In many countries, bed bugs represent serious problems for travellers. They should be aware of it and the last thing we want is to bring these tiny critters into our home. Before booking for the hotel, we should check any online report and review about bed bugs. Hotel comparison websites should include reviews and reports from previous guests. We should also call the hotel to ask whether regular inspections are performed to check whether there are bed bugs present. It is also a good idea to spray our luggage with spray based on permethrin and it is especially useful against bed bugs.
The substance should provide protection against bed bugs for a couple weeks, so our luggage will need extra spray after that period. We should be aware that house insect sprays have little effect on these critters, because they are quite tough against typical toxins. We should also bring only clothing that can be washed with hot water and hot-dried. This will kill any bed bugs that recently infest our clothing. In risky countries, we should ask to inspect the room, before we agree to hand over our credit card. We may open the bed and sheet to see whether there are small crawling creatures.
When checking the hotel room for bed bugs, it could feel a bit like a crime scene. We should bring a flashlight and disposable gloves. Much of the infestations are found in box springs and mattresses. Insects could be found in inaccessible spaces. Other than the crawling bugs, another indication is their fecal stains. We should remove pillows and linens from the beds to check the presence of black fecal stains. Even if the bed is clean enough, we should still check the rest of the room. As an example, there could be critters hiding under and inside drawers. We should also check along carpet edges and around air vents.
Even if the room is proven to be clean, we should still keep our luggage away from the bed and carpet. It is preferable that our luggage is kept in plastic bags. This will prevent any insect from inhabiting the interior of our luggage. Dirty and damp clothes are perfect habitat for bed bugs, so they should also be kept in a plastic bag and washed immediately. Before we return home, it is preferable to wash clothes that we wear in the local laundry service. We could ask for a place to change clothes and immediately wash the clothes that we wear from the hotel. When we arrive home, it is a bad idea to carry our suitcases directly into our house.
As we unpack suitcases, we should directly unpack the content in the porch and check for any crawling critter. Cotton clothing should become the number one suspect. Again, we should use the flashlight to closely inspect our items. Any bug that we detect should be handled with vacuum cleaner.