How to avoid bringing bedbugs home as ‘no one safe’ from critters on holiday

Holidaymakers heading to Paris, France, could be in for a nasty surprise this autumn as the City of Lights has been invaded by an unwelcome pest.

Paris has been engulfed in a bedbug infestation – authorise have said that “no one is safe”. Not only have bedbugs been spotted in hotels and apartments, but they’ve even been witnessed and filmed on the Paris Metro – that’s the underground.

According to the deputy mayor, Emmanuel Gregoire, the infestation in the city is “widespread”. Now, if your hotel has bedbugs you might notice you get small, red bites on your body as you sleep. This is because the creatures are sucking your blood like tiny vampires.

READ MORE: Expert warns Brits to keep suitcases in their hotel bathrooms for disgusting reason

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The bites can be uncomfortable and they’re difficult to catch in the act. You can examine your hotel before you go to sleep to try and see if they’re living in the linens.

Telltale signs are: rust coloured spots on the mattress which indicate a crushed bug, little eggs that are a plane yellow in the seams of the sheets or mattress, a musty odour, dark spots and stains on the walls that could be excrement and ages or worn upholstery which could harbour them.

Martin Seeley, the CEO and mattress expert at MattressNextDay has shared said: "Bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that have flat bodies, and are a similar size and colour to an apple seed. You can also distinguish a bed bug based on any bites you’ve received. Bed bugs typically bite areas of the body that are exposed whilst sleeping, like the head, arms, and legs. The bites tend to be in clusters and appear as red raised bumps with a dark spot in the middle.

"Although bed bugs typically feed on blood every 5 to 10 days, they are resilient and capable of surviving up to a year without feeding. Plus, female bed bugs lay 200-500 eggs over two months in batches of 10 to 50. The eggs are sticky and attach to items of furniture or fittings in clusters. Eggs can also hatch in about a week so it’s important to deal with a bed bug as soon as you find one." He shared his advice to help you avoid bringing bedbugs home with you…

Never store your clothes in the drawers

When you’ve been travelling for hours, the first thing you’re likely to want to do once you arrive in your hotel room is to remove your clothes and throw them into a drawer before heading back out. However, it is safer to hang your clothes in a wardrobe than in drawers (especially if they are the drawers of your bed), as bed bugs can’t fly, so they are less likely to be able to get to your clothes in a wardrobe.

When you unpack your suitcase, keep it off your bed

When people arrive in their hotel room, many place their suitcase straight onto the bed and start unpacking their clothes. However, we would suggest keeping your suitcase off your bed as this is where bed bugs are most commonly found. Depending on the star rating of your hotel, you may have a luggage rack which is where you should ideally store your suitcase. But if you don’t, keep your suitcase as close to the door as you can.

Keep your dirty clothes away from your clean ones

Research shows that bed bugs are more attracted to dirty clothes than to clean clothes. So, when packing for a trip, make sure to take a spare plastic bag for your dirty clothing, and knot it each time you add to it.

Turn your air-con on at night

According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the ideal temperature for an adult bed bug to thrive is between 21-32°C, so it’s best to keep your room cool at night-time with air-con.

If you wash your clothes on holiday, take extra caution

If you want to wash your clothes on holiday and there are only shared laundry facilities, take extra caution. When you transport your items to be washed, keep them in a plastic bag. Once they are washed, remove them from the dryer and place them straight back in the bag. Fold them back at your hotel room where it’s safer to do so.

Unpack your clothes away from your bedroom

When you arrive home from your holiday, unpack your bag in a location other than the bedroom. Ideally on a hard floor as you won’t be able to spot bed bugs in the carpet. Next, inspect your suitcase closely and use a flashlight to revise the seams, folds, and pockets of your suitcase. You should then vacuum your suitcase before placing it back in storage.

Wash every single item of clothing – even those you did not wear

Once you arrive home, wash all your clothes, including those that you did not wear. If the washing labels of your clothes permit it, wash them in hot water.

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