What do you imagine the perfect family getaway to be? Perhaps early mornings laughing around the kitchen table, or afternoons snorkeling in the ocean, or maybe tanning in the sun and building sand castles? How about spending evenings having a cookout on the beach? All sound like a fantastic time, but how about finding a bunch of red welts on your children, or bugs crawling around in their beds? - Probably not anyone’s idea of a good time. A family vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare when bed bugs are involved. We've put together some quick information to help you understand why bed bugs are becoming more of a problem for even the most luxurious 5-star hotels and resorts, and what you can do to protect your family.
Bed bugs in my 5-star hotel room?
Yes. These bugs are an equal opportunity infestor. If they can find a meal, they will be happy to stay. Here are a few quick facts you should know about bed bugs and vacation spots.
Bed bugs come in on guests. These are not bugs that you seal out of a property, and thus they will be unaffected by even the best pest management plan.
These bugs are not usually a widespread problem for well-kept hotels. If you're staying in a 5-star hotel and find bed bugs, there is a good chance there are no bugs two rooms over from the room you're staying in. Bed bugs will infest mattresses and upholstered furniture in one room while they build their population--only spreading to adjacent rooms or rooms above and below when they have grown in numbers. So, if you find bugs in your room, you should be safe when moved to another room.
A quick room check.
When you and your family arrive at your accommodations, take a few quick minutes to take a look around. Here are some things to look for:
Peel down the blankets on all the beds and look for rust-colored bugs. Look closely. Baby bed bugs can be as small as the tip of a pen. They are oval in shape with six legs and two antennae.
Examine the sheets and pillowcases for brown blood stains. If bed bugs are living in your beds, there is a good chance they fed on the last guests who stayed in that room. There is one problem, though. Those sheets are probably not the sheets the last guests used. Finding these stains doesn't prove you have bed bugs in your room, but it can warn you of a possible infestation in the hotel.
Pull up the sheets on the side of the mattress and look at the seams and corners. If you find black staining in the pores of the mattress or seams, they may have bed bugs. These bugs leave their excrement inside the mattress or upholstered furniture they are infesting.
Use a flashlight to check the stitching on the upholstered furniture in the room to see if there is any black residue there.
If you find evidence of bed bugs, report it to the management of the hotel and ask for a new room. Make sure the new room is not adjacent, above or below the old room. If you take these measures, you can reduce your risk of having a vacation nightmare.