5 On Your Side

Check rooms thoroughly to avoid bringing bed bugs home from vacation

Posted March 28

— Bed Bugs are no joke, and getting rid of them can be expensive. To avoid a horror story, take some simple steps when checking into a hotel.

First, put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter the hotel room.

"Bed bugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture, even inside walls so the bathroom is usually a safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters," Dan DiClerico said.

Check the sheets, mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs.

Look for dark, rust colored spots and exoskeletons, which are the casings the bugs leave behind. Look at the head of the bed and in, around and behind the headboard.

Be sure to check under the mattress as well.

"If you find any signs of bed bugs alert the manager immediately and ask for a new room in a different part of the hotel. Infestations can spread from wall to wall," DiClerico said.

It's a good idea to keep your luggage and clothes off the floor, on a hard surface or luggage rack, clear of any potential bed bug zones.

And when you get home, throw all of your clothes into a hot dryer for 30 minutes. The heat will kill any bugs. It is also suggested to store your empty luggage in your basement, garage or a hot attic.


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