How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Travelling
Bed bugs are horrible, horrible things! They spread filth and for most people, the bites itch like crazy! The awful thing is that they are out there, everywhere. Eggs and tiny hatchlings are unknowingly transported on people and their luggage all over the world. If you think about it too much you’ll never want to sit on another bus, train or plane. Or sofa. That said – places where many different people are sleeping are far more likely to have bed bugs than busses, namely hotels.
Luckily, there are quite a few things that you can do to discourage, detect and destroy these pests.
Light-coloured, plastic luggage will make detecting any bugs much easier. Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye as little black lozenges about 5mm long. Google if you dare. When packing, include lavender and tea tree oils in and around, and on your case. This will discourage them from hopping into your luggage and clothes. Take enough so that you can also douse yourself. It will keep mosquitoes away too.
When you arrive in your room do not put luggage on the floor or near the bed. Actually, never put shoes, or anything, near or under the bed. It is best to find a tiled surface (bathroom floor) and leave your case there while you perform an inspection. Bed bugs are lurkers, and while you may not see them, you will find their dark, spotty and slightly sticky faeces in the crevices of mattress folds, the corners of draws, under lamps, around the legs of beds, and the corners of cupboards. The folds of upholstered furniture provide a favourite nesting place. Use a flashlight. Also look under pillows and in the folds of sheets. Do not unpack your clothes into draws but keep them in your case, having checked the luggage stand/table where you will put your case. If you find evidence of bugs and must demand a new room, ask that it be as far away from the old one as possible and do not hesitate to re-inspect.
When you get home leave your entire luggage, including purse, camera and the clothes you are wearing in a safe place, such as a garage, and search pockets, linings and seams. To be certain, put everything in the tumble dryer for 30 minutes on hot. This will kill off any undetected bedbugs. Bedbugs will also die in conditions of extreme cold, so another step would be to bag your suitcase and stick it in the garden on a night when the temperatures drop below -5.