Brits travelling abroad this summer are being urged to look out for unwanted creepy crawlies in their hotel rooms. The interior experts at Online-Bedrooms.co.uk are helping holidaymakers identify whether or not their hotel rooms could be infested with bed bugs.
When travelling abroad and sleeping in a strange bed there’s always a small risk that you could be sharing the sheets with some unwelcome guests – commonly referred to as bed bugs. Unfortunately, these tiny creatures don’t just reside in the mattresses and covers but also in carpets and other upholstery too.
Luckily there are a few key indicators that could suggest to tourists that they may not have the bed to themselves.
Why you should be checking your hotel bed for bed bugs
Nic Shacklock from Online-Bedrooms said:
“Nothing would ruin your holiday more than finding out you’ve been sharing the bed with some unwelcome guests. We recommend checking both your bed and your room on arrival at your hotel when going abroad to make sure everything is clean and up to your standards.
“There are a few tell tale signs to look out for that can indicate there are some bed bugs lurking around your room. If you do notice things like dark patches on the wall and blood spots on the sheets then be sure to take this up with the hotel manager right away.
“They should be really accommodating and offer to move you so nothing has a negative impact on both your holiday and more importantly your health.”
Eight signs there may be bed bugs in your hotel room
When the bugs get squashed they release a lot of blood, especially around the seams of mattresses – which is where they tend to hide. These spots can start to look a rusty colour the longer they have been there. Ensure both sides of the mattress are free from any blood stains before hitting the hay.
It may sound obvious that spotting eggs would be a telltale sign of a bug infestation but they’re not always hiding in plain sight. The eggs are tiny and can be found in numerous places, not just on the mattress. They are about 1mm wide and are often a pale yellow colour. If you do find any of these eggs, it could mean the bed bugs are still very much alive and this should be reported immediately.
You may have been to a hotel that smells a little strange before but the odour excreted by bed bugs is certainly distinguishable. If the bedroom area has a strong, musty and unpleasant odour this could possibly come from a bed bug’s scent glands. It’s strongest when there are large amounts of bugs present. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to a smelly room and check for other signs too.
Dark spots on walls
Although this is slightly less common, bed bugs can also leave stains on walls too. If you do notice any dark spots this could be bed bug excrement. Make sure not to touch any of the affected areas and notify the hotel or apartment staff straight away.
Much like many other creatures, bugs shed their skin once they begin to grow. When trying to identify a shell you should look for small, husk-like specks that may crunch if squashed. They are primarily found amongst fabric, so check mattresses, headboards, sofas and any other upholstery.
Worn or aged upholstery
Old fabrics that may not have been cleaned thoroughly or are possibly second-hand could house a family of bed bugs. If the place you’re staying is of a slightly older nature or a boutique style, it’s always best to double-check the fabric and furnishings before settling in.
White spots on furniture
Bed bugs also like to lay their eggs in furniture as well as mattresses, especially sofas. These will look like bunches of small white spots from a distance, but on closer inspection, this can be where the bugs have decided to keep their eggs.
If you haven’t spotted any of these signs but have woken up with small, red, itchy spots on your skin, this could be down to the creepy critters. The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body, a hallmark bed bug trait. Mosquitoes and fleas don’t bite in this formation, so if you do notice these red spots it is best to seek medical advice.