Travel Pests: How to Avoid Bringing Home Bed Bugs

With Labor Day fast approaching, many people are planning to get away for the long holiday weekend. However this year, more than ever before, many travelers are concerned about the possibility of finding bed bugs when they arrive at their hotel. Nothing can ruin a vacation, a business trip or a reputation faster than sharing your space with bed bugs. And it’s not just finding them at your hotel. You want to be sure you don’t unknowingly bring them home with you. What’s a traveler to do? Follow these six tips to ensure you won''t have unexpected visitors when you return home from your trip.

o First, don’t ever put your luggage on the bed. Use the luggage rack and make sure you pull it away from the wall.

o Don’t unpack your clothes in the hotel drawers. It may be more inconvenient, but live out of your suitcase.

o It helps to travel with a flashlight. Use it to check the headboard, and under the drawers in the end tables. Lift up the mattress and look underneath. Check the sheets and pillows, particularly the seams. You’re looking for both bed bugs and any telltale black or brown blood spots.

o Don’t hesitate to ask for a new room if you see any signs of bed bugs.

o When you’re ready to check out, pack all of your clothes into plastic bags. When you get home, put those clothes in the washer immediately or send them out to the dry cleaners.

o Grab the vacuum and thoroughly vacuum out your suitcase.

o If you can freeze your clothes—even your suitcase—it’s an excellent way to kill off those bed bugs.

To help travelers understand how to prevent bed bug infestations in their homes, Home Team Pest Defense has a Bed Bugs Tip Sheet which is free and available for download at

*iStock Photos