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 How do I check my hotel room for bed bugs?

  • Arrive at room and move luggage into bathroom.
  • Check Bed - Peel back the bed sheets and check the mattress, running your fingers along the upper and lower seams. Make sure to check the mattress tag and plastic around the edges.
  • Check behind the headboard
  • Check the underside of the bedside table or any other furniture or fixtures near the bed
  • Utilize the luggage stand in the hotel room and place it in the bathroom to keep your bags off of the floor and away from the bed
  • If you see powder in the drawers or on the headboard, it is likely that the room has already been treated for bugs by an exterminator. Not necessarily a good thing.
  • If you do see a bed bug or signs of one, inform a manager immediately. You may request another room but remember to inspect the new one just as well.
  • When you’re ready to leave double check your luggage as well as individual items within your suitcase. This may seem cumbersome, but preventing an infestation is a LOT easier than dealing with one!

What do I look for when searching my own space for bed bugs?

  • Look for actual bedbugs
  • Look for tiny black spots. Bed bug spots are bloody fecal matter, smaller than the size of poppy seeds. They are black in color and stick to the surface. If it falls off, then it’s not a bed bug spot. Take a wet towel and wipe the spot to see if it smears and if so, then it may be fecal matter.
  • Look for translucent skins the color of a popcorn kernal shell
  • Other signs of bed bugs may include a foul smell. The odor has been described a number of ways, most say it resembles spoiled raw beef, musty odor or a sweet odor.  After all, it is old blood you smell.
  • See Video

Do pesticides work?

  • It is a well known fact that bed bugs have established immunity to the available pesticides.  Traditional pest control companies will tell you directly – "multiple treatments will be necessary". 
  • Bed bugs don’t ingest the pesticides like cockroaches so the chemical has to have direct contact with the bed bug.  Even with direct contact, the kill rate is not acceptable. If you do manage to cover them with the insecticide they can still molt off their shell.  Then to try and address the ones you don’t see you will need multiple applications of the chemical throughout the sleeping area covering it in some pretty harsh stuff. 
  • Last but not least, the bed bugs are wise and if threatened they can scatter to other rooms, migrate as a hitchhiker or go into hibernation until the pesticides have dissipated.  So use those products, but anticipate a re-infestation within the year.

Should I order “do-it-yourself” products over the internet to save money on my infestation?

  • You must decide if you want to manage your bed bug problem or eliminate it.  If you want to eliminate it, call a professional. If you are ok living with them for the rest of your life, then shop away.
  • Most “do-it-yourself” bed bug programs will scatter the bugs to other rooms, compounding the problem and making the final extermination a much larger and more costly event.
  • Spraying pesticides without proper training or knowlege of the products can impact your health and the safety of your family
  • Traps are entertaining and good at monitoring a previously exterminated room.  You will snag a few, but capturing one or two bed bugs does nothing to solve the harborages, the eggs and future generations already present. 
  • Mattress covers capture the bugs on the mattress and inside the box spring.  If you want to spend the money, do it; but I do not relish the idea of sleeping on a bed of starving vampires for a year. As well, it will do nothing for the headboard and bed frame where they like to live too.

Why are bed bugs coming back?

The truth is, no one knows for sure but here are a few suspected contributors:

  • Increase in international travel, impacts cities with large international airports
  • Bed bug resistance and immunity to pesticides
  • More eco-friendly pest control practices – targeted products and less mass spreading of pesticides