People spend all year looking forward to their holidays and spending some quality time in an amazing hotel. While businessmen, comedians and frequent travellers spend a large chunk of their lives in different hotels. For whatever reason you end up in a hotel, there is no better feeling than climbing into the big, plush and comfy bed in you hotel room, at the end of a long day.
So the last thing you want to be thinking about is bed bugs! Yep that's right, despite the advertised cleanliness and pristine conditions in hotels, bed bugs can be a very serious problem.
So now these critters are on your mind and we don't want to ruin your next hotel stay, we've put together the ultimate guide on how to check your hotel room for bed bugs – you'll thank us!
Before you even book your hotel room, get online and check if any of the hotels you like the look of have had any reported outbreaks of bed bugs. Read through plenty of online reviews of the hotels to see if any customers have complained about issues with bed bugs. If bed bug problems have been mentioned a lot, be very wary about booking a room in that specific hotel.
So you've made it to your hotel room and you've used the key card to unlock it – I bet all you want to do is flop on the bed, well don't just yet!
Your room may be infested, so leave your bags out in the hall (or put them in the bathtub if that feels more secure). Luggage is the easiest way for bed bugs to be transported from room to room, so don't give them the opportunity.
You really need to get involved in this step. Get up close & personal with the room's bed, bed frame, headboard and mattress – these are prime spots for bed bugs to hang out. It is thought that bed bugs only feed on humans during the night, and then need a place to conceal themselves during the day.
It is unlikely that you'll actually see the bed bugs themselves (with them being so tiny), but keep an eye out for tell-tale signs such as small brown or red stains on the Egyptian Cotton.
Due to their size, bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find, and if you didn't find any proof of them in your initial inspection, don't be afraid to investigate in greater detail.
If possible, pull the bed away from the wall and inspect behind the headboard, the wall and under the bed – a flash-light would really help, but if you don't have one, don't worry as most modern phones actually have a flash-light function you can use.
Remove the bedspreads & bed sheets from the surface, so you can closely inspect the sheets, the mattress (including the seams), the bed frame itself & even the bed springs - keep an eye out for any suspicious stains or marks.
You may not have found any bed bugs on the bed, but that doesn't mean they're not hiding away somewhere in the room. As bed bugs are so small, they are able to live in the tiniest of tiny spaces, which means they can live anywhere.
Do a thorough sweep of the room, checking bed-side tables, sofas, chairs, drawers, cupboards and any other space you can think of – better to be safe than sorry!
So you've enjoyed your first restful sleep in the super comfy Egyptian Cotton bedding, safe in the knowledge there are no bed bugs to be scared of. However, just to be extra safe, there is one more check you can do. As soon as you wake up, roll over and check the bed sheets for any evidence of tiny blood stains or little brown spots – if there are some beware!
If during your bed bug checks, you come across some of the critters or any stains that prove bugs are in your room, you should head to the main desk immediately, and let them know they have a problem and ask for a new room (on a different floor).
Just because you didn't find any evidence of bed bugs, doesn't necessarily mean they're not there. During your hotel stay take a couple of precautions: try to keep your luggage and clothing off the floor, by placing them on the dresser or on the baggage rack in the cupboard. And keep an eye out for any bites or skin irritations.
So there you go. This plan might not be scientific, but if it's the difference between you sleeping soundly at night in your Egyptian Cotton sheets, then it's definitely worth doing.