a red suitcase with 2 passports, tickets and a pair of sunglasses on top of it

Bed bugs can be found anywhere, and when we say anywhere, we mean bed bugs can live on the chair at the movie theatre, the couch at the hair salon, or even inside a book at the library.

So how do you get bed bugs? Travelling anywhere.

The population of bed bugs has increased over the past couple of years due to the convenience of travel. Bed bugs hitchhike their way from fabric to fabric, and are so small and not very noticeable, which makes travel a breeze.

About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are an evolving parasite that once only inhabited bird nests and the roosts of bats. Until recently, they have been able to survive and adapt in human environments. Their small bodies (about the size of an apple seed) make it easy for bed bugs to blend into nooks and crevices of any space. Humans are the most ideal host for bed bugs, their nocturnal tendencies mean they feed on their hosts while they are sleeping at night and then return to their hiding place. 

How to Prevent Bed Bugs When You Travel: Before You Leave

Before you pack your bags and head out on your vacation, there are a few factors to consider when booking your hotel. First, there are no international standards for hotel cleanliness. Just because it’s a luxury or five star rated hotel does not mean it is immune to bed bugs. It can be difficult for staff to thoroughly check all rooms for pests after every single guest. So if you do find bed bugs, notify the staff and ask to be relocated to a different room immediately.

Pro Tip: There are a few things you can do to prevent a bed bug ridden vacation. Sites like The Bed Bug Registry let you search hotels and browse user-submitted bed bug hotel reports across Canada and the United States. If you are travelling outside of Canada or the United States, there are a number of travel review sites that will be able to give you some insight to guest experiences with bed bugs in hotels or other housekeeping issues.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Packing Your Suitcase for a Vacation

First, you tend to want to bring items like pillows and blankets to make you feel more comfortable. Try to avoid bringing bulky items like pillows or blankets, the large dark spaces can give bed bugs a great location to hide in and ultimately make their way back home with you.

Bed bugs are less attracted to light colours, so we recommend to use a light coloured fabric or plastic luggage set when travelling. You are also more likely to see any bed bugs if they are on a lighter fabric as opposed to a darker one.

Pro Tip: Pack large sealable plastic bags to separate clean and dirty clothes while on the road. Pack a flashlight, we will explain why in the next paragraph.

How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room

You made it to your hotel after a long cab ride from the airport and all you want to do is relax, take in the view, and unpack a few items. Stop right there. From the moment you arrive to your room, there are a few things to look around for:

Pro Tip: Put your luggage in the bathtub or shower if you don’t want to leave it in the hallway. The bathtub or shower is a place bed bugs in hotels won’t be found.   

How to Prevent Bed Bugs When You Get Home

So you have enjoyed your vacation and now you are home and back to reality. First things first, wash all of your clothes in hot water. This will kill any bed bugs hotel that thought about coming home with you. If you cannot wash all of your clothes, throw the non-washables in the dyer on the hottest setting for 30 minutes. Once you have finished unpacking your suitcase, vacuum it.

Pro Tip: Vacuum every nook and crevice of your luggage, after that is done, take the vacuum bag or canister immediately outside in the garbage. This will make sure no bed bugs find their way from the kitchen garbage to your bed.

If you think you have a problem with bed bugs, contact a bed bug pest specialist immediately 1-800-263-5055. Products that claim to kill bed bugs can end up making them scatter throughout your house or if you live in an apartment they can spread to your neighbours—turning a concentrated problem into an infestation throughout your entire home. 


Call 1 (800) 263-5055

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