There are few things that can spoil a trip more than bed bugs in a hotel room. The critters can be found in all types of accommodations, even high-end hotel chains. In addition, bed bug infestations are on the rise in hotels. However, you do not have to be at the mercy of these relentless pests when you travel. Heed the following tips if you want to protect yourself from bed bugs when you travel and effectively deal with the pests if they infest your clothes and luggage.

Inspect the Room

Before you unpack a thing in your hotel room, make sure you inspect the room. It does not matter if you are in a roadside motel or a luxury five-star hotel; do not skip this step.

First, inspect the bed. Pull back the blanket, inspect the sheets, pillowcases, mattress seams, the box spring and the headboard for signs of tiny bugs and rust-colored spots of bed bug secretions. Bed bug infestations may also leave a musty odor.

Inspect all furniture in the room including chairs, love seats, valet benches and luggage racks. You should also check the carpet, drawers, wall hangings and the closet.

Invest in a mini flashlight like the kind you can attach to a keychain or carry in your pocket. Use it to help you perform your inspection.

If you notice bed bugs, notify the hotel front desk as soon as possible. Ask to get moved to another room. Make sure the new room is not adjacent to the infested one and that it is on another floor not directly below or above your former room.

Wrap it Up

If you had to move to another room due to an infestation, you should proceed with caution and protect your clothes and luggage. Ask the hotel for unused garbage bags and put your clothes in these bags. For extra protection, put your entire suitcase in a plastic bag as well.

Keep your clothes inside your luggage and do not use the chest of drawers in the room. If you have clothes to hang up, cover them with a plastic bag before you hang them up.

Take action ASAP

Even when you take these precautions, you may still end up with bed bugs in your luggage if the hotel has a severe infestation. If you inadvertently bring bed bugs to your home, contact an exterminator for bed bug treatment as soon as possible.

If you are tempted to try and get rid of a bed bug infestation on your own, keep in mind that eradicating the pests is a difficult process that can be more effectively performed by a professional.

Remove the luggage the you used on your trip from inside your home. Machine wash the clothes inside on the hottest setting possible. For clothes that can only be dry cleaned, put them in the dryer on a high heat setting to kill the bed bugs before you take the clothes to your dry cleaner.