Here’s how to spot bed bugs

Good night,

sleep tight,

don’t let the bed bugs bite.

But how do you know if they’re in your hotel room?

Bed bugs are a nightmare that aren’t necessarily restricted to low-budget hotels, hostels or dorms. From five-star stays and back-alley bedsits to cruise ships and cross-country trains, bed bugs don’t discriminate. They’re mainly found throughout the US, UK, Australia and Canada, as well as in other developed and developing countries. And although they’ll cause you to itch and scratch like a cat with fleas, worse still, is bringing them back home with you.

So, how do you spot them?

Well, as soon as you arrive at your room, place your bags in the bathroom (bed bugs love luggage). Don’t place them on that fancy fold-out luggage rack, because the little critters can stick around even after an infested bag has left the building. Bathrooms are the best sanctuary from bed bugs because they can’t hide on smooth, tiled surfaces.

Now, launch the flashlight app on your phone and rip back all the sheets on your bed until you see the bare mattress. Check the seams and all four corners of the bed, as well as the base and bed head.

signs of bed bugs

Even though you’re looking for the actual bugs, the signs of their existence are the real giveaway. If you see small, dark spots on your bed, you’re looking at bed bug excrement. So, after you’ve gagged a little bit, hold on to your lunch, then check all furniture, curtains and behind framed artwork. If you see bugs or dark red spots, call reception and ask for a room change – preferably one on a different floor or at least far away from the room you were just occupying. Then start the process over again.

Once you return home, wash all of your clothes in hot water and vacuum your suitcase. Then, in case you missed any creepy crawlies, store it in a large, sealed, plastic bag. 


Related articles:
Five germiest places on a plane
Avoid these five hotel scams
What if you get sick overseas?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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