Health Alert: How to check for hotel bed bugs

In recent times the bedbug problem has been really picked up steam. More and more homes, hotels, and hostels are falling victim to an increased number of bedbug invasions and bed bug bites. When travelling around Europe, here are several easy ways to check your hotel for bedbugs.

Check for bedbugs online

One of the best ways to learn if you could be getting a hotel room that has bedbugs, is by using an online search for hotel bedbugs mentioned in reviews or full-blown complaints. It’s not uncommon for every hotel in the world to have a few complaints about bedbugs. It’s the most recent and named hotels that you want to stay away from. In other words, it’s alright to have a random offense for bedbugs, but if a hotel has multiple complaints within recent dates you can bet they are experiencing a bedbug invasion.

Precautions upon arrival

When you first go into your hotel room, there is a routine procedure you can adopt to make sure you don’t get any unwanted bedbug bites or hitchhikers in your luggage. If you have a concern about bedbugs, leave your bags by the door while you go in and look around the room. There is little sense in getting your bags any further in the room, especially unpacked, if there are hotel bedbugs present. Another great idea is to put your luggage in a clean and dry bathtub.

Where to look for hotel bedbugs

Go straight to the bed as soon as you get into the hotel room. Pay special attention to where the bed seams are sown together, the bed frame and even the headboard. Bedbugs aren’t like most other undesirables such as lice. Bedbugs hide during the day and wait for you to become inactive during sleep before springing into action.

When you look around for bedbugs themselves you may not find any. What you will find though, are traces of dried blood on sheets and mattress seams. This is blood drawn their sleeping victims before scurrying back to their hiding places on the underside of the bed. Sleeping with these little critters can truly be one of the most distressing experiences while backpacking through Europe.

What to do

When you search the room, be sure to pull the bed away from the wall. Use a flashlight to check the headboard and bed frame for the tell tale signs of dried blood or the bedbugs themselves. Pull the covers and sheets off the bed and do the same with the box springs. Check the underside of the mattress and the seams all the way around the bed and do the same for the box springs. Keep your eyes open for dried and pooled blood or the quick little black bedbugs themselves.

The next morning

If your search for bugs comes up clean then you’re probably in the clear. Make sure you redress the bed or have housekeeping do it for you. Then, the next morning when you get out of bed it is essential to check your sheets straight away and look for bedbug blood trails. If you find any new blood or anything that looks like tiny rust spots, you more than likely had an “encounter” with hotel bed bugs. Tell the hotel management straight away.

Useful bedbug sprays and products

We recommend travelling with the following products to give you piece of mind:

Check out these 5 etiquette tips for sleeping in hostels.