Anyone who has experienced the horror of a bed bug infestation knows nothing will ruin your holiday faster.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to prevent falling victim to the evil creatures in the first place.
Next time you check into a hotel, put your luggage down in the (empty) bath, an expert from US not-for-profit group Consumer Reports recommends.
While this tip sounds a little strange at first, it actually makes a lot of sense.
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“Bedbugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in, like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture, even inside walls, so the bathroom is usually a safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters,” Consumer Reports’ Dan DiClerico said.
This trick should prevent the insects from finding their way into your bags, but to truly avoid bed bugs, you’ll have to you give the room a proper search.
Lift up and check the mattress, as well as the bed frame for signs of bedbugs – these are the most likely places to find them, followed by the couch, according to Consumer Reports.
Next check cupboards, along the skirting boards where the wall meets the fabric of the carpet, and inside or behind the bedside tables.
Know what you're looking for.
The bugs themselves are about the size of apple seeds, but there are other tell-tale signs. Look out for small blood smears, small white eggs, exoskeletons, and dark, rust-colored spots. Also, what appears to be a sprinkling of ground pepper could be tiny faeces.
If you see any signs, call the front desk immediately so they can supply you with a new, bug-free room.
What doesn't work at repelling beg bugs?
According to Dini Miller, an associate professor in Urban Pest Management at Virginia Tech's Department of Entomology, searching for bugs is your best option at prevention.
Insect repellents, alcohol sprays and silk sleeping bag liners are ineffective, she told NBC's Dateline.
And if you see no signs, but you want to be extra careful?
When you get home, kill any potential stowaways by putting your clothes and towels into a dryer on a hot, 30-minute cycle.