Every winter and spring there are thousands of people that flock to warmer climates in search of some reprieve from the bitter cold temperatures. They spend countless hours searching for the best hotel or vacation rental so they can soak up the sun on their vacation. People are so excited when they arrive, they throw their luggage on the bed and quickly head out to explore and play. What they fail to realize is that even though their accommodations look really clean and nice, there still might be a bed bug infestation hiding. Today, we are going to give you seven steps to make sure your hotel or vacation rental doesn’t have bed bugs.
7 Steps to Make Sure Your Vacation Rental Doesn’t Have Bed Bugs
Step 1: Keep Your Luggage Out of the Room
Keep your luggage either in the car or at the entrance of your accommodations until you have inspected the bedroom. If you were to bring your luggage into the room right away, you risk having some bed bugs climbing into your luggage right away. Once you have inspected your room and don’t find any signs of bed bugs, it will be safe to bring your luggage into the room.
Step 2: Inspect the Bedding and Seams of the Mattress
The first place you want to start looking for bed bugs is obviously the bed. You’re looking for live bed bugs, bed bug sheds and blood spotting (think taking a pen and dabbing it on a piece of paper). You want to pull all the bedding away from the corners of the mattress. You’re going to inspect all seams of the box spring and even the bed sheets.
PRO TIP: Take the flashlight on your cell phone and use it to shine light in the dark areas. Bed Bugs don’t like light, and the light will make the bed bugs move.
Step 3: Inspect the Box Spring and Bed Frame
As noted above, bed bugs don’t like light, so they often times try to hide in dark areas. The box spring and bed frame provide a lot of protection from light so you can often find signs of bed bug activity there as well. Be sure to look at all the seams and crevices all around the bed. You never know where these little creatures will be hiding.
PRO TIP: Take your phone and put it in “selfie mode” so you can inspect underneath the bed without having to crawl under it.
Step 4: Inspect Behind the Headboard of the Bed
Many times bed bugs will also hide behind the headboard of the bed. There is a lot of little nooks and crevices for bed bugs to hide. Plus, it’s a safe place that’s close to their food source. Removing a headboard is normally very easy. If there are two people, you simply have to lift it up and it will slide off the frame or wall. If you can’t remove it, again use your flashlight to shine a light to try and make the bed bugs move.
Step 5: Move and Check Nightstands
Bedrooms often have nightstands by the bed. Bed bugs can easily travel to the nightstand and seek shelter in any of the cracks and crevices there. If the nightstand has drawers, be sure to check the corners of the drawer as well. If you have to, slide the nightstand out and look behind it too.
Step 6: Check All Window Coverings
If your hotel or vacation rental has windows that are close to the bed, be sure to inspect the curtains and curtain rods as well. Bed bugs are normally where the curtain and curtain rod meets. The easiest way to inspect this area is to simply pull the curtain tight and look where it naturally “bunches up”.
Step 7: Check Electrical Outlet Covers
When a bed bug infestation happens in a hotel, bed bugs can easily spread from room to room by going through wall voids. Every room has electrical outlets so those areas make for easy access to new food sources. When inspecting outlet covers, you just want to look around the cover. You’re looking for any signs of bed bugs. That might be live bed bugs, sheds, or fecal mater. Please do not stick anything in the electrical outlet.
There you have it. 7 quick and easy steps to make sure your hotel or vacation rental doesn’t have bed bugs. If you do find any signs of bed bugs, contact the front desk of the vacation rental host immediately. Worse yet, if you find that you ended up bringing bed bugs home with you from your vacation, you can call us at (715) 587-0626 to schedule a free inspection for bed bugs.