Everyone knows that classic bedtime rhyme: “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” You might laugh or scoff at the idea of bugs in your bed, secure in knowing that your own bed is bug-free.
But can you be so sure when traveling? You don’t know how well your hotel room and bed were cleaned before you got there. A bed bug infestation could even be missed by regular cleaning staff if they don’t check certain places often. The best thing you can do to enjoy your hotel stay and avoid an encounter with bed bugs is to check the room and bed yourself. But first, what are bed bugs?
Knowing a Bed Bug When You See One
Bed bugs are technically public health pests, even though they don’t spread any diseases. They bite you and feed on your blood, resulting in itchiness and irritation. Some people have severe allergic reactions to the bite or develop secondary skin infections. They probably won’t kill you, but at the very least they are extremely annoying to deal with.
If you’re going to check for bed bugs, you should know what they look like. On average, they are five millimeters long (about the size of an apple seed) and are oval and flat, like a squashed football. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, but younger bugs are smaller and more translucent.
A Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Inspection
Now that you know what bed bugs look like, it’s time to find them. They like to hide in and around beds, especially near the seams of the mattress and box spring. Pull back the covers and sheets of the bed so that you can inspect the mattress and its seams. You’ll be looking for a number of things:
- Live bed bugs, as described above
- Rust-colored stains from a bed bug being crushed
- Tiny eggs or eggshells, or the translucent yellow skin that juvenile bed bugs shed as they grow
- Fecal spotting, which looks like dots made by a ballpoint pen
Bed bugs also hide in the cracks of bed frames and headboards, so make sure you check those areas, as well.
It’s extremely important that you do this inspection the minute you enter the hotel room. Once you’ve encountered bed bugs, it’s difficult to get rid of them as they are very good hitchhikers—they latch on and follow you wherever you go. Not only do bed bugs affect you, they affect everyone you come into contact with. So do your part and stop the problem before it spreads. Check every hotel room for any sign of bed bugs, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you need help with bed bug control, call Horizon Pest Control. Our pest are trained to look for bed bugs and treat infected sites.