Bed bugs, known technically as Cimicidae (which are actually a few different species), are nocturnal parasitic insects that feed on blood, especially human blood. They can be thought of almost like mosquitos that don’t have wings. Their bites swell and redden to create little bumps that are itchy, just like mosquito bites. Luckily, bed bugs have not been found to transfer diseases to humans, although they can carry human diseases like MRSA. They are very small, about the size and shape of apple seeds, and since they are nocturnal they are usually hiding during the day. This can make them hard to find, but generally when inspecting for bed bugs, you look for small blood spots on your sheets and tiny black dots smaller than poppy seeds (their excrement). You can also sometimes find the empty shells they leave behind after they molt.
More and more hotels have been found with bed bugs. If you are concerned about bed bugs in your hotel, look for the signs mentioned above in and around the bed. You may want to take off all the sheets and inspect the seam of the mattress all the way around, as this is a favorite spot to hide for bed bugs. If you find them, report it to the management and request a different room, one that isn’t adjoined to the infected room. They will almost always accommodate your request if possible, and sometimes even give you a discount.
Other steps you should take include not throwing your luggage or any clothes onto the bed. Put them on a hard surface like the desk that is in most rooms. Then, don’t unpack your clothes into the dresser or closet as they can live there. Leave your clothes in your suitcase, and separate any clothes that have come in contact with the bed by sealing these in plastic bags. When you get home, immediately wash them in hot water before even taking them into your bedroom. This way if there are bed bugs that you don’t find, they won’t be able to get to your home. Now that you know how to avoid bed bugs in hotels, you can take this advice and keep yourself and your home safe from infection.
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It’s easy to prevent bed bugs and a bed bug infestation by taking a few pre-cautionary steps. The best way to prevent bed bugs is by using a bed bug mattress barrier and box spring protector. Allergy Luxe offers a line of bed bug bedding protectors!