How To Deal With Bed Bugs Uk

How Hotels Handle And Treat Bed Bug Infestations

Hotels are under attack by bed bugs with a majority of major hotel chains reporting bed bug cases in many of their properties. We deal mainly with independent hotel owners looking to treat their rooms and wanted to share how these hotels handle bed bugs and their perspective on this epidemic.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many of the hotels we stay in have been or are in fact partially infested with bed bugs. Hotels are prime victims and carriers of bed bugs because of the constant turnover of guests, which exponentially increase the odds of at least one room being exposed to bed bugs. There are many states across the country that we deal with, but the majority of hotels with infestations preside in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and California. These states continue to be hot spots where the probability of staying in an infested hotel would be the greatest in our opinion.

In hotels that are infested with bed bugs its not uncommon for guests to complain about bed bugs bites to the front desk or even to not have any bed bug bites and inadvertently bring bed bugs back to their home on their suitcases or clothing. Being bitten by bed bugs while on vacation can detract from the enjoyment and cause increased stress and insomnia.

So whose to blame and how do hotels deal with complaints of bed bug bites as well as accusations that home infestations originated from their properties?

Hotels are of course for profit private entities that rely on high occupancies to drive the bottom line. This makes dealing with bed bugs very expensive not only for the treatments of the rooms, but also for the lost revenue they lose when infested rooms cannot be occupied. Hotels offer a valuable service in offering rooms, but fall victim to guests carrying bed bugs into the property where they in turn infest other guests.

If your wondering if a hotel with bed bugs will shut down a floor or even an entire hotel that’s infested with bed bugs the answer is probably not. With issues in the current economy and with less people traveling for business and leisure, hotels need the revenue more than ever. I genuinely believe that hotel owners look out for their patrons and take extensive steps to prevent bed bugs infestations, but its a losing battle in many cases.

So if your in a hotel and your bitten what can you expect from the hotel? In most cases hotels will refund your money or move you to another room. With most hotel rooms booked on credit cards eligible to be disputed especially for bed bug reasons, you can be sure that they will attempt to satisfy you. Based on the property owners and managers we’ve spoken to, they do not place people in rooms they know are infested as this too is bad for business and not ethically correct.

One issue that is becoming a growing issue within hotels is guests falsely reporting bed bugs bites to gain free stays in hotels. It’s very difficult for hotels to fight false claims of bed bug bites especially with the widespread coverage in the news about hotel infestations. Some people even think they are being bitten by bed bugs when in fact its just an allergy to the hotels lotions, soap or shampoo. This too can be an issue as guests are quick to accuse the hotel of bed bug negligence.

One of the biggest complaints were hear is from guests that recently stayed in a hotel and now have be bugs. I can tell you from experience that hotels will state that it’s impossible to prove that bed bugs from their property infested the guests home and therefore they are not responsible. I’m assuming the guest could sue the hotel in small claims court for damages, but this is rare. There are of course steps to greatly reduce bringing bed bugs home from hotels including the use of the Packtite heat treatment device, drying clothing on high heat and using bed bug luggage sprays before and after the hotel stay.

What are the hotels doing to control bed bug infestations?

Most hotels regularly treat their rooms through the use of a pest control operator or by treating the rooms themselves using residual chemicals known to treat bed bugs 4-6 weeks. Regular applications can treat bed bugs in infested rooms and help prevent bed bugs from infesting rooms that have none. Treating for bed bugs in hot spots across the country is good for business and can reduce customer complaints and refunds.

From our experience hotels are quick to respond to customer complaints and do not knowingly place new guests in infested rooms that have not been treated. Normally, hotels will keep a room out of commission for at least a day while the room is treated. The issue with this practice is that it normally takes several treatment to fully treat an infestation. The issue here is again the need for the hotel to stay in business and this means occupying the room. Waiting 6 weeks for 3 treatments to be conducted and monitored is often not an option.

As long as people continue to bring bed bugs into hotels it will continue to be a losing battles for hotels, which is why it’s unfortunately up to the guests to protect themselves from bed bugs and to reduce the chances of bringing bed bugs back home.

How Hotels Handle And Treat Bed Bug Infestations

Hotels are under attack by bed bugs with a majority of major hotel chains reporting bed bug cases in many of their properties. We deal mainly with independent hotel owners looking to treat their rooms and wanted to share how these hotels handle bed bugs and their perspective on this epidemic.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many of the hotels we stay in have been or are in fact partially infested with bed bugs. Hotels are prime victims and carriers of bed bugs because of the constant turnover of guests, which exponentially increase the odds of at least one room being exposed to bed bugs. There are many states across the country that we deal with, but the majority of hotels with infestations preside in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and California. These states continue to be hot spots where the probability of staying in an infested hotel would be the greatest in our opinion.

In hotels that are infested with bed bugs its not uncommon for guests to complain about bed bugs bites to the front desk or even to not have any bed bug bites and inadvertently bring bed bugs back to their home on their suitcases or clothing. Being bitten by bed bugs while on vacation can detract from the enjoyment and cause increased stress and insomnia.

So whose to blame and how do hotels deal with complaints of bed bug bites as well as accusations that home infestations originated from their properties?

Hotels are of course for profit private entities that rely on high occupancies to drive the bottom line. This makes dealing with bed bugs very expensive not only for the treatments of the rooms, but also for the lost revenue they lose when infested rooms cannot be occupied. Hotels offer a valuable service in offering rooms, but fall victim to guests carrying bed bugs into the property where they in turn infest other guests.

If your wondering if a hotel with bed bugs will shut down a floor or even an entire hotel that’s infested with bed bugs the answer is probably not. With issues in the current economy and with less people traveling for business and leisure, hotels need the revenue more than ever. I genuinely believe that hotel owners look out for their patrons and take extensive steps to prevent bed bugs infestations, but its a losing battle in many cases.

So if your in a hotel and your bitten what can you expect from the hotel? In most cases hotels will refund your money or move you to another room. With most hotel rooms booked on credit cards eligible to be disputed especially for bed bug reasons, you can be sure that they will attempt to satisfy you. Based on the property owners and managers we’ve spoken to, they do not place people in rooms they know are infested as this too is bad for business and not ethically correct.

One issue that is becoming a growing issue within hotels is guests falsely reporting bed bugs bites to gain free stays in hotels. It’s very difficult for hotels to fight false claims of bed bug bites especially with the widespread coverage in the news about hotel infestations. Some people even think they are being bitten by bed bugs when in fact its just an allergy to the hotels lotions, soap or shampoo. This too can be an issue as guests are quick to accuse the hotel of bed bug negligence.

One of the biggest complaints were hear is from guests that recently stayed in a hotel and now have be bugs. I can tell you from experience that hotels will state that it’s impossible to prove that bed bugs from their property infested the guests home and therefore they are not responsible. I’m assuming the guest could sue the hotel in small claims court for damages, but this is rare. There are of course steps to greatly reduce bringing bed bugs home from hotels including the use of the Packtite heat treatment device, drying clothing on high heat and using bed bug luggage sprays before and after the hotel stay.

What are the hotels doing to control bed bug infestations?

Most hotels regularly treat their rooms through the use of a pest control operator or by treating the rooms themselves using residual chemicals known to treat bed bugs 4-6 weeks. Regular applications can treat bed bugs in infested rooms and help prevent bed bugs from infesting rooms that have none. Treating for bed bugs in hot spots across the country is good for business and can reduce customer complaints and refunds.

From our experience hotels are quick to respond to customer complaints and do not knowingly place new guests in infested rooms that have not been treated. Normally, hotels will keep a room out of commission for at least a day while the room is treated. The issue with this practice is that it normally takes several treatment to fully treat an infestation. The issue here is again the need for the hotel to stay in business and this means occupying the room. Waiting 6 weeks for 3 treatments to be conducted and monitored is often not an option.

As long as people continue to bring bed bugs into hotels it will continue to be a losing battles for hotels, which is why it’s unfortunately up to the guests to protect themselves from bed bugs and to reduce the chances of bringing bed bugs back home.

How to get rid of bed bugs – the safe and easy way

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Follow our simple guide on how to get rid of bed bugs at home and make sure they don’t return

If you’re waking up with rows of red itchy bites, especially on your face, neck, shoulders and limbs you may be sleeping with bed bugs. Want to learn how to get rid of bed bugs? Here’s our simple guide…

What are bed bugs?

Image credit: David Brittain

Bed bugs are small, brown and flat blood-sucking insects that hide and breed in cracks and crevices in and around your bed. They emerge at night to feed on a sleeping host, attracted by their body heat and the carbon dioxide they exhale.

Bed bugs aren’t known to spread diseases. Their bite isn’t harmful to humans and although some people can develop an adverse skin reaction to bed bug bites, some don’t react at all. However just knowing they’re there, waiting for you, can be an unsettling thought.

A bed bug infestation doesn’t mean you have a dirty home and you’re not to blame either – the cheeky little pests can end up in your adode and quickly multiply after hitching a ride in luggage, or in pre-used furniture. They’re also common in multi-occupancy buildings, such as hotels and blocks of flats where they can easily spread from room to room by crawling through pipes and cracks in the walls.

How to spot bed bugs

Image credit: David Giles

Adult bed bugs measure around 6mm across and their elongated eggs and larvae are much smaller so they can be hard to detect. They don’t fly or jump but can crawl quickly and are experts at hiding.

Inspect your mattress, bed frame and surrounding sleeping area for signs of bed bugs, looking for clusters of brown spots – their droppings, and discarded larvae shells. You might also be able to find blood spots on your bedding and smell the musty scent given off by adult bed bugs.

Always check second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring any into your home. If you’re travelling, check the hotel beds and headboards too and store your suitcase off the floor on a luggage rack to avoid them climbing onboard.

How to get rid of bed bugs

If you have bed bugs at home, take immediate action to avoid an infestation. It’s best to contact your local council who may treat your home for free, or a pest control company, preferably a member of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) as they are pros at getting rid of stubborn bed bug infestations and have access to the most effective insecticides and equipment available.

DIY guide to getting rid of bed bugs

We recommend getting professional help to get rid of bed bugs as these pests are notoriously hard to eradicate, due to their immunity to some household insecticides. Plus an infestation can easily recur if any eggs are missed, but if you want to try DIY pest control, take these measures:

1. Spot the infestation

Completely strip your bed and put the infested bed linen, as well as pyjamas and soft toys straight into a 50°C – 60°C wash, if possible. Then tumble dry the items on the hottest setting for 30 minutes as the heat will kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs. Placing bagged-up laundry in the freezer for three days will also kill the pests.

2. Inspect the surrounding area

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Dismantle your bed furniture and thoroughly inspect it along with your mattress and any other potential hiding places around the bed such as carpets, behind bedside tables and cracks in walls (which will need to be sealed) then use a vacuum cleaner with a plastic crevice nozzle attachment to suck up the bed bugs, including their eggs, larvae and droppings. Throw away the vacuum cleaner bag and its contents in a sealed bin liner, immediately. A heavily-infested mattress will need to be disposed of safely and swapped for a new one.

3. Check the whole house

The little pests can crawl quite far, so you should go over the whole room (if not your entire home) with a fine-toothed comb, looking under furniture, inside drawers, behind peeling wallpaper – everywhere, for signs of them.

4. Stop them in their tracks

Next use a special bed bugs insecticide, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to treat all infested areas and kill any remaining bed bugs.

5. Use a chemical free cleaner

Image credit: Vax

Steam cleaning is chemical free and instantly kills bed bugs and their eggs.

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

US EPA

Bed Bugs

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?

Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:

  • How many bed bugs you have;
  • How much clutter is available for hiding places;
  • Whether your neighbors have bedbugs; and
  • Whether all residents of a house or building will participate.

Getting rid of bed bugs completely can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation. To be successful, everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.

The following steps will help you begin:

You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs.

Identify the Problem

  • Identify the pest:
  • Collect a sample of the pest to show an extension agentExitor other insect expert.
  • Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
  • If an extension agent or other expert says the pest is a bed bug, notify your landlord if you live in an apartment. The units near yours should be inspected.
    • Landlords may have a responsibilityExit to participate in treatment.
    • Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
    • Inspect all areas that may have bed bugs, plus surrounding living spaces, to find out the extent of infestation.
    • Develop a Strategy

      • Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
      • Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
      • Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.

      Keep the Infestation from Spreading

      • Remove infested items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them. Learn more about treatment methods in the sections below.
      • Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for up to a year to ensure any active bugs are dead.
      • Empty the vacuum after each use. Seal the bag as tightly as possible and immediately throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
      • Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
      • Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
      • Use spray paint to mark furniture with "Bed Bugs."
    • Have infested items picked up as soon as possible by the trash collection agency.
    • Don’t discard furniture if you can safely eliminate the bed bugs from it.
    • Prepare for Treatment

      Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.

      Kill the Bed Bugs

      • Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not.
      • Considernon-chemical methodsof killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others depending on your situation. These and other methods can be helpful, but they might not get rid of the infestation entirely:
      • Heat treatment:You can use a clothes dryer on high heat. You can also use black plastic bags in a hot, closed car in the sun, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Do-it-yourself heat treatments might not work. Professionals have access to more intensive and proven methods that can even treat whole houses with heat. You may also purchase a portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective.
      • Cold treatmentcan be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0 o F. You must leave the items in a sealed bag in the freezer at that temperature for four days. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0 o .
      • Steam cleaners(wet or dry) can get into cracks and fabrics to treat carpets, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture. The steam temperature must be at least 130 o F but should not have a forceful airflow, or it may cause bed bugs to scatter. Use a diffuser to prevent scattering.
    • If needed,hire a pest management professional or use pesticidescarefully according to the label directions:
      • Look for EPA-registered pesticides that have bed bugs listed on the label.
      • Use foggers (bug bombs) only with extreme care and only if bed bugs are listed on the label. Improper use can harm your health or cause a fire or explosion. Foggers should not be your only method of bed bug control. The spray will not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. See Should I Use a Fogger? for more information.
      • Carefully look for any evidence of bed bugsevery few days after you complete your initial cleanup and control processes.If you see bed bugs, either the initial cleanup missed some bugs or eggs have hatched. Retreatment may be needed.
      • Consider using different types of pesticides if repeated treatments are needed.Desiccants (chemicals that dry things out) can be particularly effectivein some situations since they work by drying out the bug (which means the bed bugs can’t develop resistance).
        • If using desiccants, be sure to use only products registered by EPA as a pesticide.
        • Do not use pool- or food-grade diatomaceous earth(made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms). This type of diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in. The pesticide version uses a different size of diatoms, which reduces the hazard.
        • Desiccants can be very effective but may take several months to work.
        • Evaluate and Prevent

          • Continue to inspect for bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remain. You can use interceptors, traps or other monitoring methods. Interceptors are placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs. Commercial and do-it-yourself interceptors are options.
          • Continue to protect your home from bed bugs.

          For additional information, please see : The following links exit the site Exit

          Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

          How to Deal with Bed Bugs when Travelling

          Last updated: April 5, 2019 . Written by Laurence Norah
          9 Comments

          As a traveller, one thing that is certain is that you are going to be sleeping in many different places. With this comes risk, one of which is to wake up one morning covered in tracks of red bites – the possible mark of bed bug bites!

          Of course, your initial thought may be that you’ve been the victim of a highly trained vicious mosquito squadron. But look a little closer – because you may have been the victim of something else entirely, something that is going to get fellow travellers all terribly excitable and probably freak you out too – the fearsomely savage and much feared bed bug.

          In today’s post I’m going to share with you some knowledge on bed bugs that I picked up from my time spent working in hospitality, and particularly in a hostel in New Zealand, where a great deal of my time was taken up with activities relating to bed bugs and bed bug management. Which wasn’t on the initial job description.

          As a result of that experience I have seen and squished far more bed bugs than any person ought to, and spent tremendous amounts of time peering into tiny cracks looking for the evidence of their presence.

          Today I’m going to tell how to know if you’ve been nibbled on by bed bugs, how to look out for signs that you’re not sleeping alone, what to do if you’re bitten by bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bug bites, plus what you can do to deal with the bed bug issue. First though, let’s take a look at some facts about bed bugs.

          Bed Bug Facts!

          Bed bugs are actually pretty amazing little critters! Here are some quick facts for you:

          • Bed bugs can survive for up to a year without food, particularly when it is cold. They can survive temperatures ranges down to around –32C and up to 45C. When it is cold, they go into a sort of hibernation, and pop out of it when it warms up.
          • In the right conditions it takes one pregnant adult female six months to create an infestation of literally hundreds of thousands of bugs. She is bloody awesome at hiding in the meantime.
          • When it gets warmer, bed bugs reproduce faster. This is why bed bug issues are often commonly associated with warmer countries. In higher temperatures, the reproductive cycle goes from 21 days down to as fast as 8 days.
          • Bed bug sex is not a fun thing for the bed bug female. It involves carapace piercing in order to get the necessary fluids inside her. If I was a bed bug girl, I’d want to go bite someone, too.
          • Bed bugs like other bed bugs. They secrete a pheromone that attracts more bed bugs. Sociable little chaps.
          • Bed bugs are bigger than you might think, particularly in their adult stage, which they reach after five junior stages. And I thought one go at puberty was tough. They grow up to 0.5cm long, easily visible by the naked eye, in their adult stage at least.
          • They are attracted to their victims by carbon dioxide and warmth, amongst other things.
          • Bed bugs love travelling almost as much as you do. They or their eggs will happily hitch a ride in your clothes or on your backpack, and then hop off when they reach somewhere new and exciting with fresh fields of blood filled meat to suck on. This makes eradicating them a bit tricky in a well visited bed!

          Which Countries Have Bed Bugs?

          The reality is that pretty much every temperate to warm country will have bed bugs. So you’ll find bed bugs in Thailand, bed bugs in Australia, bed bugs in the USA – the list goes on. Basically every continent except Antarctica has bed bugs!

          It’s also a worsening problem it seems as we are travelling more and more, and our climate seems to be providing warmer days. These two factors combine to produce the ideal conditions for bed bugs to spread, and for bed bugs to breed!

          How to know if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs

          People react to bed bug bites, like any other bites, in different ways. You may have been munched upon countless times, and have absolutely nothing to show for it, or you may come up in horrific pustules, blisters, or bumps that look just like mosquito bites. Diagnosis can be tricky! Additionally, for some reason, elderly people barely react at all.

          The easiest way to tell though is the classic line pattern that the bed bug leaves behind. This will be a nice straight line of red bumps, that looks like something has methodically chewed you up. And that would be because somethinghasmethodically chewed you up!

          Bed bug bite example

          Often this will be a line of three bumps, sometimes more, depending on a variety of factors, including whether or not the bug was disturbed during the meal, or if the bug didn’t quite find what it was looking for on the first, second, third.. or.. well, you get the idea.

          Bed bug bites can also take a while to appear after you’ve been bitten, sometimes up to a couple of weeks. Which makes working out what bit you and when fairly difficult. Very often, you will discount the bites as nothing more than mozzie bites, and move on with your life.

          Bed bugs also tend to bite in areas that aren’t covered, however in tropical areas you’re not likely to be sleeping in much anyway. They also don’t usually target armpits or the back of your knees.

          How to spot bed bugs in your hotel room or bed – the warning signs!

          There is a bit of a misconception that for a place to have bed bugs, it needs to be dirty, or unkempt, or messy. This sadly isn’t the case – the hostel I worked in for example was absolutely fanatic about cleanliness and bed bug management, and we still had the odd bug.

          Of course, if your chosen accommodation doesn’t care too much about basic things like cleanliness or tidiness, then you can be pretty damn sure that they aren’t that bothered about bed bugs either. So the two can be linked, even if one doesn’t cause the other.

          So how to tell if you might not be sleeping alone? Here are some ways to spot bed bugs:

          • Bed bugs are fairly shy and retiring creatures. They mostly come out at night. In the day time they like to hide, not too far away from their evening meal. Obvious places to look therefore include in your bed frame, and anywhere near the bed that harbours cracks that they can squeeze into. Curtain rails, skirting boards, door frames – even the heads of screws. You get the idea.
          • Bed bugs secrete a black gooey substance. You might find this on the bed sheets after you have been bitten. You can also look for it on the bed frame. Lots of black goo around a hole or crack indicates the likely presence of our friends. If it is recent, you will be able to easily smear it with your fingers.
          • Bed bugs have a distinctive aroma, which is how they attract other bed bugs. It’s a bit like the smell of a stink bug.
          • Bed bugs have six different sizes, from the super tiny to the fairly large. So there are a variety of body shapes and sizes to look out for.
          • Bed bugs are not excited by heat or excess amounts of carbon dioxide. If you think there are bed bugs in a hole, you could try breathing into it, or blowing a hair dryer into it on a low setting. This may force them out of hiding, or boil them in their shells. Whichever works for you. It may also distribute bed bug eggs all over the room.
          • You may find blood stains on the bed after you’ve been bitten. However, you can get these with any bite, so it’s not a guarantee of bed bugs.

          What to do if you think you’ve been bitten by bed bugs

          If you think you have been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or other accommodation, the first thing is not to panic. Whilst the bites can be itchy and annoying, bed bugs are not currently known to carry any actual diseases.

          So in that sense, you are better off having been bitten by a bed bug than a mosquito.

          Photo CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan;

          You should, of course, mention to your host that you think you have been bitten. There are two main reasons to do this:

          • If the problem is with the place you are currently at, then they need to know so that they can do something about it
          • If you were bitten somewhere else, there is a possibility that you have brought the eggs or bugs with you. They therefore need to keep an eye out for future problems. Be aware that they are unlikely to thank you for this.

          When you inform your host, a variety of things will happen. It is very likely that, even if the accommodation believes itself to have bed bugs, it will deny this. Admitting to having bed bugs is akin to admitting you have the plague, due to the bad reputation these critters carry.

          So unless you have the dead body to prove your case, don’t expect too much in the way of liability being admitted.

          Additionally, as the bites can take so long to come up, the accommodation provider may actually have a point, in that you could have brought a problem into their previously clean environment. This is a great way to make you feel guilty and thus shut you up. After all, who is going to tell their friends that they may be a carrier of bed bugs?

          What you should see, if they are at all bothered / professional / caring are some efforts by the accommodation provider to find any problems.

          Where I worked, if someone seemed to have an issue, we would take their room apart, literally. Bed frames would be disassembled, and any bugs we found would be squished. We also used a heat gun to sterilise cracks in wood or metal. However, if we found bugs or eggs, this was never disclosed to guests.

          How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

          Treating bed bug bites is much the same as treating any other bites. The application of topical anti-histamine creams or ingestion of anti histamine is about the best you can do. A bite is a sign of an allergic reaction, and anti-histamine can help.

          Try not to scratch the bites – your nails are dirty and this will lead to infection.

          If you have reacted particularly badly, then get yourself down to the doctors where they may be able to help out with more powerful creams or pills.

          Ultimately though, it’s going to be a waiting game where you’ll just have to wait for the bites to subside.

          How to Prevent Bed Bugs

          If you are travelling, as previously mentioned, it can be hard to prevent bed bugs as you are not in control of the situation.

          However, you can stop yourself from taking bed bugs home, and take preventative measures in your home.

          The first thing you’ll want to do when travelling is to get used to inspecting the accommodation you are staying in for bed bugs. If there are signs of bed bugs, you should ask for another room, or consider another property. If the room has bed bugs, it is very likely that some of these bugs might get into your luggage, and that you will take them home with you.

          You also can take some preventative measures like spraying your luggage with one of the bed bug sprays mentioned further on in the post. You might also want to invest in a heating device which will heat your luggage up above a temperature which kills bed bugs, thus sanitizing your belongings.

          For your home, we would suggest investing in mattress covers for your beds. This stops bed bugs getting into the mattress, which is one of the most common places for them to hide. It also means you don’t need to discard of your mattress if you do get bed bugs, which can be costly if you have a nice mattress. See here for another well reviewed mattress protector.

          The main thing to consider is how bed bugs might get into your property. The most common ways are for you to bring them back from a trip in your luggage, or for guests to bring them when they visit. Mattress covers can help in guest rooms, and careful inspection of your guests room after they leave is also a wise idea.

          Another common vector for bed bugs is through furniture. We would advise against buying second hand furniture for this reason, as it can be very hard to tell if it is home to bed bugs.

          There are a range of other products to help you deal with bed bugs in the home. These include electronic ultrasonic repelling devices, bed bug traps for your bed legs, and diatomaceous earth, which is a non-toxic substance that kills insects.

          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

          The bad news about bed bugs is that in a well visited environment like a hostel or hotel, it is pretty much impossible to eradicate bed bugs.

          This is because even if you were able to find and kill every last egg, nymph and adult from the premises, all it takes is one new arrival with a pregnant adult female to turn up, and the problem starts all over again. In a warm climate where the bugs can breed quickly, the problem is only going to be worse.

          In such an environment, the best that can be done is to try to manage and stay on top of the problem. Regular inspections of sleeping areas, blocking up inviting cracks and the occasional use of some sort of anti-bed bug chemicals are the best that can be done so that the issue stays small – akin to a few mosquitoes flying in through a window at night, rather than spiralling out of control into a serious infestation.

          Speaking of chemicals, another problem arises. The most effective chemicals for properly killing off the whole bed bug lifecycle are also not exactly human friendly. Fumigating a room is actually therefore more hazardous to human health than a few bites is ever going to be – and in fact more people have probably died from reactions to the anti bed bug chemicals than from actual bed bug bites. However, there are some non-toxic options, one of which I have listed below.

          Products to help you deal with Bed Bugs

          There are some products you can get to help stop that most nightmare of all situations – taking the bed bugs from your travels to your home, as well as other sprays for killing bugs generally.

          • EcoRaider is one of the better natural options for killing bed bugs. This is available from the manufacturer, and also on eBay here. In a study by the US Entomological Society of America, this was the only natural bed-bug killing product that effectively killed both bed bug nymphs and bed bug eggs
          • The other recommended product from the above study is this Bed Bug Spray by Bed Bug Patrol, available on Amazon. This was also successful against bed bugs. It’s also highly rated by commentators, as well as being both organic and non-toxic.
          • This is another well rated natural product available on Amazon
          • Electronic repellers like this work by emitting ultrasonic sounds to deter a range of insects, including bed bugs
          • There are a wealth of other options also available from both Amazon.com and UK.
          • This Travel Sized Luggage Spray by Bed Bug Patrol on Amazon.com is designed to help protect you from bringing the bed bugs back from your travels – possibly the worst outcome of any bed bug encounter!

          If you do have a problem in your home, it is likely that you will have to call in professionals to fully clean out your house. They will use all sorts of nasty chemicals, and you will probably have to move out for a while. That is the only way to really sort out the problem once and for all.

          And that is that for bed bugs! If you’ve got any comments, questions or experiences to share from your travels, including horrific photos, don’t be afraid to share them below! Otherwise happy travels, and remember, sleep tight.. don’t let the bed bugs bite!

          Enjoyed this post? Why not share it!

          About the authors

          Laurence and Jessica Norah are the British-American travel blogging couple behind photography & adventure travel blog Finding the Universe and luxury / couples travel blog Independent Travel Cats.

          We’ve been running this site since 2010. We’re full time professional travel bloggers, and we visit all the places we write about personally. All our content is based on our own first hand travel experiences, and we take all the photos you see on our sites. Read more about us here.

          You can also join our facebook group to talk all things travel and photography related!

          Finally, if you liked the photos in this post and want to learn how to take great photos, check out our online travel photography course. Since 2016 we’ve helped over 2,000 people improve their photography – you could be next! Click here to find out more.

          Monthly Giveaway

          Don’t miss out on our exclusive monthly giveaways with lots of fun travel and photography related prizes! Click here to see our current giveaway and enter!

          Improve your photography!

          Enter your details below to receive my FREE 10-part photography course.

          You’ll also receive our once a month e-mail packed with travel news, travel and photography tips, and updates. You’ll also be eligible for our monthly giveaways!

          Thank you!

          Please check your e-mail to activate your subscription. If you don’t see it, please check your spam folder.

          There are 9 comments on this post

          Please scroll to the end to leave a comment

          Does regular bug spray kill them? I’ve gotten bit in Sarajevo and no clue where to find bed bug spray for my luggage.

          As far as I know, no it doesn’t. They are tough critters to kill!

          I have read all sorts of post about bedbugs and none of them say anything about bedbugs being in your vehicle so my question is if you Go to someone’s house for a couple hours that has bedbugs and then get in your vehicle are you and your vehicle contaminated

          Laurence Norah says

          It’s hard to answer this. Bedbugs are more likely to be transported on luggage rather than people, so if you don’t take anything into the house, it is unlikely they will jump on you and then into your car and then on into your house. And as there isn’t a source of food in the car, it’s not an attractive place to live for them either. So I would say that the chances are low, but not impossible of course.

          Thank you for telling a blog about dealing with bed bug as traveler. It is very much a serious issue. The information provided is very relevant.

          Laurence Norah says

          Great tips on how to clean a room with suspected bugs – would love some recommendations for those who have been bitten in hotels and are now fearful of bringing them home! I am covered in bed bug bites after backpacking through South America and now am terrified I will introduce them to my own bed and have no idea what to do!

          Laurence Norah says

          So the only thing that really works is heat – bugs can’t handle temperatures higher than 117F – 122F. So your best option is to wash everything you can (clothes, bag etc..) at a high heat. If you have items you can’t heat to that temperature, the safest option is to throw them out 🙁

          Add Comments: