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The # 1 mistake you make against bed bugs in a hotel room, experts say

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Staying in a hotel is supposed to be carefree. From complimentary bathrobes and plush linens to a minibar stocked with goodies, a luxurious hotel room can make your getaway even more relaxing and enjoyable, even if it’s a business trip. But, while you might not want to think about it, the truth is that hotel rooms are rife with germs, and not only that, but they could be home to bed bugs as well.

The dreaded bedbugs tend to be frequent guests in hotels. Indeed, a study published in the journal Insects in 2021 found that bed bug treatments in hotels grew almost 114% from 2011 to 2016, so you can only imagine how good it is now. And since even the most upscale hotels may have bed bug issues, it is up to you to reduce your chances of infestation. While most people know to check the bed for these blood-sucking parasites, there is a common mistake hotel guests make in their rooms that experts believe could lead to bringing back bedbugs. bed at home. Read on to find out what it is and how you can avoid these bugs.

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While you might want to put your heavy bags down as soon as you arrive in your hotel room, don’t throw them directly on the bed, a common practice that could put you at risk. Nancy Troyano, PhD, a certified entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control, says you should never lay your luggage on the bed before looking for bed bugs. “When you travel, your luggage is a one-way ticket for a bed bug to a new home,” says Troyano. “Bedbugs are most often transported to new places via luggage.”

Instead of putting your luggage on the bed, Anthony O’Neill, a pest expert with over 20 years in the industry, recommends that you temporarily place your luggage in the bath or shower as soon as you enter your hotel room. “Bed bugs can’t climb on smooth surfaces and you would easily spot a bedbug in a light-colored bath,” she says.

A bug on a bed sheet moments after biting a person lying on the bed;  his body is swollen with blood.
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Bedbugs, which are small and brown in color, “prefer to hide near their hosts so that they can go out at night and feed on blood without being noticed,” explains Troyano, hence their hiding place and their name. more common.

According to Troyano, there are various signs that there may be bedbugs in your hotel bed. A major indicator is the skin that bedbugs shed before each new stage of life. “Often times, you can find these fallen skins around areas of infestation such as the folds of the mattress, around the edges and in the crevices of the bed,” says Troyano.

Other signs include fecal deposits, which appear as small black dots visible on the mattress or mattress cover, according to Troyano. There may also be blood stains on the sheets from previous bites from previous guests or you may be able to spot bedbug eggs. They are pearly white and are found in clusters about a millimeter long, pest control company said Terminix.

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Rear view of tourist in hotel room pulling curtains to see view
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Despite their name, bed bugs can hide in other crevices in your hotel room besides the bed. That’s why Troyano says you should also look for bed bugs next to cabinets, in dressers, around picture frames, and on furniture, especially those that are covered with fabric. Megan Cavanaugh, co-owner of pest control company Done Right Pest Solutions, says you should also inspect the edge of the rug along your room’s wall.

“If you’ve found something suspicious around the mattresses, check near the walls. Bed bugs hide in voids in the walls,” she explains.

Jordan foster, a pest control specialist at Fantastic Pest Control, claims that a bedbug infestation also tends to have a peculiar smell, which he describes as a musty, sugary smell that resembles soda.

Luggage on a hotel room bed
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No one wants to bring home bed bugs as a souvenir, which is why it’s important to keep your luggage clear. And apparently the color of the bags you choose could play a role in that. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, bedbugs prefer red or black shelters, while they are repelled by the colors yellow and green. This is likely because darker colors provide better hiding places, the researchers note.

Having dirty laundry in your luggage can also attract bed bugs. A 2017 study published in the journal Scientific reports found that these pests are twice as likely to cluster on bags with dirty clothes than those with only clean clothes inside. According to the researchers, they can be attracted to the smell of dirty laundry, so you’ll want to keep the clothes you’ve worn in a sealed bag to retain the smell.

RELATED: This Popular Summer Destination Has Become a Bedbug Epicenter.


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