Bed bugs are in the news again. I know. I shuddered too.
I think we’ve all heard of stories of these nasty creatures hitchhiking rides home from hotels. Nightmare stories of infested homes that need new furniture and carpet come to mind.
At Hotel Check-In, Barbara De Lollis tells us how to handle a bed bug complaint. She outlines steps that include Diagnose, Photograph, Call Quickly, State Your Demands and Cover all Bases.
But what can you do to be proactive?
Inspect your room on check-in. Before you hit the minibar or unpack your bags, lift the mattress and examine the folds and seams in the bed linens for telltale signs of bedbugs–dark-brown and reddish fecal spots. “I do this first thing when I get into a room,” says Pollack. “Some bellhops are horrified, but a lot of them smile and know exactly what I’m doing.” Consider carrying a small flashlight to assist your inspection.
Keep your luggage off limits. If possible, hang clothes in the closet so they’re out of reach of carpet-creeping bedbugs. Pack large plastic trash bags to house your luggage while in the hotel. Once home, don’t just dump your baggage on the bed. Wash all your packed clothing–even if it’s clean–and dry with high heat. Inspect and vacuum your empty suitcase, then seal it in a plastic bag away from your bed, and if possible, store it in a hot area of your house, such as the attic. If it’s warm outside, leave your luggage in your car for a day to cook any remaining critters.
Not sure what bed bugs like? Check out this article at MedicineNet.com
And if you can stomach it, you can find pics of bed bug bites here.