with a suitcase full of those nasty bugs.
When you’re staying at a hostel, it’s extra important that you keep an eye open for these bugs, since it’s often at hotels that people see them. These small and irritating insects can cause a lot of problems during your journey; itchy skin, red bites and it would cost you a fortune if you’d ever get them home with you.
But, don’t you worry! With these tips, you can easily avoid bed bugs while traveling the world. I’ve followed these tips since I began traveling full-time, and I’ve never had any problems with the bugs *knock on wood*.
Here are my top 7 tips of how to avoid bed bugs:
Inspect your bed
One of the first things you should do when you check into your hotel room or dorm is to inspect your bed and look for the common signs of bedbugs. Lift the sheets and have a look at the edge of the mattress and also at the bottom and see if there are any black dots. If you see these black dots, it’s a sign that the bed might have bed bugs – because it’s what their feces looks like.
When you’re looking for bed bug feces, also see if you can find any bugs. They’re about as big as an apple seed and has a red/brown color. They thrive best in corners and seams of the mattress and bedding.
Before you do this inspection, make sure to put your bags in the bathroom. And don’t forget to have a look around the bed to be on the safe- and bedbug-free side!
Don’t put your suitcases on the floor or in the bed
If there are any bed bugs in your room, then you don’t want them to crawl into your suitcases. Therefore, keep in mind to never put your bags on the bed or the floor. Bedbugs thrive in beds and can even crawl from room to room, and that’s why you shouldn’t put your luggage on the floor either.
Put your suitcases on the desk, a dresser or on the room’s luggage rack to avoid bed bugs in your bags!
Read hotel reviews
To check hotel reviews on the Internet before booking your hotel, can help you a lot to avoid bed bugs. People usually write in their reviews if they’ve seen bed bugs at the hotel.
When booking your hotel through, for example, Hotels, Booking or Agoda, make sure to read the reviews of the accommodation. Click on the reviews for the hotel and then klick on the keys Cmd + F (Mac) or Ctrl + F (PC). A search box appears on the computer screen, and here you can search for the word “bed bugs.” A great and fast way to find out if a hotel has had bed bugs before or not!
This trick also works really well if you want to know what people think about other things at the hotel, for example, if the breakfast was delicious, the comfort of the beds, etc.
You can also have a look at the website The Bed Bug Registry, a database where people report about hotels that have had bedbugs. Also take a look at TripAdvisor, where you can read more reviews about the hotel you are planning to book!
Inspect at night
Since bed bugs often hide during daytime, it’s much easier to spot them during the evening. Newly hatched bedbugs are hard to find since they’re transparent, but the old bugs have a red/brown color and oval shape.
Make sure to bring a good flashlight, since that’s the best way to find them. Turn the lights of, flashlight on, and go for a bed bug hunt! If you turn on the lights in your room, they’ll hide!
Buy an Anti bedbug sheet to avoid bed bugs
To buy and use a so-called “anti-bedbug sheet” is a great idea for those who often stay at hostels. Since bed bugs often are found in hotel/hostel beds, this sheet will protect you while sleeping. Anti bedbug sheets are treated with Ex8-permethring, which is a synthetic insecticide that stuns and kills the insects that come in direct contact with the sheet. Permethrin is not harmful to humans.
Use a luggage liner
To be on the safe side, you may want to purchase a luggage liner for your clothes and things. This case protects both your clothes and belongings from bed bugs in your hotel/hostel and while traveling. The fact is that bed bugs can be found on both airplanes, buses, trains, and taxis if anyone travels with bed bugs in their luggage.
Make sure to have the luggage liner closed as much as possible to avoid bed bugs from crawling into your luggage.
When you get home
When you come back from your trip, you have to wash all your clothes. If you’ve stayed in a hostel/hotel with bedbugs during your journey, also make sure to wash everything again, in at least 50 degrees Celcius. The bugs won’t survive if you wash at high temperatures, and that’s a good way to avoid bed bugs from moving into your home.
It’s also a good idea to vacuum your suitcases and bags before putting them away.