Even though the summer vacation season is at an end, many of us are still planning trips for our families in the months ahead. There are the typical things on your to do list such as packing and making airplane reservations.
And then there is the concern about who or what has been in the room before you. Last summer, my husband and I were on a trip without kids in tow. We got to our room and voila, there were fleas in the bed. We soon discovered it was a pet friendly hotel. Now, we always make sure it is a pet unfriendly hotel.
But fleas are not the only creepy crawlies that are making an appearance in hotel rooms. Bedbugs are sweeping the nation and I don’t mean in a good way. If you’re looking forward to relaxing in that soft, comfy bed at the W Hotel, you better check and make sure you are the only one in it! Our family is planning a trip to Yellowstone and one of the items on my to do list is to check the Bed Bug Registry. It is a free, public database where users submit reports of bed bugs. Sure, some reports might be made to get back at the rude desk clerk, but I would bet if a hotel has several reports of bed bugs it would be wise to avoid it.
In addition, there are some things you can do when you check into your hotel that will help you avoid bed bugs:
- First, check the mattress thoroughly. Pull back the sheets, check around the seams, and look at the tags as they like to hang out there.
- Second, remove the headboard if possible and look for the little boogers.
- Third, look in the drawers of the bedside table and along the wall that is least likely to be disturbed by people.
- Fourth, keep your suitcases off the floor.
- Fifth, if you see anything suspicious ask to change rooms and then complete your inspection again. If you see something that looks like powder in the drawers or on the headboard it is likely the room has been treated for an infestation.
Bed bugs love to hitch rides on your clothing, suitcases, you name it — and once they move in they don’t want to leave. This video from National Geographic shows you just how hard these little nasties are to get rid of. Good Housekeeping also has a great article on how to avoid them. So if the idea of possibly sharing your bed with these gross little guys hasn’t deterred you from your vacation, then check out the registry and make your inspections to be sure you and your family will be the only ones sleeping in your beds.
Remember: Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!