What is the first thing you do when you step into your hotel room? Turn on the TV, start unpacking, maybe get right to stealing those little soaps? Last night I stayed in a place that was not exactly the Ritz and the first thing that I did was to start looking for bed bugs. There is no sense in making myself comfortable if I find the creepy little blood suckers. So, let me tell you what I did and what you can do avoid bringing any home with you.
1- What they look like: You really can't find them if you don't know what you are looking for, can you? You are looking for something about the size and shape of a watermelon seed (pictured to the right). They are round and flat and can be anywhere from a amber color to red color depending on when they last fed. They also shed their skins and leave feces behind, so be on the lookout for all of that.
2- Where to look: Bed bugs will usually nest within about 5 feet of their host (that means you!), so look around the bed. If that is not quite the powerful insight you were looking for when you opened this blog, let me explain further. They are typically going to try and find a tight place that they can squeeze their flat bodies into. Check the seams of the mattress carefully and inspect the baseboard. Sometimes, you can find them by just lifting the mattress and there they are. I have even seem them nesting in an alarm clock next to the bed. Wherever they are, they are almost always in a tight spot, so keep that in mind.
3- Tell-tale signs: When a bed bug bites, it will leave behind a little drop of blood. Although, hopefully your sheets were changed from the last guest, you can sometimes find tiny blood stains on the bed spread. Also, if you take the fitted sheet off and notice a bed bug encasement (basically a linen zipped up bag that goes over the mattress that bed bugs cannot get out of) that is a clue that they have at least had them in the past.
4- What to do if you don't find them: I didn't bother putting in here what to do if you do find them because I would assume you would get a different room or a different hotel all together. But, if you don't find them, I still would not assume that you are in the clear. Bed bugs can be tough to find and you should not take any chances. The way that people bring bed bugs home is when they hitchhike on your suitcase or other belongings. So, don't leave your bags on the bed or right next to the bed. You should put them on something high like a table or dresser. If you want to be really safe, you can put your bags in the bathtub.
If you follow these steps, you are going to have a good chance of coming home pest free. If you are unlucky enough to not come home pest free, I would suggest you call Healthy Homes Pest Control in Seattle, Washington. We will help solve your problem or at the very least, give you some advice. I hope that this has been helpful to you.