I’m guessing you’re on a wonderful trip and a few mysterious bug bites have appeared on your body. As you begin to contemplate the possibility of being bitten by bed bugs while traveling, you begin to wonder if you are one of the unlucky ones.
Embarrassment is not necessary. Bed bugs are a common problem (even for travelers who are not aware of them).
The two of us have had bed bug problems while traveling several times. When we were in Havana, Cuba, we noticed bed bugs in every hostel we visited. I remember arriving in Sri Lanka in the middle of the night after 20+ hours of flights, only to find a room swarming with bed bugs. I also had to endure weeks of sleep deprivation due to our first encounter with bed bugs in Rio, Brazil.
It’s true, traveling with bed bugs is unpleasant.
The situation is not hopeless, however. Getting rid of bed bugs while traveling is possible with a few steps. While traveling abroad, I’ve used these tips time and time again to rid myself of bed bugs (and my luggage).
The tips in this blog also cover how to prevent bed bugs while traveling. In order to hopefully avoid bed bugs following you around, you can use these tips from now on.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs while Traveling: Common Misconceptions
A bed bug is not just found in beds – Several places can harbor bed bugs, such as curtains, rugs, headboards, clothing, electrical outlets, headboards, and more.
Bed bugs don’t like heat, so they are impossible to eradicate. They can only be killed by this. For traveler’s clothes, if bed bugs are hiding in them, a hot wash and machine drying will get rid of them.
Budget hostels are the only places where bed bugs can be found – There are bed bugs in all types of accommodations. It is generally true that expensive hotels are better at keeping their rooms clean, so they are less likely to have bed bug problems or spread them. It’s worth mentioning that Dan and I have stayed in fancy hotels with bed bug problems before.
Seeing bed bugs with your eyes is impossible – Bed bugs are definitely visible to the naked eye. It is comparable in size to an apple seed to the average bed bug.
Bed bugs are ruining your travels, so before you try to get rid of them, there are a few things you need to do first.
You shouldn’t panic!
My first reaction to realizing that I had been eaten by bedbugs was panic. The next flight home is beckoning, and tears are streaming down our faces. You don’t want to be like me!
The critical thing is to follow what I say, not what I do. However, more importantly, there is no need to worry. Now, I just deal with bedbugs and move on if I find any.
These bites don’t transmit diseases, and although they are itchy, you will be fine. Taking these steps when traveling will help you get rid of these pesky critters.
Truth be told, you’ll one day laugh back at this time along with all your other travel jokes. You’ll laugh one day, I promise.
Get in touch with the management of your hotel or hostel
The importance of this one cannot be overstated. The bed bugs you found should be reported to your accommodation.
We’ve gotten different responses every time we’ve done this. A fancy hotel in Bali provided excellent service during the time we were there. Upon learning that we had bed bugs in our hotel room, the manager immediately moved us to another room so they could get rid of them.
However, sometimes it doesn’t run as smoothly, especially in affordable hostels. One hostel once claimed we brought bed bugs to its establishment. The hostel staff would sometimes shrug and say “okay…?” as if it wasn’t a problem they were concerned about in the least bit.
If your accommodation isn’t quick to take action by either thoroughly cleaning your room or switching your room, then you need to ask them to do this.
In order to keep bed bugs from spreading like wildfire, hotels and hostels must be aware of the issue.
As well as this, make sure that you have a fresh bed that isn’t infested with bed bugs. It makes no sense to get rid of your suitcase, bags, or clothing if you plan to sleep on the same sheets that night.
You don’t have to stay in a grimy backpacker hostel to catch bed bugs. They are also common in fancy hotels.
While traveling, here are some tips for getting rid of bed bugs
Here is a close-up of a bed bug
They are evil things!
You can prevent bed bugs from entering your room while you’re traveling by following these steps. Bed bugs should be removed from your belongings by following these steps, so that you won’t have to carry them around.
1. All your clothes should be washed and dried
It is imperative to start with this step first. Put your clothes in the dryer after they have been washed in hot water.
Bed bugs are killed by heat. Bed bugs that are on your clothes can be killed most easily and quickly by washing them in hot water and drying them.
You may have trouble finding a dryer when traveling depending on your location. Our suspicions were confirmed when we suspected bed bugs biting us in Vietnam at one point. It was so easy to dry clothes in the sun that every laundry place we visited did not have dryers. In the end, after contacting many laundry shops, we found one that offered 2-hour laundry service (using a dryer to do this).
You can dry your clothes under the sun if you cannot find a place with a dryer. Continue by following these steps…
The extra tip: Wash your clothes after changing out of them while sleeping. Put on something you assume is clean while your laundry is being done. Before wearing an outfit, make sure to inspect it thoroughly and choose one that does not have too many pockets or details (where bed bugs like to hide). Put your dirty clothes into a sealed plastic bag and wash them at the same time when you get your clean (bed-bug-free) laundry back.
2. Ensure that everything you own is in working condition
Bed bugs are visible. It is possible to see bed bugs with the naked eye of any size, even the smallest ones.
If you do not want to wash or dry it, you can inspect it. Any small spaces where they might hide, such as seams and pockets, should be checked.
A paper towel should be used to squish a bed bug if you find one.
3. Change hotels or rooms
In addition to getting out of bed the night before, you should make sure you get out of bed this morning. Check the mattress and bed frame thoroughly after cleaning and drying the bedding.
In the event that you report bed bugs to a hotel or hostel, your room should be moved immediately. We were not always able to do so because there was not enough space. Moving hotels is a smart idea in this situation. Getting bed bugs back in your hotel room is the last thing you want after having your belongings removed from bed bugs.
The Most Effective Way to Prevent Traveling Bed Bugs
You won’t believe the size of some of the rooms in Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong! It’s impossible to keep your luggage away from the bed if you stay here!
To ensure you don’t have to deal with bed bugs again after you’ve removed them, you should do a few things going forward.
Make sure your hotel room is in pristine condition
Ensure your accommodation is bed bug-free before you go to bed. If bed bugs are visible, this is the most effective way to prevent them from spreading.
Bed bugs are easiest to detect when the room is dark (with curtains closed or at night). It is usually dark when bed bugs are active, so they tend to hide when the lights are turned on.
Turn off the lights as soon as you enter the room. You should then inspect the bedsheets with a small flashlight or cell phone light. Look for cracks or seams in the seams of mattresses and wooden headboards and beds.
Choose the right accommodation
You won’t necessarily stay away from bed bugs if you book a 5-star hotel, but typically more expensive hotels do a better job cleaning. To make the decision easier, pick a hotel that has simple, clean rooms and positive reviews. In addition to wooden beds, rugs, and curtains, bed bugs can also be found in many other places.
Booking a clean room with metal bed frames and simple décor will reduce the places where bed bugs can hide.
Additionally, you should check the reviews of a hotel or hostel before making a reservation. Traveling always involves booking accommodations through the website Booking.com. If someone else had bed bugs in a hotel or hostel, chances are you will as well. This platform allows users to leave reviews, so you can read if others have had problems with bed bugs.
Be sure to use plastic bags
When traveling, I recommend using plastic bags to prevent bed bugs! To store my clothes, I use Ziploc freezer bags instead of cloth packing cubes. Plastic bags are impossible to hide in and impossible to penetrate by bed bugs.
In addition to separating your clothes into smaller groups, plastic bags can be used to store them. You can then separate the clothing containing a bed bug from your backpack, suitcase, and the majority of other items until you wash it.
If you don’t want to use them up right away, you can use them again on a subsequent trip!
Don’t let your luggage get close to your bed
The most common place for bed bugs to be found is around beds, duh! To avoid the risk of tripping over your luggage, I recommend storing it away from the bed if at all possible. It will help to reduce the risk of bed bugs being present in your luggage if you keep it as far away from the bed as possible.
The top bunk is a comfortable place to sleep
I recommend top bunk beds for backpackers staying in dormitories. What explains it? When backpackers are given the choice of a bunk, they usually choose the lower bunk, as the top bunk is typically the least popular.
In a hostel where the beds aren’t full, the top bunks are almost always empty when there aren’t enough guests.
It is less likely that bed bugs will move into a bed when fewer people sleep there. Statistics are easy to understand!
In addition, Dan and I found bed bugs on more than one occasion on a lower bunk (where he slept), not on the bunk directly above, where I slept.
Wear clothing to sleep
The most effective way to prevent bedbug bites is to get rid of them entirely, but if that’s not possible, at least you can prevent them.
Wearing tight-fitting clothing, such as leggings and long-sleeved shirts, can prevent being bitten by bed bugs. If you get up, make sure that this clothing is stored in a sealed plastic bag to prevent bed bugs from spreading.
Bring them home but do not bring them back
The last thing you want is to have bed bugs hitch a ride home with you after a wonderful holiday abroad is the last thing you want.
To avoid bringing your luggage indoors, I recommend unpacking it outdoors or in a garage. Bring your clothes inside by sealing them in plastic bags. To wash your clothes, just throw them into the washing machine on a hot setting.
If possible, seal your luggage in a garbage bag before leaving the airport. It should also be washed or at least vacuumed and visually inspected.
FAQs About Bed Bugs
Packing snacks for the trip to the board with me
It’s time to fly!
What are the chances of getting bed bugs from an airplane?
Yes, I agree. On airplanes, there have been reports of people being bitten by bed bugs. There is a high probability that bed bugs would live in the fabric of an airplane’s seats. However, this is not a common occurrence.
How do you know when you’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
Itchy, red bites are the result of bed bug bites. Three bites are usually clustered together. Some people have small bites that look like mosquito bites. The reactions of others vary, although Daniel tends to react significantly more negatively than I do.)
Are bed bugs visible to you?
Yes, of course. Despite their ability to hide, bed bugs can easily be seen in the right places if you look for them. It isn’t difficult to see them with the naked eye because they aren’t that small.
What are the risks associated with bed bug bites?
Infectious diseases and long-term health effects are not known to be associated with bed bug bites. There’s nothing pleasant about them! They’re itchy, annoying, and ugly!
Before you leave…
How to save for travel
Here are some tips on how to get rid of bed bugs while on the go! I hope this article helped answer a few questions you had about bed bugs and traveling.
Avoid letting bed bugs ruin your trip by doing everything in your power to avoid them. There’s nothing to worry about.
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