Spring is here, and if you're lucky enough to have some vacation time saved up - or you're a college student - it's likely that you'll be taking advantage of the warmer weather and going on a spring break trip. That means finding an excellent destination and enjoying some much needed time for relaxation. However, those sighs of relief could turn into shrieks of panic instantly if you find out that your hotel room is infested with bed bugs, especially because it's likely that they'll end up coming home with you.
Don't let these little pests take away from your chance to sit back and relax. Instead, consider these handy tips that can help you prevent the little critters from ruining your vacation.
Become familiar with the pest
Before you head out on your trip, consider doing a little research so you become familiar with the pests. This will help you identify them quickly and it could keep you from panicking in a situation of uncertainty. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, fully-grown bed bugs are oval, flattened and brown, and are approximately five to nine millimeters long - they look very similar to a wood tick. Keep this in mind when you get to your hotel to make the search process simpler - if you already know what you're looking for before you even check in, you'll be fully prepared.
Thoroughly check your room
Once you've made it to your hotel room, don't unpack immediately. Pest World suggested giving the space a thorough inspection to determine if you can find any bed bugs before taking vacancy. This includes checking behind the headboard and in all of the furniture. Make sure you pull back all of the bed sheets, and you may want to consider flipping the mattress. The source said if you find pepper-like stains on any of the furniture, it may be an indication of bed bug activity.
Keep luggage away from the bed
To minimize the chance of bed bugs following you home, be sure to keep your luggage as far away from the bed as possible. Err on the safe side and consider using a large plastic trash bag to cover your suitcase during your stay. Unfortunately, if your room becomes infested, the bedbugs are bound to be attracted to your suitcase, so keeping it secure can reduce the chance of this happening.
If you happen to find any traces of bed bugs or something else that makes you suspicious, notify hotel management about looking into bedbug removal. If you are uncomfortable in the room they put you in, it is likely that they will accommodate you by moving you to a new room. But if they do move you, make certain it isn't adjacent to your old room - the infestation could be crawling through the walls and could end up meeting you again.
Be cautious at home, too
Just because you've made it home without receiving a bedbug bite, doesn't mean the little critters didn't find their way into your suitcase. It is extremely important to take cautious measures with your suitcase after your spring break vacation. Pest World suggested using a garment hand steamer to steam-clean your suitcase before putting it away in storage - this is a safe, natural way to kill the bed bugs or eggs that made it into your luggage during your trip.
Wash your clothes
It's just as crucial to be cautious about your clothes as you are about your luggage, according to the source. Make sure you deep clean and dry all of the clothes you took on vacation - even the ones that didn't make it out of the suitcase. Getting rid of bedbugs has never been so simple!