There’s been a recent spat of bed bugs lately, appearing everywhere, from budget hotels to workplaces and homes. Bed bugs are something that can strike anywhere and are not necessarily a sign of somewhere being dirty. All it takes for one person to come into contact with bed bugs and to walk somewhere with their luggage, a few bugs can hop off that onto the carpet, and hey presto, you’ve got what can spiral into a full-on infestation.
The responsibility to get rid of bed bugs is on the hostel, hotel, business, or home that has been infested, but if you do happen to be unlucky enough to be staying somewhere that has a bed bug infestation, or you just want to take steps to avoid getting bites (just to be on the safe side), here are some hostel specific tips that you can implement to avoid bed bugs in a hosteling environment.
Use a hard case instead of a soft case or backpack
Bed bugs can latch onto any kind of cloth-like or stitched material. If you are traveling with a soft case or backpack, beg bugs can easily latch onto these like they would clothes or bedding. Especially areas around the seams or zips are where they tend to like most. With hard cases, there are fewer areas and materials for them to latch onto.
Keep your luggage off the bed and the floor
Whether you travel with a hard case or not, one of the main ways to avoid getting bed bugs into your luggage is to keep it off the bed, particularly the floor. The bugs often live or travel across the floor. By keeping your luggage even a few inches off the floor, either on a luggage rack or in a metal locker (wooden ones are no good as the bugs can live/crawl in/over wood), you can help to avoid this.
They can also use luggage as something of a stepping stone for getting to the bed if you leave it under your bed, so even if you don’t have a locker that fits your entire luggage, it’s best to keep it standing up on the floor a little bit away from your bed, rather than under it. Keeping it off the bed is also another good precaution, as if bed bugs are crawling about, this can prevent them from spreading to your luggage.
Sleep in a top bunk
In the few experiences where I’ve ended up somewhere that’s gotten a bout of bedbugs, the people who stayed on the top bunk got much fewer or no bites compared to people sleeping on the bottom bunks. Although it’s inaccurate to say bugs can’t reach the top bunk, the top bunk people had fewer or no bites because it’s harder for the bugs to get up from the floor. Also, if a bed bug gets onto the bottom bunk and has someone there to bite and suck blood, why will they bother trying to climb higher?
Keep beds from touching the wall
Other than the floor, one of the main ways bed bugs hop onto your bed is via the walls. You can reduce the risk of bugs getting onto your bed by simply pulling the bed a few inches away from the wall so it’s not touching it directly. Ideally, 3 or 4 inches is a better distance, as bugs can jump, but even just a few inches reduces the risk significantly.
Wash all your clothes at a high heat
If you find that there has been a bout of bed bugs where you are staying, or even if you just want to be safe, one way to kill any bugs in your clothing is to wash and dry them at a high heat. You may even see the odd little dead bug as you pull your clothes out, which, although this may sound horrible, at least it puts your mind at ease to know that it worked.
The critical thing to remember, however, is to steam clean your backpack or case, as what you may end up doing if your luggage is infected is simply ridding your clothes of the bugs and then putting them back into an infected backpack or case.
Above are the main tips for avoiding bed bugs in a hostel. Also, remember to stay vigilant. Check the seams around your mattress, bedding, and any mattress covers. If you see any sign of bugs or bites while staying at a hostel, make sure you inform the hostel staff right away. It will be much easier for them to get rid of the bugs if they catch them early on.
Aside from that, however, you shouldn’t have to stay somewhere with bed bugs. Suppose a hostel can’t offer you a suitable alternative in another room or hostel and make fast, efficient steps towards removing the bugs. In that case, I’d strongly advise you to ask for a refund and leave to find somewhere else suitable!
Staying in a hostel can be a fun and economical way to travel, but it’s essential to be aware of potential issues like bed bugs. This article provided some great tips on how to avoid these pesky critters. However, if you are dealing with a bed bug infestation at home, don’t panic. Pest Control Nashville is here to help, offering professional and effective pest control solutions.