Whether at home or outside, bed bugs is a nuisance. Small, flat, wingless insects – they are reddish-brown in colour. Bed bugs are parasites that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Although as the name suggests they are primarily found in beds, they also reside in other places such as carpets, furniture and books.
If you happen to travel quite a bit, you are more prone to encounter these mini beasts. They can be found in clean as well as dirty places. Hence, a clean hotel doesn’t guarantee that they would be free of bedbugs. Called punaise de lit in French, they were at their boom a few years ago. To the extent that even some of the well-known hotels in London and New York have faced severe bedbug problems in the past.
Tips to spot bed bugs while travelling
When you are travelling, the best way to avoid bed bugs is to look out for them. It is a good idea to trace them even before you are put up in a place.
- Check the bed sheet and mattress of the bed for red, black and brown spots often left behind when the bed bugs get crushed. They also leave their feces on the sheets and mattresses and furniture.
- Check the edges of the mattress. They usually reside there.
- They travel very quickly and avoid light and usually feed on the human blood when they are in their sleep. Use a torch light and take off the bed sheet and inspect the underside of the mattress. This is their favourite place to gather and multiply.
- Inspect the legs of the beds. The bed bugs also travel in and out through the legs of the bed.
- Check for stains on the furniture.
- The holes in furniture are also a hiding place for them.
- Shake the mattress and bed for them to unsettle in order to make them visible to you.
Tips to handle a bed bug situation
If you some how unfortunately do land up in a bed bug infested hotel, the following tips might just come in handy.
- Place all your items, which have come in contact with the place where you have traced the bed bugs, in a plastic bag and seal it.
- Close your entire luggage so that they don’t get into it and travel along with you.
- Get out of your room and immediately contact the hotel manager.
The last thing you would want to do is carry home the bed bugs from outside. Hence, it is advisable to check the reviews of the hotels and guest house you plan to stay at when you are travelling.