Does My Hotel Room Have Bed Bugs?

Whether you’re vacationing in Florida or a long-time resident, you should remember the adage: Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Little problems can cause massive discomfort, and hotel bed bugs present an additional risk. Small, fast, sneaky little things – They are aware enough of the kinds of places they should hide to gain entry to your home, where they can bite you and reproduce and become a major problem. Even if your hotel is Five Star certified, it may still have a bed bug issue. Because they’re so sneaky, they can hitch rides on guests from all over. So before you get settled in, give your room a once-over to see if you recognize any signs of bed bug infestation.

The Signs of Bed Bugs

The first place you want to check is any source of reviews. Publications or online – Guests will be sure to mention if a hotel room has had a problem with bed bugs. If you happen to know anybody who stayed at the hotel recently, ask if they noticed any bites or skin rashes that might have cropped up throughout their stay. Do bed bug bites hurt? Not very likely – Bed bugs inject a sort of numbing solution that helps them feed without disturbing you. They don’t hurt, but they will almost always leave marks. It’s very rare to be immune to the irritation that follows a bite.

There are also online services – Such as the Bed Bug Registry – Which track hotels known to have bug infestations.

After you’re in the room, park your luggage in the hall and get ready to do a scavenger hunt. Like we mentioned, bugs will hitch a ride on your bags if they can. Look out for the following telltale signs:

• Droppings: Bed bug excrement looks like dried blood because a good bit of it is. Look for dark speckled stains near the headboard, along the base of the bed, and the seams and stitching of the mattress. Droppings can resemble mold or ink stains (about this big: •), as they spread similarly.
• Crushed bugs: When bed bugs are squashed, full of blood or not, they’ll leave reddish stains. These are likely to be found under the mattress, at the edge of the carpets, and even on the sheets.
• Bug shed: Bed bugs are insects, which means they come from eggs and shed their skins. Look for tiny, tiny yellow eggs or eggshells in the places listed above, and notice any discarded skins there might be.
• Live bugs: You will never have just one bed bug. If you see one, you’ve got more lurking around.

Because bedbugs are flat, they can hide in all sorts of places. Check the base of the bed and even on the mattress itself. You might find bugs in the seams of couches, in curtains, around door and window frames, behind electrical outlets, under wallpaper, or hiding in a screw head. Be on the lookout for droppings in these areas, too! Since the bugs are nocturnal, they’ll probably be hiding when you arrive.

What if I find them in My Hotel Room?

Immediately contact hotel staff. Don’t wait, don’t assume it’s fine – If you can’t change hotels, ask for another room right away – Preferably several floors away from the infested room. Bugs don’t like to move room to room, but they can, which is why you need that distance. Once you settle in, keep your luggage off of the floor just in case. A little observational power can go a long way to ensuring your vacation goes just as planned. If the worst does occur and you manage to bring a few of them home from your hotel, contact Consolidated Pest Control to help. Removing them before they have a chance to settle in is