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14 Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotels when Traveling

Updated on October 1, 2014

How to Avoid Hotel Bed Bugs

With the huge increase in reports of bed bug infestations and bed bugs in hotels, traveling has become hazardous. Bed bugs can attach themselves to travelers, and drop off in hotel rooms, and even movie theaters! You need to be armed with knowledge if you want to avoid bed bugs in hotels. I have compiled a list of fourteen methods and tips you can use to prevent bed bugs from getting you while you travel.

Avoiding bed bugs is something you can do if you pay close attention to your surroundings and know what to signs to look for. You can avoid hotel bed bugs by implementing some simple procedures.

If you have never had bed bugs, you can take precautions against getting them in the future. Just because you have to stay in a hotel, does not mean you can't avoid bed bugs and bringing them back to your home.


Check Hotels for Bed Bugs

Make a plan...

What about if you have to travel and stay in a hotel? How do you avoid bed bugs in hotels when you have to travel for business or vacation? You really cannot be certain if a hotel has bed bugs. You need to take the same care as you would at your house, and do the same type of checking.

A good first move is to do an online search of the hotels by name, in the city and general vicinity you will be staying. Look for reviews of hotels by people who have actually stayed in them. It's not likely that the hotel would advertise that it had a bed bug problem, so you need to look for unbiased reviews of all the hotels on your list.

Remember too, just because you locate some hotels that is not listed as having had bed bugs, does not necessarily mean it is bed bug free hotel. A bed bug problem can happen at a moments notice when a traveler brings them from home, or another hotel. Seeing as they hitchhike in luggage and clothing, it is no wonder hotel bed bugs are so common.

When you have no choice but to stay in a hotel or motel, how can you avoid bed bugs?

Photo credit to Bryn Pinzgauer on Flickr

Here is how you can check for bed bugs in your hotel. Do a visual inspection of the all the bedding, linens, mattress and pillows. Watch out for smears of blood or dried specks in dark brown or black shades. These are bed bug droppings and indicate a present or past bed bug infestation.

If you see these common and very obvious indications of hotel bed bugs, don't hesitate for moment. The last thing you want is to stay in a hotel with bed bugs because you surely will bring them back home with you, as well as bringing them into any other hotel you visit, perpetuating the hotel bed bug problem.

Make sure that after you check the mattress, that you also check the head board. Inspect the dressers and night stands if they are by the bed. Bed bugs like to hide and stay in the dark, so drawers are a place they could hide.

If you suspect you see bed bugs in your hotel room, take action quickly. Go to the front desk and report the problem immediately. Talk to a manager if possible, in case he' not aware of the problem. Changing rooms is not a viable option, as bed bugs in hotels easily spread from room to room. It will be much better for your peace of mind to leave and find another hotel without bed bugs!

Photo credit to Love My Tours on Flickr - Hotel

Photo credit to cuttelfish on Flickr- Mattress with bed bugs

Hotel Bed Bugs found!

Prevent Bed Bugs with Simple Steps

There are steps you can take to make your trip easier should a problem arise when you arrive at your hotel. Contact a travel agent or go online and get information on several hotels in the area. In case you find your hotel has bed bugs, maybe the next one on y our list will be bed bug free. Plan ahead so you don't feel pressured to stay in a hotel with bed bugs just because you aren't aware that you have another choice. Plan out a list of hotels that you can fall back on. This will give you some peace of mind.

Take the following precautions even if you don't see any obvious signs of bed bugs in your hotel room, . It is far easier to avoid bed bugs than it is to get rid of bed bugs once you bring them into your home.

I advise bringing a bottle of a non toxic bed bug spray such as Green Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray, 16 oz. Spray Bottle. I only advocate the use of non-toxic pest control products, as you know. They make small travel size sprays that you can use in hotels for getting rid of bed bugs.

Don't place your suit cases on the floor, as bed bugs could be in the carpet. Place them up onto a piece of wood furniture. Usually you find the hotel has supplied a luggage rack, and if they do, use it. Don't place your handbag or worn clothing on the floor either as bed bugs can climb into your clothes and remain undetected until you get home and then it is too late. Hang your handbag in the closet or even off the shower curtain rod if you can.

Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray

This is the perfect size spray for tucking into your suitcase to travel with. Of course, if you need larger for around your home, Amazon carries a larger size as well.

Hotel Bed Bugs- Have you ever.....

Have you experienced bed bugs in a hotel?

See results

Keeping Your Clothes Bed Bug Free

When you remove your clothing at the end of the day, bag it up in plastic bags if you aren't going to wear it again. Use Hefty One Zip Big Bag Xl 4 Pack, resealable plastic bag. I found that Hefty makes some extra large resealing plastic bags that can be used for travelers to seal their clothing in to protect from bed bugs!

These are very handy, like extra giant baggies! These are eleven gallon size bags that zip closed, and are fully effective in sealing out bed bugs and offering you protection.

This way in case the hotel had bed bugs and you didn't know, you have contained them if they got on your clothes. This will make it easy when you get home to toss the clothes into the washer and then dry on hot heat, just in case.

If you want to be super cautious about avoiding bed bugs in hotels, then when you remove and bag up your clothing, get to a laundry mat the next day and do a wash and dry. Some hotels may even have a laundry service available. This way you can be assure that even if you did pick up any bed bugs on your clothing from the motel, that you have contained and killed them on those articles of clothing.

Sealable Garment Bags Keep Out Bed Bugs

These types of HUGE sealing plastic bags can be used to safely store your clothes while you travel.

Bed Bugs in your Suitcase?

Tell Bed Bugs no hitchhiking in your bag

Make sure to check your luggage before you leave the hotel. As a precautionary measure, I would use a non-toxic bed bug spray and spray the suitcase inside and out. I advise only using only safe, natural bed bug sprays. There is no need to contaminate your personal items with deadly pesticides. There are different kinds of bed bug travel sprays that are convenient and easy to use, as well as natural and non toxic.

Image credit goes to Emman Cleary on Flickr

Some bed bug sprays use pyrethrum, a synthetic version of the chrysanthemum flower. While it is generally advertised as being non-toxic, after reading the material data safety sheet on this pyrethrum, I wouldn't use it. It is evident that anything designated as non-toxic, should not have the potential to kill or seriously harm anything except the insect it comes in contact with.

Pyrethrum is deadly poisonous to cats. This is why you must never use flea and tick killer designed for use on a dog on your cat. Your cat will be poisoned and die. Keep it far away from your cat!

I feel much safer using a product like this that states it is safe around pets and kids. Green Rest Easy Bed Bug Travel Spray is a twin pack of 2 oz spray bottles, which is the perfect size for sticking in your luggage. It has a nice cinnamon scent and not a gaseous chemical cloud that toxic insecticides have. It also comes in a larger size of 16 oz, which may be better if you need to spray a lot of items.

Green Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray, 16 oz. Spray Bottle is all natural, non-toxic and safe around kids and pets. Even if you aren't traveling with kids or pets, your health is just as important. Always be safe and stick with organic and natural pest repellents.

Bed Bug Killing Products on Amazon

Bed Bug Killing Products on Amazon

More Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs in your Hotel Room

No Love for Bed Bugs

As I said, it is easier to avoid bed bugs than to get rid of them, so here are some more tips to avoid hotel bed bugs.

If the hotel supplies dry cleaning bags in the closets, you can place your hanging clothing in them and tie them up at the top or bottom. Keep your clothing away the bed, and off the carpeted floor. You can even plan ahead and bring your own dry cleaning bags to protect your clothing from bed bugs.

Consider getting undressed in the bathroom and hang your clothes in the shower if you can. Bring hangers with you if you travel frequently. This way you can hang your clothes off the shower curtain rod if needed. For extra precautions, you can bring your own clear plastic bags, and hang your clothes inside of them.

Photo credit to MrKthika on Flickr

Suppose you come home from a trip where you stayed in a hotel and notice much to your dismay that you have bed bugs from the hotel in your suitcase? Heat will kill the bed bugs on your clothes, which you can throw in a dryer for an hour or so. But, what can you do to kill the bed bugs in your luggage?Believe it or not, there is a device made for this problem.

The PackTite Portable Bed Bug Killing Heater Unit is designed just for this purpose.

No matter what stage of development the bed bugs are, from adult to eggs, the PackTite bed Bug Heater Killer will kill all bed bugs. No chemicals are used, and you can set the timer to a heating time of up to six whole hours! No hotel bed bugs will survive six hours of being steamed, assuring your suitcase is rendered bed bug free once again.

This heater unit wouldn't be necessary for an occasional traveler, but for someone who travels often, this may be critical to avoid those hotel bed bugs!

Bed Bug Heating Units KILL Bed Bugs Deader than Dead

Kill them bed bugs!!!

Bed Bug Books - Arm yourself with knowledge

Avoid, Prevent, Kill, Exterminate- Get Rid of Bed Bugs Now!

14 Important Steps to Avoid Hotel Bed Bugs

Summary of Bed Bug Precautionary Steps

1.) Before you even leave on your trip, investigate your hotel online to check if any complaints have been filed against it for bed bugs.

2.) In case you need to switch hotels, bring along a list of the names, phone numbers and directions to other hotels in the area.

3.) Pack a non-toxic bed bug spray, and several large, empty Hefty sealable bags.

4.) Prior to packing your suitcase, place your clothes inside the giant Hefty Bags. This assures you won't get any hotel bed bugs on your clothes even if they do get in your suitcase.

5.) Bring along your own hangers so you can hang your clothes in the shower.

6.) Bring a roll of quarters and some laundry detergent in case you need to do an emergency wash after finding bed bugs.

7.) Keep anything you absolutely don't need in the car. No need to expose all your belongings to a potential problem inside your hotel room. This limit's the exposure your clothes or items get with the hotel room environment.

8.) Upon arrival at the hotel, do a visual inspection before you even bring your luggage into the room. Make sure you check all the places bed bugs can hide.

9.) Keep hotel bed bugs at bay be spraying your suitcase on the outside with non toxic bed bug spray.

10.) Keep your suitcases and handbag off the floor. Bag up your handbag if possible.

11.) Don't allow your worn clothes come in contact with the floor. Bag it up immediately if you won't be wearing it the next day. Use a resealing Hefty Bag.

12.) Shower very well in the morning before you leave with hot water.

13.) Before you depart the hotel, spray the outside of your suitcase again before brining it back to your car.

14.) When you return home after your trip, transfer the clothes from the Hefty Bags directly into a very hot wash. Dry on high heat for at least an hour. Spray your suitcase once more before bringing it in the house.

Now you can rest assured that you have taken all precautions possible to avoid bed bugs in hotels.

Poll Module- Bed Bug Talk

Tell me if you have any bed bug experiences!

Do you have any experience with bed bugs?

See results

Bed Bugs on You Tube - Nite Nite, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

If this doesn't give you the creeps, I am not sure what will!

Bed Bug KILLING Machines!

Steamers and badass bed bug killing machines!

Bed Bug Home Protection - Protect Your Bed!

Keep you bed safe from these blood sucking creatures of the night.

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice Informative Article!

    • Demaw profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent information on the subject. I try to be vigilant. I have a steamer and keep DE around just in case.

    • allaboutdubai profile image


      6 years ago

      Bedbugs are a serious problem. Thanks for tackling them. Squid liked it!

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Very comprehensive and useful lens on Bed Bugs and how one can avoid being infested. I will definitely purchase the Green Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray for next trip.


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