How To Check for Bed Bugs

How to check for bed bugs at home and in hotel rooms.

Even though bed bugs are tiny, you can spot them easily if you know how and where to look.

Bed bugs, with the survival instinct of cockroaches, continues to plague cities across the country. Due to increased interntional travel and the restricted use of potent insecticides and pesticides, these bugs are making a comeback and infesting homes, schools, restaurants, hotels and movie theaters more rapidly than ever in the past.

How Bed Bugs Get Into The Home

A popular myth surrounding these bugs is that they are only found in places that are unsanitary or overpopulated. This is not true as the environment in which these bugs live does not greatly influence their chances for survival. As long as the climate is moderate in temperature and the surroundings provides ample opportunity for feeding (on human and animal blood), bed bugs can thrive almost anywhere. Even the most luxury hotels and condos have been reported to be infested with bed bugs.
 
While bed bugs don't hop or fly, they are gifted hitchhikers. These bugs can crawl very fast and tend to hide in luggage, cardboard boxes, clothing, used furniture and other items that one bring back into the house. If you live in an apartment complex, bed bugs may move from apartment to apartment.

How To Check For Bed Bugs In Your Home

If you notice skin bites and suspect bed bugs are present in your home or apartment:

Use a torchlight and inspect the bed frames and the mattresses (along the seams and edges) first as bed bugs tend to congregate near where their victims sleep. Look for any physical signs of the bugs, skeletons of dead bed bugs or their fecal matter and molted skins (bugs shed their skin during molting).

Another clue is to check the bedding and bed linens for any signs of dried blood or brown spots which may indicate the presence of bed bugs.

In addition, you may also want to check the closets, drawers, lampshades, nightstands or any upholstered furniture that is near the bed. If you have carpets in the room, you may also want to look underneath that as well. These are some of the common areas where bed bugs will hide other than the bed.

What To Do If You Find Bed Bugs In Your Home

If you find bugs in your home, try to locate all infested areas. Contact a bed bug exterminator to determine the best ways to rid your home of the bugs.

In the meantime, the room where bed bugs are found need to be de-cluttered and vacuumed. All bed linens and pillow covers need to be removed and washed in hot water above temperature 120°F for at least 20 minutes. Do the same for clothing and other items like blankets, stuffed animals, decorative pillows, and area rugs.

If possible, apply non-toxic pesticides like Diatomaceous Earth to defend your perimeters around the apartment or house.

Also read about how to get rid of bed bugs yourself

If you live in an apartment, contact the management office or your landlord to report the problem as the apartments near you may need to be inspected as well.

How To Check For Bed Bugs In Hotel Rooms

Increased travel has allowed bugs to travel from one location to another quickly by crawling into luggage and other items. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know in advance if your hotel room is infested. Even if a hotel has been recently renovated, bed bugs can still infest rooms within days. But there are a few precautions you can take to decrease your chances of taking bugs home with you when traveling.

How To Check For Bed Bugs

Prior to reserving a room, check out Bed Bug Registry to read customer reviews on any reported incidences of bed bugs in the hotel you intend to stay. This step alone will help you avoid and reduce the chances of any encounter with bed bugs.

To further reduces the chances of getting bitten by bed bugs while staying in a hotel, it is also recommened that one inspect the room thoroughly upon arrival. Always perform a preliminary inspection of the bed, mattress, sheets as well as the pillows to make sure there is no sign of bed bugs present before bringing your luggage into the room.

What To Do If You Find Bed Bugs In Your Hotel Room?

If you find bed bugs or signs of infestation such as fecal matter or blood stains on the mattress or box spring, report it to the hotel management and request for a change of room or make arrangements to stay at another hotel. Again, check for bed bugs if you moved to a new room to avoid possible infestation of your belongings.

Read more about avoiding bed bugs while traveling.

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