An expert has warned Brits never to put their suitcase on their bed at a hotel. Many of us throw our bags on the bed as soon as we arrive so we can unpack and settle in – but apparently this could lead to your home getting infested with bedbugs.
Many of us are currently stressed out about the bedbugs spotted on the London Underground – one man shared a video of the pest on his trousers on the Victoria line. The worry over the insects started last week when it was announced that Paris, France, was facing issues with "super bedbugs".
Fears of the bugs crossing from France into England on the train or on ferries and planes has caused lots of Brits to be more vigilant on public transport. After all, nobody wants bedbugs arriving at their home and infesting the place – they’re very difficult to get rid of once they’ve moved into your mattresses.
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To help prevent us all from being eaten alive by the bugs – which feed on human blood – Martin Seeley, the CEO and bed guru at MattressNextDay has offered his advice. Top of his list was to avoid putting your luggage anywhere near the hotel bed.
Martin explained: "It is common that when you initially arrive at your hotel, you might put your suitcase straight onto the bed without checking for bugs and begin unpacking. However, by doing this, you’re putting your luggage and clothes right onto the place bed bugs are commonly found and giving them a free ticket home. If you can, store your suitcase as close to the room door as possible."
Essentially, if your hotel room does have a bedbug problem they could hop into your luggage. Then when you go home they can crawl back out and start moving into your own bed. So it’s best to keep fabrics and suitcases away from the bed by using a luggage rack or even unpack in the bathroom where there are fewer textiles.
For a similar reason, Martin suggests hanging your clothes in the hotel wardrobe and avoiding the chest of drawers. He commented: "After a long day of travelling, it's tempting to remove your clothes and get changed into something more holiday appropriate. You might even stuff some of your clothes into the conveniently placed bedside drawers. This is a big mistake as, although bed bugs can’t fly, they can crawl, and putting your clothes into bedside drawers gives them a perfect opportunity."
Other things you can do to prevent bringing bedbugs home include keeping dirty clothes in a separate plastic bag. Martin said: "Bed bugs are more attracted to dirty clothes, so make sure to take a spare bag for your dirty laundry in your case and tie the bag in a knot to make it completely sealed."
Plus, he says that when you get home you should unpack on a hard floor – never on carpet – and inspect your suitcase for stowaways. Martin added: "Inspect your suitcase closely and use a flashlight or torch to look into the seams, folds and pockets of your suitcase. Always vacuum-clean your suitcase before putting it in storage."
Finally he noted that you should wash everything you’ve taken away with you. The expert noted: "It may seem overkill, but make sure you wash every single item of clothing you took on holiday with you, even those that are clean or you didn’t wear. If bed bugs have crawled into your suitcase, they won’t discriminate between items of clothing."
How to spot bed bugs in a hotel room:
- First start by pulling the bedding off to reveal the bare mattress. Adult bed bugs have flat bodies and are a similar size and colour to an apple pip, depending on their age.
- When checking the mattress, look out for red, rust, or dark-coloured stains, and eggs or eggshells that are about 1mm in size. These are hard to spot, but they do tend to come in clusters making them easier to see.
- Make sure to also check the underside, any bed drawers, and between the gap of the headboard and the wall itself.
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