When you stay at hotels and hostels, you expect your room to be clean and free of pests, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even the cleanest of establishments could have critters that you do not want to bring home. It is important to know how to seek these out and how to avoid bringing them home with you.
Seal When Packing
We see a new case of bed bugs on the news nearly weekly and it has some people afraid to travel and stay in hotels and hostels. One way to avoid these and other pests is to seal everything you can in a well-sealed plastic bag. You can get clothing, shoes, toiletries, children’s stuffed animals and many other items in zippered plastic bags. This will prevent pests from being able to get into them, latch on and travel home with you. If you have some of that old luggage that is hard-sided, take this. Cloth luggage provides bed bugs and other small pests to get into the seams and hide. A hard piece of luggage with clasps instead of zippers prevent bugs from having anything to latch onto.
Check Out the Hotel or Hostel Before You Even Leave Your Home
A quick search on the Internet will allow you to find complaints about any lodging you are considering. Look specifically for complaints about pests. If someone saw a mouse or cockroach or brought home bed bugs they will be shouting this from the rooftops. If you see even one complaint, choose a different place for lodging. Cockroaches and bed bugs can be incredibly difficult to get rid of once you have them in your home. If the place has mice, these may not travel home with you as easily, but they can carry diseases and make the place unsafe for you and/or your family.
Inspect the Room Before Sitting or Lying Anywhere
Do not even bring any luggage in until you have thoroughly looked over the room. To see really small pests like bed bugs you will need a magnifying glass and a flashlight. You can find small ones that are meant for travel and camping so carry these with you. You want to find the absolute darkest little crevices in the room and do a thorough inspection. Many pests like cockroaches and bed bugs are not fond of light so they can be really hard to find if it is daylight or there are lots of lights on so keep this in mind while you are doing your search.
Start by inspecting the bed and all linens, including the curtains. Look in all seams, cracks, and crevices. If you do not find any pests, you still want to take precautions and put your luggage and any other items on dressers and luggage racks. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything off of the floor.
Do the Laundry
If you had a great stay at a place of lodging, you still want to take one extra precaution and wash every piece of clothing immediately when you get home. You want to use hot water and the hottest setting on your drier. Because of this, be careful not to pack items that require being washed in cold water. You want to be able to quickly and safely wash all clothing. If your child brought a stuffed animal or something else made of fabric, you want to at least put this in the drier, so toys that are made of fabric and are not drier-friendly should be left home.
Karen Miller is a writer for Terminix.