Imagine this: After a hard day of traveling, you’re ready to relax in your hotel room. You don’t know that you’re not alone when you fall off to sleep. You wake up the next morning with red, itching bumps all over your body. That’s when you realize and think to yourself “I slept in a hotel with bed bugs”.
You have just seen a bed bug. Fortunately, this guide will tell you what to do if you stay in a hotel with bed bugs, how to keep them from coming home with you, and what to do after your trip.
I slept in a hotel with bed bugs
You’re upset after you slept in a hotel with bed bugs. But don’t worry, do the following:
1. Identify bed bugs in your hotel room
Bed bugs are little, flat, oval-shaped bugs that are a shade of reddish brown. Most of the time, they hide in gaps, crevices, and folds, making them hard to find. Bed bugs are about 4 to 5 millimeters long as adults, but their eggs and young are even smaller and difficult to notice.
Here are some things to look for if you think you have bed bugs:
- Small black or brown feces patches on sheets, beds, or adjoining furniture.
- Bed bugs that you crush will leave blood stains on sheets and pillowcases.
- Bed bug skins or exoskeletons left behind after molting.
- A musty, pleasant odor.
2. Document the evidence
Take photographs or videos of the bed bugs in the hotel room you slept in, their fecal spots, shed skins, and any other evidence you can find. This documentation will be essential if you decide to seek compensation or pursue legal action.
Also, keep a record of your interactions with the hotel staff, including names, dates, and actions taken.
3. Report the issue
Contact the hotel’s front desk or management right away and tell them about the problem.
Show proof, such as images or the bugs themselves, to back up your claim. Ask to be relocated to another room, preferably in a different part of the hotel or on a different level. The hotel employees should be kind and willing to help you with your problems.
If the hotel gives you a new room, make sure to perform another comprehensive check of your new room before you move in. Check the same places you did before for evidence of bed bugs. If you notice more signs of bugs, you might want to change hotels.
4. Tell the hotel staff when you plan to leave
Make sure to let the hotel personnel know if you decide to depart. They should understand and either give you a refund or help you locate another place to stay.
While still lodging in the hotel, keep your bags off the floor and away from the bed to keep bed bugs from following you home. Put your baggage on a luggage rack, a firm surface, or in the bathtub. You can also seal your things in large plastic bags or suitcase liners to keep bed bugs from getting in.
5. Keep the bed bugs from coming home with you
Do the following if you slept in a hotel with bed bugs to prevent them from following you home.
a. Look over your things
Check your bags and belongings for evidence of bed bugs before you leave the hotel. If you uncover any evidence, make sure to put it in a separate bag and seal it.
b. Get your clothes clean
Use the highest heat setting to wash and dry all of your garments. This will kill any bed bugs, bed bug eggs, or bed bug nymphs that are lurking in your garments. If you can’t wash something, you might want to dry clean it.
Consider washing clothing and stuffed animals and then dry them on high settings for 30 minutes, according to Contra Costa Health Services.
c. Vacuum your luggage
Pay extra attention to seams, zippers, and pockets when you vacuum your luggage. Right away, throw away the vacuum bag or clean the vacuum canister.
d. Treat with heat
If you can’t wash something, you might want to use a portable heat treatment chamber.
Bed bugs and their eggs can be killed in these chambers with intense heat, which doesn’t hurt your things.
What to do when you get back home
Once home after sleeping in a hotel with bed bugs, do the following:
1. Keep an eye out for bed bugs
Keep an eye out for bed bugs in your home for a few weeks after you get back from your trip. Check your bed, furniture, and other areas you might hide things often.
Take action right away if you see any signs of an infestation to stop it from spreading.
2. Get medical help
If you have been bitten by bed bugs, you may feel itchy, have redness, and swell up. Most bites from bed bugs don’t hurt, but some people may have an allergic reaction that needs medical help.
Talk to a doctor if you have a lot of itching, pain, or signs of an infection.
3. Call a professional pest control company
If you find bed bugs in your house, you should call a professional pest treatment firm. They have the experience, skills, and understanding to get rid of the problem and stop it from happening again.
4. Write down your findings
Keep a record of your encounter with bed bugs, including images of the bites and the infestation, as well as any conversations you had with the hotel employees. This paperwork could help you get money or take legal action if you need to.
5. Let travel sites and apps know about your experience
Tell other travelers about the bed insect problem at the hotel by writing about it on travel websites and platforms.
Write an honest, informative review of the hotel to help other people from having the same bad experience you did.
How to avoid getting bed bugs in the future
Follow these simple tips to avoid the same problem of sleeping in a hotel with bed bugs:
1. Check out hotels before you book
Before booking, read reviews and ratings of hotels to avoid those that have had bed insect problems in the past. But remember that even high-end hotels might have problems with bed bugs.
2. Use suitcases with hard sides
Choose hard-sided luggage over soft-sided bags since bed bugs have a harder time getting in and hiding in them.
3. Always bring a flashlight for inspection
Bring a small flashlight with you to help you look for bed bugs in your hotel room, especially in places with low light.
4. Be cautious when in the room
Once you step into your hotel room, do not be tempted to jump in the bed; that could be the start of your bed bug experience in the room. The bedding may look all clean but even bed bugs love clean stuff. So, bedding and other furniture in the hotel room don’t have to be dirty to be infested by bed bugs.
Conclusion – slept in a hotel with bed bugs
If you’re still worried about bringing bed bugs into your house, call a pest control professional in your area to check things out. They will be able to help you look for evidence of pests in your luggage and your home. They will also advise you on what to watch out for in the days and weeks to come.