If there’s one thing that can turn a five-star hotel stay into a trip from hell, it’s bed bugs. These critters can leave itchy bites on your skin that cause discomfort and irritation, and discovering your hotel is infested with bed bugs can make you miserable in even the most gorgeous location. But what should you do if you think your hotel has bed bugs?
Here are the 8 things you should do if your hotel has bed bugs:
- Recognize the signs of bed bugs.
- Take pictures for evidence.
- Capture bugs if possible.
- Alert hotel staff.
- Request a refund.
- Switch rooms or check out.
- Prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.
- Leave a review of your stay.
Keep reading to learn more in detail about how to spot bed bugs in your hotel and what to do when you find bed bugs. I’ll let you know how you can prevent bed bugs from following you home and will give you some pointers on how to rid your home of bed bugs just in case a few of these critters hitch a ride back to your house.
1. Recognize the Signs of Bed Bugs
The first thing that you need to do if you think your hotel has bed bugs is to confirm that this is, in fact, true. To do this, you need to know the signs that indicate the presence of bed bugs.
The first thing that you should look for is the bed bugs themselves. They are about the size of an apple seed and are oval-shaped with a red-brown color. However, juvenile bugs can be very small and difficult to see.
The next sign that you should keep an eye out for is blood on your bedsheets. When bed bugs bite, they can draw blood which will stain your bedsheets. Small spots of blood on your bed sheets are a good indication that bed bugs are present.
Bed bug excrement can stain your mattresses, walls, and sheets a rusty color. This will appear as tiny spots of dark rusty color. The critters also contain a scent gland that supplies an offensive odor that’s hard to miss.
If you notice any of these signs in your hotel room, the room is likely infested with blood-sucking bugs. You’ll need some proof of this before you lodge your complaint with reception.
2. Take Pictures for Evidence
Once you’ve figured out that you have bed bugs in your room, it’s time to start collecting evidence. The easiest way to capture evidence is by using your phone to take pictures. There are a few critical pieces of evidence that you should photograph.
The first thing you should photograph is any distinctive bites on your person, especially bites that are distinguishable from flea or mosquito bites. Make sure to photograph all the bites that you received, not just one or two – this will help you later on in the process.
The next thing you should capture is any bloodstains present on your bed sheets from the bed bug bites. It’s also important that you photograph any rust-colored stains caused by bed bug excrement.
Finally, try to get photos of any bed bugs themselves. A photograph of a bug in your room is pretty conclusive evidence that you have an infestation. However, capturing this photograph may be tricky as bed bugs come out at night and move quite quickly. You’ll usually find them in places where you’d expect to find cobwebs.
3. Capture Bugs if Possible
The only evidence that’s better than a photo of bed bugs in your room is capturing the critters themselves. This likely won’t be easy as bed bugs are tiny and can quickly run across surfaces and up walls. Young bugs are also tiny, which makes catching them so much harder.
Collecting sufficient evidence is important after discovering bed bugs in your room. This is because you’ll need some proof before moving on to the next step – informing the hotel staff about their bed bug problem.
4. Alert Hotel Staff
When complaining about bed bugs, you should contact the reception and ask to speak to a manager. Let the manager know you discovered evidence of bed bugs, including where and how you found them in your room.
Once you’ve informed the manager that bed bugs are present, you’ll need to show the staff the evidence you’ve already collected to prove your point further.
After hotel staff has been alerted, they’ll usually conduct an inspection themselves in your room and surrounding rooms. However, there are no regulations requiring hotels to investigate reports of bed bugs. Therefore it’s entirely up to the hotel whether they go and see for themselves.
After you’ve made the staff aware of the infestation, it’s time for you to seek out a solution for your problem. Depending on the hotel and your situation, you have a few options when seeking a remedy for your bed bug infestation.
5. Request a Refund
Most guests would request a refund upon the discovery of bed bugs, and most hotels would be happy to provide a free stay or a refund as compensation for your misfortune. It’s in the hotel’s best interest to cooperate with you and try to find a solution that benefits both parties. This is due to the negative reputation that comes with blood-sucking infestations.
If your hotel isn’t offering you a refund or any other form of compensation, you may be able to sue if you wish. People have successfully sued hotels before over bed bug infestations. However, you’ll need to show that the hotel was somehow negligent in its cleaning or maintenance.
If you plan to sue the hotel because of bed bugs, you’ll need to find a lawyer and the appropriate legal representation to proceed with that process. The evidence that you collected earlier will come in handy during legal proceedings.
6. Switch Rooms or Check Out
After you’ve lodged your complaint with the front desk and have decided on how you wish to proceed, it’s time to find yourself a place to stay for the night. You have two realistic choices when this happens: find another room in the same hotel or check out.
Many hotels will provide you with an upgraded room free of charge or a discount for good customer service. However, some hotel managers may not be as accommodating, and some people may not wish to stay in a hotel they know has a bed bug infestation. If this is the case, it’s best to check out and find somewhere else to stay for the night.
After you’ve found new accommodation, you’ll need to take some measures to prevent the bed bugs from traveling with you, so you don’t get an infestation in your house or in your new hotel room.
7. Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Home With You
One of the most significant dangers with bed bugs is the likelihood of some traveling along with you. Bed bugs are sneaky critters capable of clinging to your luggage or clothes and hitching a ride back to your home.
Female bed bugs can also lay numerous eggs at once. Eggs are roughly the size of a speck of dust, so you have no hope of spotting them in your bag. However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent an outbreak of bed bugs at home.
The first thing you’ll need to do when you get home is to leave your luggage outside. Your luggage is one of the most likely places that bed bugs will hide, so keep it out of your home until you know that you’re in the clear.
The next step in preventing an infestation is to place all your laundry in a plastic bag. Use this bag to transfer your laundry into a washing machine. Wash your clothes on a high heat that exceeds 100°F (37.78°C). Once the laundry has been washed, transfer the clean clothes into a new plastic bag and keep it away from any potentially contaminated items.
Continue to do this until all your laundry has been cleaned at a high temperature. Once the items from your suitcase are cleaned and bug-free, it’s time to rid your luggage of any potential bed bugs.
The best way to clean your luggage of bed bugs is by using a steam cleaner or other high-temperature methods such as boiling water. This will ensure that your baggage and clothes are free from any unwanted guests.
If you’re looking for a steam cleaner, I recommend McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner from Amazon.com. This product comes with a variety of clips and accessories that can help you reach tight spaces and corners, making it extremely useful in getting rid of bed bugs from even the smallest areas in your clothes and luggage.
8. Leave a Review of Your Stay
Reviews are an essential part of the hospitality industry, and they provide consumers with insight into what to expect during their stay. Therefore you should leave a considerate and honest assessment of your stay. Mention the positives of your stay at the hotel, and make sure that you mention the bed bugs.
You should also include how the hotel staff responded to your report and your treatment afterward. This is all vital information as you’re providing other consumers the chance to know what they can expect at the hotel.
Hotels also have no legal obligation to inform guests of any infestations of bed bugs. As a result, your review could be the only warning people get of the risk they’ll take at the hotel you stayed in. If the hotel staff were rude or unaccommodating during your stay, this is an opportunity to let others know.
Tips for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs After They Enter Your Home
If bed bugs made their way into your home from your infested hotel, there are a few things you can do.
The most effective way of removing bed bugs from your home is to call an exterminator to come and deal with the infestation. Exterminators are experts when it comes to unwanted bed bugs in your home. They’ll be able to devise an effective and efficient way of ensuring every last bed bug is eliminated.
Exterminators use various tools and techniques to ensure that your bed bug problems are a thing of the past, including mattress and pillow encasements, pesticide dust, and heat treatment to kill the bed bugs.
However, the challenge with hiring an exterminator is the cost. On average, it costs a household in the US between $1000 and $2500 to exterminate bed bugs.
If you want to avoid paying so much to get rid of your bed bugs, there are a few DIY fixes that you can employ. You can set traps that catch bed bugs. These traps are available to buy online and from local hardware stores.
You can also use chemical sprays to kill any bed bugs lurking in your furniture or bedding. If you do opt for chemical treatments, make sure to handle them carefully, as they can be toxic to humans if used incorrectly.
Here are some of the chemical treatments I swear by when getting rid of bed bugs from my home. They are all available on Amazon.com.
- Harris Bed Bug and Egg Killer: This is a treatment that you can use to exterminate bed bugs in your home. This treatment uses odorless and colorless chemicals that kill bed bugs and prevent them from hatching eggs or coming back.
- Ortho Home Defense Max: This treatment is available in various forms, including as an aerosol, a wand, and a powder. These options ensure that you’ll be able to get rid of bed bugs from even the hardest-to-reach areas. Additionally, it’s formulated to be effective against the toughest, pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, so you don’t have to worry about any being left over.
Other treatment options include heat treatments, cold treatments, and steam treatments to kill bed bugs.
If you have a significant infestation in your home, you’ll likely need some expert help to ensure that you get all of the bed bugs. If you miss even a few bed bugs, they can quickly multiply back into a major problem.