Summer holiday season is upon us, and whether you’re holidaying in an Air BNB, hostel or fancy resort hotel, there’s probably one thing you want to steer clear of. We’re talking bedbugs.
According to a survey, hotels are the third most common place where bed bugs are found, with pest removal professionals ranking them at 75% most common.
So with that terrifying fact, the interior experts at Online-Bedrooms.co.uk are helping holiday-making Brits identify whether or not their hotel rooms could be infested with bed bugs.
Unfortunately, the tiny creatures don’t just reside in the mattresses and covers but in carpets and other upholstery, too.
Here’s what you should keep an eye on so the bedbugs don’t bite this summer…
Check your room
Nic Shacklock from Online-Bedrooms recommends checking both your bed and room on arrival and making sure it’s clean.
He says, “There are a few telltale signs to look out for that can indicate there are some bed bugs lurking around your room. If you do notice things like dark patches on the wall and blood spots on the sheets then be sure to take this up with the hotel manager right away.”
When the bugs get squashed they release a lot of blood, especially around the seams of mattresses – which is where they tend to hide.
These spots can start to look a rusty colour the longer they have been there, so ensure both sides of the mattress are free from any blood stains before hitting the hay.
It may sound obvious that spotting eggs would be a telltale sign of a bug infestation but they’re not always hiding in plain sight. The eggs are tiny and can be found in numerous places, not just on the mattress.
They’re about 1mm wide and are often a pale yellow colour. If you find any of these eggs, it could mean the bed bugs are still alive and should be reported immediately.
You might have been to a hotel that smells a little strange before but the odour excreted by bed bugs is… noticeable, shall we say. If the bedroom area has a strong, musty and unpleasant odour this could possibly come from a bed bug’s scent glands. It’s strongest when there are large amounts of bugs present. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to a smelly room and check for other signs too.
Dark spots on walls
Although this is slightly less common, bed bugs can also leave stains on walls too. If you do notice any dark spots this could be bed bug excrement. Make sure not to touch any of the affected areas and notify the hotel or apartment staff straight away.
Much like many other creatures, bugs shed their skin once they begin to grow. When trying to identify a shell you should look for small, husk-like specks that may crunch if squashed. They are primarily found amongst fabric, so check mattresses, headboards, sofas and any other upholstery.
Worn or aged upholstery
Old fabrics that may not have been cleaned thoroughly or are possibly second-hand could house a family of bed bugs. If the place you’re staying is of a slightly older nature or a boutique style, it’s always best to double-check the fabric and furnishings before settling in.
White spots on furniture
Bed bugs also like to lay their eggs in furniture and mattresses, especially sofas. These will look like bunches of small white spots from a distance, but on closer inspection, this can be where the bugs have decided to keep their eggs.
If you haven’t spotted any of these signs but have woken up with small, red, itchy spots on your skin, this could be down to the creepy critters. The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body, this is a hallmark bed bug trait. Mosquitoes and fleas don’t bite in this formation, so if you do notice these red spots it is best to seek medical advice.
And with that – happy holidaying!