Checking Your Hotel Room
When I arrive at the hotel, I have a routine. I get my room assignment and head for the door with key in hand, pulling my luggage. I knock on the door (you learn that when traveling in case the front desk mistakenly bunks you with someone else–but that’s another blog topic) slide the key into the door and enter. I prop open the door with my suitcase and immediately do an inspection of the room.
A tip from GoGalavanting.com says, "Leave your bags in the bathroom or in the entry hall. In the event you do find bugs, you’ll want to high-tail it out of there without putting your luggage at risk of picking up a bug."
My first stop is the windows. I figure if there’s a bug inside the window, that may be a sign that there are others in the room. I then pull back the covers inspect the sheets, mattress cover, and then the mattress. I’m really searching for evidence of bed bugs; little red dots on the mattress, box springs, or against the headboard will send me back out the door seeking another room and/or hotel. Be sure to check all aspects of the mattress. Another tip from GoGalavanting.com is to, "lift up the mattress pad and examine the lip of the mattress.Bed bugs like to cozy into nooks and crannies, and this is also where you may find those icky stains mentioned above."
"Check everything else that could potentially harbor bedbugs," says the Bug Girl's Blog, "What the hey, you’re already paranoid, why not? Start with bed stands near the bed, and then check couches, drawers and furniture, and other items that are near the bed. Bed bugs can live in amazingly tiny cracks and crevices," she adds.
If the bedroom area passes my inspection, I check out the bathroom. Once I’m confident, I officially move into the room.
Whatever you find or don't find, it's good practice to keep your luggage on a rack off the ground or bed etc. Just in case you missed anything during your inspection, upon returning home, wash all your clothes, even if you didn't wear them (and don't unpack by throwing your luggage on your bed at home). If there's even a remote possibility that you could have any Funky Bugs stowed away (which is always the case) it's better to be on the safe side.
Funky Bugs: Tales from my Travels
I traveled to a large city a few years ago and followed my above routine. Upon entering the room, I noticed something all over the window. I approached the window, cautiously I might add, and found at least 50 funky bugs on the window. This was a new one for the books. I immediately turned back around, went back to the front desk and checked out. I explained that I saw, not one, but several “funky bugs”. The front desk clerk casually explained that it was “box wood bugs and they won’t hurt you”. Uh-huh. Fair enough. But in my mind’s eye, I pictured myself curled up in bed at 3 a.m. wondering where these 50 box wood bugs were spending the night. No thank you. She then explained that it’s a “seasonal” thing in this city and that it comes from the box wood trees. Well, thanks for the trivia – I gotta move on.
Funky bugs appear when you least expect them. It definitely pays to have a routine. Use a routine like mine, or read some additional resources online to modify a routine to specifically suit your needs. Happy travelling!
Read Funky Bugs, Faith's original post on this topic.