You should always inspect a hotel room whenever traveling. As a recent study has uncovered, a five-star luxury resort or a roadside stop can be stricken with a bed bug infestation. It is wise to inspect the room prior to unpacking so that you are not fed upon by bed bugs and you do not bring bed bugs home in your luggage. If possible, request a room with only one bed to ease the inspection process. Store your belongings in the shower or bathtub until the inspection is over which should take less than 15 minutes.
The objective is to find bed bugs and their signs; black or red spotting, shed skins, eggs, or the bugs themselves. Remember that bed bugs like to rest in small, tight spaces so don’t forget to inspect those as you go. The headboard and bed skirt are the two most important areas to inspect because neither of these items are disturbed when the room is serviced.
1. Travel with a good flashlight to help you with your inspection.
2. Begin with gentle exhales along the top corners and sides of the headboard. Hungry bed bugs are drawn to gently applied carbon dioxide.
3. Use the flashlight to look at the edges of the headboard a couple times during the inspection, looking for moving bed bugs. Slide a credit card along the headboard and the attached wall to see if you collect any signs of bed bugs. REMEMBER…if a credit card can slide through so can a bed bug.
4. Pull back the bedding, one piece at a time, from each of the two corners at the head of the bed looking for signs of bed bugs.
5. Next, inspect the mattress edges at these two corners focusing on the rolled edges, tufts, and any labels or handles attached to the mattress. Lift the top corners of the mattress and inspect underneath (you usually see the top of the bed skirt under the mattress).
6. Pull up the two top corners of the bed skirt and inspect the inside edge and under the fabric edge. Pay special attention to the creases as bed bugs frequently will deposit eggs along these edges.
7. Open the top drawer of any end table next to the bed and inspect the inside and the handle screw heads in the draw.
8. Next, remove and inspect under any removable cushions on any chair or couch. Check the zipper seams of the cushions.
9. If the luggage rack is fabric covered and attached to a wall, push down and inspect the fabric along the wall edge.
10. Inspect the underside surface cracks and crevices of the desk chair.
Note that this inspection is focused upon the head of the bed and upholstered furniture, where bed bugs are most likely to find harborage. Any additional inspection areas would be more thorough and improve the results.
Notify management immediately should signs of bed bugs be found. Promptly remove all of your belongings from the room (still in the bath tub or shower) and request another room on another floor at the opposite end of the hotel.
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