If you have a vacation planned soon, you may be worried about the potential of bringing bed bugs back home with you.
So, you ask, exactly what are the chances of a hotel having bed bugs?
Bed bugs in hotels have become increasingly common since the 1990s. Thus, your chances of getting bed bugs when staying at a hotel aren’t that low. Additionally, you should be aware that any hotel can have bed bugs because they are solely attracted to human blood, not grime or old food.
What Are My Chances of Getting Bed Bugs at a Hotel?
Unfortunately, no one has done a comprehensive study to determine the chances of a person getting bed bugs at a hotel.
Yet, what is certain is that bed bugs are becoming more common worldwide.
In fact, the number of bed bug treatments performed in hotels rose 114 percent between 2011 and 2016.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that since bed bugs are not attracted to dirt, grime, or old food, they do not discriminate between clean and dirty hotels.
Bed bugs only care about whether they can access a host, and, in a hotel, there is always someone to snack on.
Therefore, no matter where you stay, your chances of bringing bed bugs home with you are never zero.
How Do Hotels Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs move from building to building by hitching a ride either on a person’s clothes or, more likely, in something they’re carrying.
And since bed bugs like to live in items people often bring to hotels, like clothes, it is easy for someone who has bed bugs to take the insects with them to an inn.
That person may not even know they are carrying the pests with them because bed bugs are so small and skillful at hiding.
Hotels, of course, are also hotspots for bed bugs because there are so many people going in and out of them that they are bound to get an infestation occasionally.
Which Hotels Are Most Likely to Have Bed Bugs?
Like I said, any hotel can have bed bugs.
However, certain factors make an infestation more likely.
Like, for one, bed bugs are more common in major cities because there are more people around to spread them.
Similarly, hotels in significant tourist hotspots tend to have problems with bed bugs because so many people come and go from these places.
For example, Paris has made international headlines many times throughout the years for all the bed bugs in their hotels.
Also, bed bugs are a bit more common in cheaper hotels, and there are two reasons for that.
The first is that higher-priced hotels are more incentivized to deal with bed bugs quickly.
Because if people find out these inns have bed bugs, they won’t want to spend a lot of money to stay there.
Secondly, high-end hotels usually have the money to hire professional exterminators, whereas cheap lodgings often try to deal with the problem themselves, which isn’t as effective.
But overall, no matter where you’re staying, there is never a guarantee the establishment doesn’t have bed bugs.
How to Know if a Hotel Has Bed Bugs
First of all, you should check the hotel’s reviews to see if anyone has mentioned bed bugs.
If you see multiple complaints about the insects or if the staff didn’t respond well to those who complained, you probably shouldn’t stay there.
Yet, even if you don’t see anyone commenting about bed bugs in your chosen hotel, you should still check for indications of the bugs once you get to your room.
And the most common signs of bed bugs you should look for are:
- Bed bugs (The actual insect)
- Bed bug eggs and egg casings
- Bed bug exoskeletons
- Bed bug excrement (Dark or rust-colored spots)
- Tiny blood spots on the sheets (From bed bug bites)
- A sweet, musty odor
You should search for these indications in places where bed bugs like to live and hide, namely on the mattress, bed frame, and baseboards of the walls.
If you see any evidence of bed bugs, you should talk to the front desk and ask them to move you to another room.
If There Are Bed Bugs in My Hotel, Will I Bring Them Home With Me?
If there are bed bugs in your hotel room, there is a decent chance you will end up bringing them home with you unless you exercise caution.
Bed bugs are so tiny that they’re hard to see, meaning they can sneak into your bag without you even noticing.
They’re so tiny, in fact, that you may not even see them after a thorough inspection of your luggage.
So, when staying in a hotel, you should follow these tips to keep bed bugs from getting into your luggage:
- Check your hotel’s reviews before you book to see if other people have mentioned bed bugs
- Pack all of your belongings in sealable bags to give bed bugs fewer places to hide if they get in your luggage
- Inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive
- Place your bags on a luggage rack and pull the rack away from the wall
- Keep your luggage zipped up or latched as often as possible
- Consider using a suitcase bag for extra protection
- Do not place your clothes in the hotel’s dresser or closet
- Do not place your clothes on the bed
How Long Will it Take Me to Notice I Brought Home Bed Bugs?
If you bring home an adult bed bug, you will probably get bite marks within the first week because they feed every five to ten days.
However, it could be over a month before the bed bug population in your home becomes large enough that you start to see definite signs of them.
Overall, bed bugs are decently common in hotels because of the number of people going in and out of them.
So, if you are going on vacation, you need to do some investigating and take a few precautions to ensure you don’t bring bed bugs back home with you.
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