We’re starting with this subject because it is, by far, the most common way that people end up bringing bed bugs back home with them – they are exposed to the bed bugs in their hotel room!
Hotels around the world have been fighting a loosing battle with bed bugs for years. You see, when a hotel offers a patron a room, that patron expects a number of things; a clean environment, a comfortable bed, a decent T.V. and a good nights sleep. We all know this and, for what we’re paying these days for even a lower-end hotel room, we expect these things as a basic minimum. One thing we sure don’t expect is to be exposed to an insect that creeps up on us as we’re sleeping, feeds on our blood, then hides in our clothing or even on our body and hitches a ride back home with us! Unfortunately for many, this is exactly what takes place thousands of times a day, each and every day around the world!
Knowing that we are at great risk of bed bug exposure by the simple act of sleeping in a hotel, the obvious question comes to mind; How do we inspect our hotel room for bed bugs?! Here’s what to do…
What you will need:
- An L.E.D. flashlight
- A pair of disposable nitrile gloves
Procedure for inspecting your hotel room for bed bugs
You will be looking for bed bugs, bed bug fecal matter and bed bug cast skins. Please see our main website for pictures of these items.
- Before entering your hotel room have someone watch your bag that you leave just outside the door (for security purposes
- Enter the hotel room and proceed to the farthest corner of the room to your left. The direction of your inspection should take place in a clockwise manner. Look up! Check the portions of the walls of the room that meet the ceiling. You are primarily checking for fecal matter of any bed bugs that have ambulated vertically.
- Start with the bed by carefully looking behind the headboard with your flashlight. Bed bugs hate light so when you shine your flashlight back there, if there are bed bugs present you should see movement.
- Make your way downwards towards the floor by the headboard checking for any signs of the bugs as mentioned below. Carefully lift the duvet up and look under the sides and ends of where it hangs over the box spring and mattress. Check the corners and piping of the mattress itself – it is in these places that you are most likely to find the actual bed bugs.
- Continue to inspect the actual bed in this way until you have reached all the way around to the other side, then check behind that side of the headboard. Don’t forget to check the bottom of the headboard as well!
- If there is a picture hanging above the bed, gently move the bottom of it away from the wall just enough to shine your light behind it… again, if there are bed bugs present you should see movement.
- Check behind the night tables that are usually adjacent to the bed itself. Bed bugs love to hide in, around and underneath these articles in particular but take care to avoid having your clothing (including your knees) touch anything in the room until you are satisfied that there are no bed bugs present.
- Make your way around to the window area – here, you are primarily checking to see if there are bed bugs in or on the curtains. Take particular care to check the pleated folds that are usually part of the top of a curtain set… bed bugs LOVE to hide in those folds!!!
- Next, continue around to the T.V. area. Televisions produce a little bit of heat and it is for this reason that bed bugs are sometimes tricked into thinking that there may be a food source there waiting for them. Bed bugs track their food source (us!) by means of three distinct methods; our exhalation of CO2, our body temperature and our pheromones. The temperature of a T.V. will often cause bed bugs to ambulate to that area.
- Finally, continue your inspection to include any dressers and drawers associated with them, the closet, the luggage stand and the bathroom.
If you find bed bugs in your hotel room during your inspection we have some valuable tips on how to go about taking the next steps. Should you not find bed bugs in your hotel room you should not relax quite yet. Remember, a visual inspection is not particularly reliable even on a good and when being done by a pro so there are some steps that you should take while staying in your hotel room to further reduce your chances of bringing home more than memories from your vacation. The next blog post will deal with both scenarios.