How to check for bed bugs in my hotel room

Before you leave on your vacation, you can check the National Bed Bug Registry to see if your hotel has had any recent bedbug infestations. Keep in mind that these issues are more than likely resolved as soon as they are detected and this doesn’t mean that your hotel would still have an issue if it were listed. You can contact your hotel and confirm the problem has been resolved. Bedbugs in NYC hotels have been a concern for hotel administrators and for those looking for a place to stay when going on vacation. Once you’ve created a short list of hotels that are presumed to be bed bug-free, call and speak with the hotel and/or front desk manager to ask if recent incidents have been reported and what measures are being taken to avoid bed bugs.

how to check for bed bugs in NYC hotels

Follow the below tips to ensure you don’t go thru a bedbug nightmare instead of having a good time

Packing correctly is very important: When packing your suitcase, put your clothing in bags that can be closed and sealed shut. This will keep your clothes protected even if your luggage is exposed to bedbugs.

Upon arrival, put your bedbugs in hotels avoidance strategy into action with these four valuable tips:

Know what you are looking for

Bedbugs look similar to a tick but are mahogany or brownish-red in color and have an oval body shape. The younger set are lighter in color while bedbug eggs look a lot like a grain of rice. If you find them, switch rooms or perhaps move to a nearby hotel that you should pre-plan as a backup choice. You will be checking for small blood spots or caste skins of bedbugs left behind as they shed their skin. Of course you will also be looking for the bugs themselves as well.

adult bed bug feeding on a person

Adult bed bug feeding

Do a thorough search

At the hotel, check the room for any noticeable signs such as flecks of blood or debris on sheets, mattress or box spring. A musty or foul odor like spoiled meat is another sign of bedbugs. You might even spot actual bugs, living or dead, by bringing a flashlight to check in hard-to-see areas, such as crevices and cracks around baseboards, window casings, flooring, moldings, headboards and cluttered areas. The most important inspection area is the bed, including frames and box springs as well as throughout all the bed linens.

Store belongings strategically

You may want to avoid loading your clothing into the drawers and closets in your hotel room. Instead, consider leaving your clothes in closed, pre-treated luggage and sealed plastic bags until ready to use. Be sure to restore items in the same bags when no longer in use. Bedbugs do not like tile, marble, or metal – essentially any type of cold, hard surface, so you might consider keeping some belongings in the bathroom if there is room.

Be diligent

One inspection is not going to be enough to keep bedbugs away.  It is best to check at least once each day during your stay at a motel, hotel, resort or Inn. Even after you’ve completed your inspection, do not put suitcases on the bed or upholstered furniture in the hotel room. A tiled bathroom is a great place to store your baggage.

How to Check for Bed Bugs In Hotel Rooms: Step By Step Guide

It takes a little time—maybe 15 minutes—but it’s not that difficult to check for bed bugs in Brooklyn hotel rooms. You’ll certainly be wishing you did if you transfer bed bugs from a hotel into your home!

  1. Before you accept a room, place your luggage in a place where bed bugs are not likely to be, such as by the door or in the bathroom, while you inspect the room.
  2. First check each mattress. Look on both sides, paying particular attention to seams, tags, and buttons. If there are any holes in the mattress, be sure to inspect them. Also look over the pillows in the same manner.
  3. One of the most important things to know about how to check for bed bugs is that they can fit into extremely tiny nooks and crannies. So once you’re done with the mattress and pillows, check the headboard, bed frame, and box springs for signs of bed bugs (small stains, molted bed bug skins, eggs) around any joints, crevices, cracks, or holes.
  4. Check the rest of the room, beginning with furniture near the bed (e.g., nightstand). Bed bugs can be almost anywhere, so you’ll need to go over all the furniture, keeping in mind that bed bugs like out-of-the-way, dark places to hide. Inspect where the walls meet the floor. Check cushions; pull out drawers; look on the underside of everything. Besides furniture, inspect picture frames, and very importantly, the luggage rack (before you put luggage on it!).

Even after an inspection, you can’t be sure the room is free of bed bugs. So keep your luggage off the floor and keep whatever clothes you unpack bagged up in sealable plastic bags.

If you wake up with itchy red bumps after a night in a hotel or a rental, then you can assume your precautions have been unsuccessful. The chance that they are bed bug bites is too great to continue staying in that location unless you’re willing to let bed bugs feed off you during the rest of your stay. When returning home from any vacation, heat your luggage to at least 120 degrees (ideally in a portable heating unit designed for this purpose) and immediately wash all clothes on hot, keeping them in sealable bags until you place them directly in the washer.

Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From your NYC Hotel

bedbugs ins nyc hotelsWhen you get home, it is best that you continue to inspect for bedbugs before unpacking everything in your home. Visually inspect your luggage thoroughly. You shouldn’t set your luggage on carpeted areas until you are sure there are no bedbugs present.

As soon as you get home, put all clothing in the washing machine and wash on the highest heat setting you can to safely wash your clothing. When drying, do the same and dry with the highest heat setting that is safely possible. Before you put your suitcases away, use a vacuum and clean them out well before storing them. It is important to continue to be on the watch for any signs of bedbugs for some time upon arriving home.

Treating Bed Bugs in NYC Hotels

One of the most popular techniques for preventing or getting rid of bed bugs in hotels is by spraying chemicals regularly. Recent concerns about the environment have led to some hotels considering Integrated Pest Management or IPM as an alternative. However, some experts are concerned that this treatment may be exacerbating the bed bug problem. A precaution must go into using pesticides, including reading all instructions and gauging how long the treatment can last. For example, when treating a room with adulticide or a growth regulator, it can last up to 90 days.

Mattress Guards and Liners

Perhaps a more effective solution for bed bugs in hotels is to wrap mattresses with a liner. It can protect them from getting infested by bed bugs unknowingly brought in by guests.

  • It’s important to note that there is a difference between mattress guards and mattress liners.
  • Not just prevention, an Active Guard Mattress Liner can actually kill bed bugs and dust mites for close to two years.

Staff Knowledge

  • Educating staff about bed bugs is also a very good technique that hotels can use as part of a comprehensive bed bug strategy
  • A professional speaker who knows everything about bed bugs is a good starting point for staff training
  • These experts can help inform employees on what to look for, how to prevent and treat bed bug infestation
  • They can also inform employees on how to communicate with guests when they find bed bugs

Bedbugs in NYC Hotels Summary 

As you plan your summer vacation and hotel stay, consider these points:

  • Bed bugs are still a problem in many popular tourist cities around the country, especially in hotels.
  • Planning for potential bed bugs will make your holiday more enjoyable because you are being proactive about dealing with the problem in a way that doesn’t ruin your trip.
  • Have a strategy that involves actions to take before, during, and after your trip to maximize your chance of avoiding hotels where bed bug infestations have occurred and minimize your chances of unknowingly bringing the insects back home with you.
  • Hotels should be using pesticides regularly
  • Mattress liners can kill bed bugs and aide in quickly identifying bed bugs and eggs
  • Hotels need to consider using mattresses with both guards and liners
  • Staff training can provide a way for hotels to proactively participate in solving bed bug infestations, preventing future epidemics, and offering enhanced customer service for guests concerned about bed bugs.

Learn more about Bed Bug Infestation



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