During Your Stay
In the event that bed bugs are associated with the room but have gone undetected, there are some measures that you can take during the remainder of your stay to reduce the likelihood of taking the bed bugs home with you.
|If a glass top table with metal legs is present, placing bags, purses, and other personal items on it will reduce the likelihood of bed bugs.|
|Photo © Richard Cooper|
Throughout your stay you should make sure that your luggage is kept closed with the zippers fully zipped at all times. You may also wish to keep your luggage off the bed, away from the edges of walls and off luggage racks as these areas are more prone to bed bugs. If a glass top table with metal legs is present, placing bags, purses, and other personal items on it will reduce the likelihood of bugs getting into the items as these types of tables are not as “bed bug friendly” as wooden furniture.
Storing Your Personal Belongings and Clothing
You can choose to leave your belongings in the suitcase rather than unpacking your suitcase. Other than the times that you are taking items out or putting items in your suitcase, make sure that the zippers and pockets are tightly closed while the luggage is in the room. If you unpack and place item in closets and dressers you will increase the likelihood of bringing bed bugs back in your belongings if the guest room has an existing infestation.
|Use plastic bags to protect electronics, toiletries, and other nonlaunderables from bed bug infestation|
|Photo © Richard Cooper|
If you are traveling alone on short business and have a limited amount of clothing (one or two suits), you may want to pull the shower curtain all the way to one side and hang your suit(s) in the middle of the shower curtain rod where the probability of bed bugs getting on them is greatly reduced. Any items that cannot be laundered or dry cleaned can be very difficult to address should they become exposed to bed bugs during your travels.
When you packed prior to leaving on your trip, you should have placed items that were not able to be laundered, such as small electronics, computers, toiletries etc, in sealed Ziploc® bags. During your stay these items along with small gifts or other personal items acquired during travel should remain sealed in the Ziploc® bags at all times, other than when in use. This will help prevent these items from becoming infested if any bugs are in your guest room. These items will also remain protected in your luggage if bed bugs have been encountered but have gone undetected.
What If You Find Bed Bugs During Your Stay?
If at any point during your stay, you have a few choices:
First, you should inform lodging management about your concerns and you may wish to re-inspect the room. Remember that different people react differently to bed bug bites. You can decide to stay in that lodging or move to a new lodging. You can choose to stay in the room, request a new room or leave the facility and seek new lodging.
Regardless of what you decide to do, the chance that you will bring bed bugs with you in your belongings is a very real risk. The likelihood that bed bugs have found their way into your belongings will increase the longer that you have stayed in the infested environment. In some cases hotel management may offer to assist you in dealing with potentially infested luggage and personal items. Ultimately, if you have been exposed to bed bugs you should follow all steps in Chapter 4, Returning Home.
The likelihood that bed bugs have entered your belongings or laid eggs on your luggage or personal items will depend largely upon how long you have been in the room, (minutes, hours, days), how you have handled your belongings during your stay, and the severity of the infestation.
—Excerpted from Chapter 3, "At Your Destination" from the Complete Guide to Traveling Bed Bug Free
About the Book and the Authors...
The Complete Guide to Traveling Bed Bug Free is a PDF e-book published by Bed Bug Central and was written by Phil Cooper, Jeff White, and Stephanie Madden of Bed Bug Central and Cooper Pest Solutions of Lawrenceville, New Jersey. This new version contains over 40 pages of the most up-to-date bed bug information, color pictures and tips to help you remain bed bug free when you travel. This exclusive publication is designed for frequent travelers, college students, and anyone that may be worried about bringing bed bugs home.
We do not sell this book nor do we make a commission on it. It's just a useful book for travellers who are worried that they might pick up bed bugs and bring them home.
If you want to see what is in the book, here is a pdf file of the Table of Contents .
If you want to buy the Travel Guide (the cost of the book is $20.95 for the electronic edition) or if you want more information go to Bed Bug Central or direct to the order page or click on the graphic link below. (These links will take you out of Techletter.com.)