You will not like this.
Here is a horrible fact: It’s becoming harder to kill bed bugs as they seem to be growing stronger.
Countries are warning travelers not to venture to the United States because of a bed bug problem that is only getting worse–due to the fact that the bugs are becoming more and more resistant to insecticides. Bed bugs have long been a problem in the US, but this new strain, experts say, is able to withstand DDT, a synthetic organic compound used as an insecticide, and therefore has rendered the previously trusted products used to exterminate them much less effective.
One of the theories as to how these super bed bugs are spreading is due to the increase in travel over the years–in other words, the bugs have been hitching rides overseas via climbing inside of travelers’ luggage. Many travelers don’t even think about the possibility of bed bugs at hotels, because, perhaps for example, the hotels they’re staying at are expensive or prestigious. Experts warn, however, that bed bugs do not care about price and can show up in upscale establishments as well–in fact, the National Bed Bug Registry has previously reported claims of bed bugs in several of New York’s fanciest hotels.
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As horrifying as this fact is, there are little preventative measures you can take when traveling to make sure you aren’t bringing home any small, horrible new pests:
Be Vigilant, Friends
Experts claim that one of the reasons bed bugs have spread (and somehow grown stronger) over the years is that people have grown slightly lazier about checking for them. Do not be lazy about bed bugs! They are still a problem, in this year of 2019! Upon entering your hotel room, remember to lift up each corner of the mattress–look at both the seams and the bed frame. Bed bugs are tiny, but if they’re there and you look closely, you’ll see them.
INSIDER TIPBed bugs are tiny red and brown monsters, about the size of an apple seed. Their eggs are white and about the size of a mustard seed. CHECK. YOUR. HOTEL BEDS. PEOPLE.
Don’t Just Check the Bed, Either
Check the rest of the room, too. Look behind the headboard and in the couches or chairs. If you see a bed bug, get out of there immediately, and get another room far away from that one.
INSIDER TIPDon’t just move to the room next door. Bed bugs are more likely to have spread closer to the origin. They love to hitch rides! They could’ve jumped onto the housekeeping cart! I don’t know! Just listen to me!
Fancy Hotels Are Not Immune
Just because you’re staying at an expensive hotel, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check for bed bugs in your room before unpacking. Even if you’re staying in the fanciest chalet in the most luxurious location to ever exist, check the bed and the room before getting comfortable.
Your Hotel Room Is Not Your Bedroom
So don’t treat it as such. Trust me, I am the first person to immediately throw open my suitcase and make that room MINE. I want my stuff sprawled out.. However, this actually isn’t the best thing because although one may assume (hope) that the room has been pristinely cleaned since the last guest checked out, you know, several hours ago probably, chances are that it’s not AS clean as you think (hope) it to be. Just to be safe, keep your stuff contained. Don’t throw your suitcase on the ground (talking to myself here) and especially don’t place it on the bed, as that just makes it easier for the bugs to climb inside of it and nab a free ticket right on back to your home.
And Just to Be Sure
Wash every item of clothing you took on your travels in hot water, right when you get home–even if you didn’t wear it. Just do it. They could be anywhere. I’m not paranoid! But they could be anywhere.