Prevention while staying in motels or hotels(14 posts)
My husband, dog and I are going on a long car trip, staying one-night in ten hotels each. Of course, we are both OCD and are nearly basket cases over these bed bugs. We have viewed the pictures on the internet and read how they can hide in any little crack, wallpaper seam, screw sink - and think we can recognize them. So please check out my plan and find the holes in it.
1. Check-in and leave dog and luggage in car (don't worry - very cool temps). With our little CSI flashlights, go to the room, remove the bedding and check the seam, buttons, edge ticking of top mattress. Look in night table drawers, behind pictures and where carpet meets the wall.
If not okay - leave hotel - do not take another room there.
2. If seems okay, remake bed. Lay down white disposable chucks under dog's bed.
Question: Should we put down any sheeting or anything as a barrier or can they easily go around it?
3. Bring in minimal daily needs in a plastic bag. Bring in dog.
4. Cover bodies with lemongrass essential oils.
Question: I read that this is a natural herbal bed bug repellent. Is there a more effective one?
5. Sleep in clothes we came in or pjs.
6. In am inspect sheets for smears. Inspect clothes we slept in for bugs. Spray them down with natural spray. Any favorites? Put dirty clothes in plastic bag.
7. Shampoo and bathe and change into clean clothes. Bundle worn clothes in plastic bags.
Are we missing anything? Thanks so much for advice.
We have travel faqs: http://bedbugger.com/faqs/travel/ which include a link to a PDF from Univ. of Minnesota Dr. Stephen Kells. If you read these sources you'll have the best information available.
In addition, you should see the CBC video linked on the sidebar of the front page of the blog (blue bug button below) to see a professional hotel inspection. (You forgot the headboard in your list.)
I would skip the lemongrass oil, it's just going to stain the sheets; in my experience there's not much that will deter a bedbug. I'm not sure what you intend by spraying your clothes; you should just handle dirty clothes (and anything you wear in the hotel room by definition) by bagging securely (airtight) and laundering per the faqs (hot wash/hot dry).
Keep your toiletries in a ziploc bag, seal after each use and make sure you protect your shoes as well.
That is great information on the faqs/travel!
Thanks so much. I had checked the faqs in search but somehow missed it.
One question - in the video the poor girl with the infestation in her apartment slept with tight fitting hoodie and mittens. Does clothing discourage bites?
ps. thanks for all the awareness work you all are doing.
I have a confession, Freaky, I haven't actually watched the CBC video myself! No!
Clothing will not really deter bedbugs, and if you cover up too much, they'll go for your face, sadly. Some of us have experienced this. Inspect carefully and you should be fine.
You're welcome, I'm sure we are all very happy to be of help. Enjoy your trip!
Those XXL ziploc bags were MADE for a trip like yours - great for keeping the dirty laundry sealed up. When you get home, dump the clothes, without sorting, directly into the washing machine. If you are able to do it, take clothes on your trip that you will be able to wash in hot water and run through the dryer when you get home. I, personally, would also invest in a can of Bedlam and use inside the car once I got home.
I get the impression that BBs in hotels are not discreet - if they're there, you will see them or traces of them. That said, there are many nice hotels that don't have any BBs. Be careful, but don't let the fear of BBs ruin your trip.
freaky, I have watched the CBC video about 5 times. Clothing helps many of us feel better and probably redirects the bites somewhat. Some of us get bitten so badly in one or two areas that we need to redirect it.
On the other hand, they can crawl under clothing. Still, I feel better with full clothing (no mittens, calves and feet exposed--to encourage them to bite feet instead of face).
Read the FAQs on travel and yes, XL ziplocks are great liners for suitcases (clean clothes) and receptacles for dirty clothes.
I heard it, um, showed our little friends in all their glory, so I'm yeller.
You all are great! I have already purchased the hanging travel air tight bags AND the XLarge bags. Fortunately we can kind of live out of the van so just take in the items we need and hang em high. We will bag our shoes at night. And we will bag our dirty clothes before putting them in the van. Before making reservations we will check for any bed bug reports. And I am thoroughly drilled in the inspection now.
Nomo, I have to say that video is needlessly gross because the scientist puts the live bug on his arm to feed and then the reporter does it too. Other than that it is probably worth seeing just to see where experts look in a hotel room. But you still need high-quality still pictures so you know what you're looking for.
Thanks again you all, you're wonderful!
LOL--it is nothing you haven't seen before bug-wise.
The hotel shots will probably help you, actually. They show how to do a careful inspection on three rooms, but find nothing. Encouraging, no?
I have stayed in no less than 4 hotels/inns/villas this summer and I have checked the beds immediately when entering the rooms. I packed a flashlight, Kleen-free and a good magnifying glass for inspections. I left my suitcases in the hall or outside while doing this.( as you plan on doing) All my clothing was in ziplocs and stayed in ziplocs the whole time. I was always nervous about sleeping ( esp. the first night) Kleenfree is non toxic and is a contact killer so I felt better having it with me. Don't ever spray chemicals in a hotel room but Kleen free is safe.
At one place I thought I found a dead adult BB and nymph in the seams of the mattress but wasn't sure. I literally tore the sheets and mattress cover right off the bed and took the bed off the wooden frame and turned it upside down along with the box springs.
(after seeing this my heart was pounding). I was at a meditation retreat about an hour out of NYC and it was a twin bed. I sprayed everything with Kleen free. I didn't find any other bugs so stayed in the room and didn't get bitten.
Check all beds in the room even if you don't sleep on them. Most of all..after your inspection and careful prevention measures have a wonderful time. I was a bit appalled at how dirty a bed frame was at an expensive villa in the Caribbean but luckily I found no bed bugs. The fact is..I will never walk into a hotel room the same way I did before my infestation but I love to travel and explore and bb's shouldn't stop that. We just have to be careful.
Right on, goingbuggy. I have stayed at about 7 places now since I started inspecting. Found one suspicious brown speck, but it was more bogey than bed bug. It is wise to be cautious and careful, but I hope no one will stop traveling because of this. The world is too beautiful and life too short to hide out at home.
Besides, where I live, you can catch 'em in the diner. Might as well see the sights
Yes..we can "catch" these buggers without staying "elsewhere". Enjoying life and not allowing "them" to ruin it is so important for our well being. Of course it DOES take time and a great deal of caution ( to not spread them or bring them home)but it is SO well worth it...
Thank-you for this forum and blog..
Very welcome, goingbuggy!
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