Bedbugs: Avoid bringing back unwanted vacation souvenirs

Bedbugs: Avoid bringing back unwanted vacation souvenirs

bedbugs-punaises-travel-voyage-1-225x149Planning a winter getaway? Before checking in to your hotel room, learn how to spot bedbugs and avoid bringing them home on your luggage, clothing and other personal items. Bedbugs bite people while they sleep and feed on their blood. While reactions to their bites are usually harmless, they can cause small skin reactions and, in rare cases, severe allergic reactions.

What you should do

If you find signs of bedbugs, notify the front desk and ask for another room, or stay somewhere else. If you change rooms in the same hotel, make sure your new room is not next to the possibly infested room.

Learn to spot bedbugs

Bedbugs are brown and have small, flat, oval shaped bodies that are similar in appearance to an apple seed.

bedbug_room-punaises_chambre-1-engBedbugs are able to hide in extremely small places: under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, inside box springs, in mattress pads, and in night tables. The best way to avoid bedbugs when you are travelling is to follow these tips:

  • Put your luggage on a tile floor or in the bathtub, instead of on the bed or carpet.
  • Inspect the room for bedbugs. Use a credit card or something with a hard edge for checking along edges and a flashlight for dark areas including closets, cracks and crevices.
  • Check the luggage stand (including where the straps are attached to the metal bars) before using it, then keep your luggage on the stand instead of unpacking your belongings and placing them in the drawers. Make sure the stand is kept away from any upholstered surfaces.
  • Inspect the sleeping area. Slowly lift up each corner of the mattress and examine any creases or ridges on the mattress and box spring, behind the headboard and the wall behind the bed, the pillows, bed coverings and bed skirt, the bed frame and legs.
  • Check the furniture and walls, including mirrors, paintings and cushions.
  • Take a close look at electrical outlets, light switches, phones and clocks as well as all carpeting/rugs.
  • During your stay, place your shoes in an open area. Do not store anything under the bed.

When you return home

Bedbugs are good hitchhikers, so it is also important that you carefully check your luggage and all of its contents when you return home. It is also a good idea to wash and dry all clothing and fabric items at a high temperature.

For more information:

Health Canada