6 Steps to Check for Bedbugs in a Hotel Room


bed bugTraveling should be fun and exciting, but when you’re worried about bringing bedbugs back to your home, a layer of anxiety is always present. Unfortunately, even the best, most expensive hotels aren’t immune to the pests, so it’s important to do a thorough check of your room before settling in so you can avoid bringing bedbugs back home with you. Follow these 6 steps to ensure a safe, pest-free trip.

  1. When you first enter your hotel room, do not set your luggage down on the bed or carpet. In fact, one entomologist recommends not using the luggage stands, as even those crevices can hide the sneaky pests. Instead, place your luggage in the bathtub until you have a chance to inspect the room.
  2. Head for the bed, pulling it away from the wall if at all possible. If the headboard is mounted to the wall, shine a flashlight (the one on your phone works perfectly) into whatever gaps you can find between the headboard and wall, looking for any tiny bed bugs crawling away from the intrusive light.
  3. Pull the sheets off of the bed and check the top surface of the mattress for any dark red-brown spots. These specks of dried blood are one of the tell-tale marks of bed bugs being present.
  4. Check every corner, crevice, and fold on the mattress, looking for both blood spots and the tiny bugs themselves. Use a credit card to pry apart stubborn folds and shine your flashlight into every corner.
  5. Go deeper! Check between the mattress and box springs, if there is one. If it’s a platform bed, check around the springs and in every crevice around the bed. Pay special attention to any seams in the mattress fabric or wood construction of the bed.
  6. Once you’ve cleared the bed, check the other upholstered items in the room. Some areas of note are the carpet (check around the baseboards and in corners around the room), any plush chairs (remove cushions where possible and check all seams and corners), and draperies (again, check seams and folds).

If you don’t find any evidence of bed bugs, you’re probably in the clear! Just to be sure, after your first night in the room, you can check the sheets for any of those tell-tale specks of dried blood. If you do find evidence of bed bugs, vacate the room with all of your luggage immediately, and let the hotel manager know what you found. Either way, after staying in a hotel, it’s always a good idea to check your own home following these same guidelines a week or two later to ensure you didn’t bring any accidental guests home with you.

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