check for bed bugs in hotel room

How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room

The last thing anyone wants to think about when they travel are the creepy crawling things in the bed and linens of a hotel or hostel. These small, reddish-brown insects can easily travel home with you in your clothing and luggage, eventually infesting every soft surface and wall in your home. Before unpacking your bags or sitting on the bed, consider checking these typical hiding places for these blood sucking insects.

1. Before you begin looking, set your luggage down in the bathroom.

This is the least likely place for bedbugs to hide. If you do find the insects in other areas of your room, you are unlikely to carry them with you in the luggage if it never touches the furniture or carpet.

2. Scan the bed.

Look at the outer coverings of the bed for any dark insects about the size of an apple seed. Since adult bed bugs are known to shed their skin several times, their size may vary, but they will leave behind dark looking insect carcasses.

bed bug close up
This is an actual bed bug

3. Pull back the bed coverings.

Be sure to check below comforter, sheets, and mattress protector for any evidence of bed bugs. Pay close attention to the head of the bed and look for dark, rust-colored spots.

4. Lift the mattress off of the box spring.

Since the mattress is rarely lifted off of its foundation, this is a prime breeding ground for insects. Look along the seams, any detailing in the headboard, or along zippers that may be found in the mattress.

bed bugs under mattress
Be sure to check under the mattress

5. Check the other furniture.

Even though they are named “bed bugs,” these critters can hide in furniture too. Look in the couch cushions and on any throw pillows, paying close attention to seams and zippers.

6. Scan the closet.

Soft surfaces are not the only places bed bugs like to hide. Dark spaces such as closet corners and along floorboards is especially susceptible to infection. Think of it this way – anywhere you might find spider webs; you may find bed bugs.

7. Use luggage stands.

Once you have examined any webbing on a luggage stand for signs of bed bugs, be sure to stow any luggage there. Avoid placing your luggage on the floor, and the bed as any undiscovered bed bugs are likely to find and infest your luggage immediately.

luggage rack
Make sure to use the luggage stand

If you discover bed bugs in your hotel room, it is within your right to request another room in another part of the hotel until you find a clean place to lay your head. Even after thoroughly inspecting a hotel room, it is possible to bring bed bugs home with you. Bed bugs die at 120 degrees Fahrenheit so putting your clothes directly into the dryer will kill any larvae, eggs or adult insects. Likewise, storing your luggage in the garage or a hot attic will kill any hitchhikers who have made it home.

If you have been the victim of a bed bug infestation as a result of staying in a hotel, contact the Washington, DC bed bug lawyers at The Elan Law Firm for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries and the cost associated with the eradication of any infestation in your home.