It might seem a little odd, but here's an imortant trick to remember the next time you go to stay at a hotel. If your first instinct upon entering your room is to plop your bags down on the bed, you could be making a mistake that might take thousands of dollars to remedy!
Everyone knows that bedbugs are one of the most common problems encountered by travelers, yet it's an issue that most of us tend to ignore. Sure, there are sites now that have user-generated reports on the bugginess of certain hotels, but what if the place you're staying at isn't listed or the information is inaccurate?
Fortunately, there is a fairly simple way to check for bedbugs that only takes a few minutes. All you need is a trusty flashlight.
First thing's first, DO NOT set your luggage on the bed. Otherwise, if your room does have bedbugs, you'll just get them all over your clothes and luggage.
A better idea is putting your stuff down in the tub until you've cleared the room.
Once your luggage is out of the way, grab your flashlight and start checking the room. Begin with the headboard and the area behind it (or the floor behind the bed if there's no headboard). Shine your light on all the crevices you can find, as that's where they like to hide.
Next, check the actual mattress itself. Pull off the sheets one layer at a time and check the seams of the mattress - this is a favorite resting spot for bedbugs. Be sure to check every single side of the mattress.
Next, check the mattress topper (or the tip of the mattress). Be sure to check for blood spots. Mattress toppers aren't usually changed as often as sheets, so if you see blood spots it's a sign that bedbugs have fed there recently.
Now, check the drawers of your bedside drawers. As noted earlier, they tend to stay within 20 feet of their feeding grounds, which makes the bedside tables a natural option.
You may even want to remove the drawers altogether and make sure there's no bugs hiding underneath.
Finally, check the suitcase stand. Thanks to other unwitting guests who may have plopped their luggage on an infested bed before setting it on the stand, these stands are basically a bus stop for bedbugs waiting to come home with you.