How Can You Tell If a Hotel Has Bed Bugs?

How Do You Get Bed Bugs

How to Inspect for Bed Bugs , how to check for bed bugs in a hotel room

Bed Bugs in a hotel room is an increasing problem for travelers. Here are some steps to avoid a close encounter with bed bugs when you book your holiday and what can you do if the hotel has bed bugs.

Don’t worry, just follow these simple steps to avoid a nasty bed bugs infestation back at home.

How do hotels deal with bed bugs?

Hotels love tourists. One downside though, bed bugs. Bed bugs have always been a problem for hotels, motels and other commercial lodgings. That’s because they have a high rate of occupancy turnover which increases the risk for bed bugs. Welcoming visitors through their doors every day while at the same time saying so long to tourists heading home, it is no simple task for hotel owners and managers to keep their rooms and public areas free of these bugs.

In response to this predicament, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) developed guidelines to help the hospitality industry combat bed bugs.

  • Do not ignore guest complaints of bites or bugs.
  • Don’t take a room out of operation for a few weeks to let the bed bug problem clear up. It won’t. Contact an experienced pest control firm to get rid of bed bugs.
  • Develop a bed bug action plan that gives employees clear direction in regards to bed bugs.
  • Train staff on bed bugs including identification, prevention and control.
  • Respond quickly to a bed bug problem. This includes showing guests empathy, taking the room out of service, and contacting your pest management provider to name a few.
  • Avoid infestations by scheduling routine bed bug inspections with pest control professionals. (Source) 

Do your free research online before booking a place to stay. The Bed Bug Registry gives travelers and tenants an honest and reliable platform for reporting their bed bug encounters.

You can check if a hotel has any bed bugs! Search by hotel name and state before you book. provides an up to date service on reported bed bugs in hotels and apartments.

How do you check for bed bugs in a hotel room?

The bed is the most common place for a bed bug infestation. Pull back the bed sheets, especially at the head of the bed, and examine the mattress and box-spring seams. Using a flashlight, check underneath the mattress.

Never put your suitcase clothes or personal items on the bed! This is the most common way to get bedbugs in your possessions and transfer them to your home.

Any dark, rust-colored spots could be from adult bed bugs. Even eggs are visible with a naked eye. If you notice anything suspicious at all, just ask for a new room in another part of the building.

Another important place to inspect for bed bugs that is often overlooked is the luggage rack. Inspect carefully, concentrating on cracks and crevices. Bedbugs may be found on the luggage rack if they have come in on other travelers’ luggage.

Until a safe pesticide becomes available, your only way to stop bringing bedbugs into your own home is avoiding them.

How can you protect yourself from bedbugs in a hotel?

Ok, after you checked and didn’t find any bedbugs, you can go to bed. I still want to show you a few more steps and precautions.

Place your suitcases on a luggage rack or a hard surface and check it to make sure it’s bedbug-free.

Otherwise, you could be the one, who brings bedbugs into this very hotel and room.

You could use large trash bags and keep your luggage in them during your stay. That way your belongings are better protected.

Not everyone who stays in a bed bug infested place will take bed bugs home. But, knowing how difficult is to eradicate a bed bug infestation, you’d better act as if you may have picked them up.

What can you do if the hotel has bed bugs?

So these are some of the things you should do, treating the evidence like it as a crime scene:

  • Use the plastic cup to trap and catch any bedbug you find.
  • Take a picture or make a video clip with your phone:
    • Of the bites on your body.
    • Of any blood on the sheets.
    • Of crushed insects or stains from their waste.
    • How you trapped them.
  • Try and get the hotel staff to come and have a look to acknowledge the evidence.
  • Ask that they put all your luggage in a deep freeze – bed bugs are killed at low temperature (under -5 °C / 23.0 °F) for at least 24 hours (Advice from Richard Gale – Hotelier)
  • Ask for help with washing at high temperatures (over 60 °C / 140 °F).
  • It could be you that brought the eggs or live bedbugs with you with your luggage from the plane or taxi unknowingly.
  • Let the hotel try and resolve the issue first. Let them try to accommodate you so you feel comfortable.
  • Ask for your money back, and usually, it will not be disputed from the hotel. If they do argue, then threaten them with exposure.
  • Ask to change rooms, or even change hotels if that’s possible.
  • Submit the hotel name at The Bed Bug Registry or, those are up to date platforms for reporting any bed bug encounters.
  • Leave a review. Keep in mind that a negative review could be extremely damaging to a hotel’s business. Very often the hotels are pretty clean, and previous guests have carried the bed bugs along with them.
  • Put your clothes in sealed plastic bags.

How to avoid bed bugs infestation back at home?

When you get back home, keep your luggage on an outdoor porch or in the garage. Take out all your clothes and place in a garbage bag. Close the bag well.

The idea is to transport them straight to a hot dryer for 30 minutes. You could wash them after the hot treatment. Washing alone usually won’t kill bed bugs.

Immediately after unloading your clothes into the appliance, you must tie-up and throw out the empty garbage bag.

Remaining items (toiletry, shoes, suitcase, etc.) should stay isolated outdoors until they can be carefully inspected or treated with heat, cold, or insecticide.

To kill bed bugs with heat, place items in a plastic bag in a hot, sunny location (summer) and raise temps to 60 °C / 140 °F for an hour or more.

If you have a chest freezer with space, luggage can be disinfected by placing in such a freezer for a day or two ( -5 °C / 23.0 °F).

As a final step, store your luggage in plastic bags in the garage or the basement, or a hot attic. Temperatures above 120° F will kill bed bugs.

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How to sue a hotel for bed bugs?

When people are getting bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or holiday accommodation, the reason is often the poor management and not correctly trained housekeeping and maintenance staff. Some of them didn’t have in place or implement protocols and procedures for bed bugs prevention.

The next step you can take to get some assistance for what’s happened to you is as follows:

  • Report the evidence of bedbugs to the hotel management
  • Get medical treatment from your doctor as quickly as possible.
  • Keep notes with dates and times of people that you’ve spoken with about the infestation.
  • Take photo and video documents as much as you humanly possibly can
  • Contact the Department of Health in that particular state or city.
  • Call the  855-533-5552 at any time to discuss what happened to you at a hotel for a free consultation.

Our bed bug lawyers have the skill, knowledge and resources necessary to help you obtain compensation as the result of being bitten by bed bugs.

In most situations, we can resolve your claim without the need to file a bed bug lawsuit, but in some cases the responsible party is not reasonable and we must file a lawsuit.

We never charge any attorney fees or costs unless we make a recovery for you. We work with top bed bug experts, medical professionals, and pest control experts in order to prove your claim.

Contact us for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Every one of us should be concerned about bringing home dreadful bed bugs. With proper measures and luck (yea, you will need luck as well), your home will be protected.

How To Check For Bedbugs In Your Hotel Room

Helpful Links – Bed bugs in a hotel room

I’d love to hear what you think

I’m probably leaving out some information. What other tips can you provide about this issue? Let’s beat the bed bug! Share your story in the comments.


About the Author

Hi! My name is John, a chief editor here at Get Rid of Pests. I want to help you get rid of pests for good so you can start enjoying a bug-free life again. If you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. Thanks, I appreciate it!