You may be hearing about the bed bug infestation in Paris and getting ready to cancel upcoming travel plans. After all, no one wants to bring them home. Bed bugs can be very difficult and expensive to exterminate. Your best bet is to avoid bringing them home at all. It isn’t as difficult as it might sound; you just need to stay a bit vigilant. Keep your travel plans and add our two-step bed bug protocol.
Place luggage up on a smooth surface. Keep your luggage off the floor and off the bed. Look for a desk or table, pulling it slightly away from the wall, if possible. Then check your room, regardless of how clean it may look. From a hostel to a five-star resort, bed bugs can be anywhere. Lift the corners of the bed and look under the sheet, at the mattress. Look for dark spots along the seam. Also look at upholstered furniture. Even if you don’t see any signs of bed bugs, keeping your luggage away from the bed is a good idea.
Leave your luggage by the door, go through it, and immediately put laundry in the washing machine. Put the clothes you wore home in the laundry as well and take a shower (you’ll probably want one after traveling anyway). Bed bug eggs and juveniles can’t be seen with the naked eye, so this will make sure you don’t have unwanted hitchhikers. For things you don’t need or want to wash, consider putting them in the dryer on the hottest setting for at least 15 minutes, if safe for the material.
The key is to make this a habit. No matter how jet lagged or tired you are, follow these steps every time you come home from traveling to save the potential hassle that is a home bed bug infestation.