You Should Always Check Your Hotel Room For Bed Bugs

Jennifer Polland

With thousands of travelers passing through their doors, it's inevitable that hotel rooms are prone to bed bug infestations. Even luxury hotels, like New York City's Ritz-Carlton, are susceptible to these unwelcome guests.

To protect yourself from infestation, you should always check for bed bugs in hotel rooms. Here's how:

1. When you enter a room, don't unpack. Bring your luggage to a clean bathtub or a rack that will keep it off the floor until you have inspected the room.

Keep your luggage off the ground until you have inspected the room. YouTube/About.com

2. Grab some tools to inspect the bed: a flashlight (or even the flashlight app on your phone) and a credit card will do the trick.

3. Pull the blanket and linens off the bed. Start with the corners, where bed bugs like to hide. You're looking for bugs or dark brown blood spots.

Check for bed bugs in the corners of the bed. YouTube/About.com

For your reference, here's what you're looking for: bed bugs (they're tiny—about 4 mm long) and dark blood spots:

YouTube/JohnnyFedora

4. Peel back all of the blankets and sheets from the corner, until you can see the mattress.

Expose the mattress. YouTube/About.com

5. Closely examine the folds and seams in the corner of the mattress for signs of bed bugs. Use a credit card to get underneath the folds of the mattress, where bed bugs love to hide, and closely examine the darker hiding spots with a flashlight.

Use a credit card and flashlight to closely examine the seams of a mattress. YouTube/About.com

6. To be thorough, check all four corners of the mattress—not just one.

Check all four corners. YouTube/About.com

7. Remove the cover completely and check the surface of the sheets. Again, you'll be looking for small brown spots and dried blood or bugs themselves.

Examine the sheets. YouTube/About.com

8. Check any upholstered furniture for signs of bed bugs. They like to hide in dark places, so check the seams and folds of the furniture.

YouTube/About.com

9. Similarly, check the curtains.

YouTube/About.com

10. Look behind the headboard and in any grooves on the headboard or nightstand. Shine the flashlight in the dark area and look for fleeing bugs.

YouTube/About.com

If you do find bed bugs, leave immediately. And if nothing comes up in your search, rest assured that you can sleep unmolested.