Bed Bugs: A Traveler's Worst Nightmare


Bed bugs   

Before you get to your destination there are some important tips to remember to prevent your dream vacation from becoming a nightmare when you get back to your Maryland, DC or Virginia home.

Going on Vacation
Hotels are easy targets for bed bugs
, no matter how high or low their reputation may be. There are a few websites, like, that list which hotels currently have and have had bed bugs recently. These sites are a good starting point of places to avoid, but unfortunately the information is not always updated or confirmed. Hotels are generally under no obligation to disclose information about bed bugs up front (though there are jurisdictions where disclosure is the law), so calling the hotel ahead of time may be a futile effort.

Coming Home from College
Colleges are prime locations for bed bugs to run rampant. The nature of a dormitory facilitates the spread of bed bugs. The constant running between rooms and other dorm buildings all contribute to why colleges are such easy targets for bed bug infestations. To be cautious and proactive, it is a good idea to take some preventative measures before your college student comes back in the house.

  • Ask your college student if there have been rumors of bed bugs at school
  • Use plastic trash bags to tote any clothes and bedding from school to home.
  • Wash and dry all clothes/bedding on the highest setting allowed for the fabric (be sure to include the outfit he/she comes home in)

DIY Bed Bug Inspection
Unfortunately, American Pest professionals cannot come with you on vacation, so the bed bug inspecting must fall on you, the traveler. Signs like fecal spotting and cast skin casings are much easier to find than a live adult bed bug. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Bring a flashlight for looking up close in small places
  • Bed bugs hide in dark, rarely disturbed places:  
    • Seams of mattresses
    • Behind the headboard
    • Behind any hanging wall art

Let Board Certified Entomologist W. Wayne White show you how to search for bed bugs!

If you see signs of bed bugs find an alternate lodging option!

Such a Tiny Bug, Such a Huge Headache
Even though bed bugs are only about ¼ inch long fully grown, an infestation can cause major problems. Traumatic psychological effects can stem from a bed bug infestation and the process to eradicate the bugs completely is time consuming and expensive. Make sure to contact a reputable pest control company at the first sign of bed bugs so a minor problem does not develop into a full scale infestation. Happy travels!


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