“Night, night! Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Or travel home with you, for that matter.
■ When you arrive at your accommodation and before you unpack, check the bed sheets and mattress for any signs of bed bug activity: dark spots, shed skins or the bugs themselves.
■ Put your luggage on a luggage rack, away from the bed. Avoid leaving your suitcase on the floor.
■ Store your suitcase in a large plastic bag to prevent bed bugs from making their way into your case and hitching a ride home with you.
■ If you see bed bugs, alert the management. The bugs may spread from unit to unit. Immediate treatment is needed.
■ Do not use mosquito repellent or conventional pesticide to kill the bed bugs. It will not work. Mosquito repellent and some pesticides may help repel bed bugs, but it won’t kill them. In fact, it may make things worse as the bed bugs will retreat deeper into the mattress, making it more difficult to kill them.
■ Bed bugs die when the temperature reaches a certain level, so you can try steaming the affected area and then vacuuming it. However, steaming will only kill bugs that are visible or on the surface. There may be more bed bugs inside the mattress. This will require you to repeat the process.
■ You can insist on the hotel/management to cover the mattress and pillows with a casing that will stop bed bugs from moving in and out. The casing should not have any tears.
■ Wash the bed sheets in hot, soapy water.
■ Upon returning home, wash all your clothes that you brought on your trip in hot soapy water and leave your suitcase to sun under direct sunlight.