Bed bugs - five tips to ensure you don't bring them home

Bed bugs are not a sign of poor hygiene, but are more likely to affect those who travel frequently. Therefore, airline staff and travellers need to be vigilant to spot any signs of bed bugs so that any suspected infestation can be quickly eliminated. Here are five top tips to help ensure you don’t bring an infestation home with you from your hotel or your flight:

  • Before you travel, check sites like TripAdvisor for customer reviews.
    Has your hotel has a problem with bed bugs in the past? If so, there’s a fair chance they will have taken the time to share their story to warn others. It’s always best to check ahead of time so you don’t invite any unwanted guests in with you.
  • Check your case and hotel room when you arrive
    When you enter a hotel room, make sure you check for signs of bedbugs before you start unpacking. The usual signs to look for are live insects, or blood spotting around your bed frame, mattress or suitcase. In hotels, they’re usually found on the bed, but can also be found on walls, bed boards and furniture, so ensure you undertake a thorough search before you settle into your room.
  • Don’t put your case on the bed when you arrive
    It’s the first thing many of us do when we arrive somewhere new, but if you suspect that there's an issue, put your case in an empty bath or shower. This helps to reduce the risk of 'bed bug hitchhikers' – bugs crawling from the bedding to your clothing and vice versa - by avoiding unnecessary contact with any fabrics which may be affected
  • Ask to change rooms
    If you suspect bedbugs are present, then ask to change hotel rooms. Should you make this request, then if possible request a room on a different floor, which is not directly above or below the suspected room. This is because bed bugs can travel up and down between rooms.
  • Search and wash your belongings as soon as you get home
    When you get back home after a trip, make sure you do the same as when you arrived at your hotel: put your case in a bath and check for signs of bugs before you start unpacking clothing. Even if you don’t find any evidence of bugs, it’s also good to wash any clothing you took with you on a 60 degree wash to help kill any live bugs or eggs.