Bed bug infestations are all over the news. The top cities to report recent bed bug infestations include Chicago, Los Angeles, Columbus and Detroit. However, bed bugs are catching rides back to your house from many cities all across the country. Chicago’s bed bug issue became so intense that in 2013, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring all condo associations to have a plan in place in case of an outbreak.

The last thing you want to do is bring home bedbugs after a business trip or vacation. How do you keep these stowaways from following you home? Here are a few simple, proactive steps you can take to keep bed bugs from making a meal of you or hitching a ride in your luggage:

  1. If you are so inclined, wrap your luggage in plastic before even getting on the plane. Bed bugs prefer porous surfaces, cracks and crevices. Plastic will keep luggage safe while it’s traveling in the cargo hold of the plane.
  2. Upon arrival to your hotel room, set down your luggage in the bathroom while you inspect your room. This is the least likely place for them to be.
  3. Inspect your room: Know what bed bugs look like before you go out of town. Have a smart phone? Pull up our bed bugs page for a handy visual guide. Check around the edges of the mattress, box spring, in the dust ruffle, linen corners, anywhere there is upholstery, behind wall hangings and along baseboards. You may not see the bugs themselves, but you may see what they leave behind -- tiny black dots of feces, wings and rust-colored spots where they've been flattened. Immediately let management know if you do find telltale signs of bed bugs, then have them move you to a new room on a different floor.
  4. So now you are in a bug free room, right? Well, most likely; however, you can never be totally sure. We recommend keeping luggage on tile or a shelf, and off the carpet, during your stay. Never put clothes on the floor or on upholstered furniture, and always bring plastic bags for worn clothes to go back in your luggage. Once you return home, clean all clothes and store your luggage in a plastic bag until the next time you travel.

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If you do find that you brought home an unwanted traveler, you know who to call! Visit our Bed Bug page for more information.