Found Bed Bugs In Hotel, Now What?

Found Bed Bugs In Hotel, Now What?

If you are staying in a hotel and you are certain that they have bed bugs, gather as much evidence as you can. First, make sure that the bugs you found are actually bed bugs. Then, take pictures of the bites on your body, if you have any. Take pictures of the blood streaks and feces stains from the bed bugs on the mattress or on the sheets. If you see any live or dead bugs, take pictures. Using a tweezer or while wearing gloves, pick up a few bed bugs and put them inside a small baggie.

All of the evidence you collect can be used when you want to demand a refund or if you want the hotel to transfer you to a new room.

If you want to know more about what to do if you are in a hotel and discover that it has bed bugs, then keep on reading.

How do you get bed bugs from hotels?

Hotels and other overnight accommodations play an important part in the spread of bed bugs. The increase in global travel has led to these facilities receiving a high amount of human traffic. This allows bed bugs to spread easily, discreetly travelling from one occupant to another. The increase in travel during peak seasons has made the bed bug problem even more prevalent.

How do I check my hotel room for bed bugs?

When staying in a hotel, motel, hostel, bed and breakfast, or any overnight accommodation, inspect the room for bed bugs so you can avoid bed bug bites as well as avoid bringing an infestation back to your home. Here is what you should do to check your hotel room for bed bugs.

1. Check the bed

Bed bugs like living near their food source. That food source being people that are asleep. This is why beds are a hotspot for bed bugs.

Check your bed’s mattress and bed frame by fully inspecting the headboard and checking in between any design patterns. If you have to, move the bed away from the wall to check behind and underneath it.

Check all the corners, carvings, joints, crevices, and any other small cracks and holes on the bed frame.

Inspect the bedding, including the insides and outsides of the pillowcases, duvet covers, fitted sheets, while paying close attention to the seams.

2. Check any bedside furniture

Bedside furniture such as cabinets or nightstands are also key bed bug hotspots.

Check bedside cabinets by looking inside drawers, concentrate on the joints and the handles. Inspect the bottom and the back of the bedside cabinet. Do not forget to check all the ornaments, lamps, and picture frames.

3. Check the wardrobe and skirting boards

Even though bed bugs prefer to stay in areas close to their food source, that does not mean that they will not move to other places in the room.

Check the wardrobe and skirting boards by thoroughly inspecting the piece of furniture as well as the drawers. Make sure you inspect the back, top, and bottom of the wardrobe. Check in between joints, handles, cracks, and dents. Inspect the gaps between the skirting boards and walls.

4. Check couches, chairs, and throws

You can often find bed bugs hidden in areas with high levels of human interaction, such as couches and chairs. This is because bed bugs are attracted to the CO2 humans produce.

Check couches and chairs by removing the cushions from the seats and checking the seams, corners, and zippers for bed bugs.

5. Check your luggage

The main instigator of bed bug infestations is luggage. The best thing to do is to bring your luggage into the bathroom while you check the room for bed bugs. This is a precaution in case the room does have bed bugs so as to avoid exposing your luggage to bed bugs.

Check the luggage stand for bed bugs by checking where the webbing wraps around the frame, as well as along the joints on the stand. Bed bugs can also hide in surprising places such as books.

What signs of bed bugs should you look for in the hotel room?

Live bed bugs

Bed bugs are small, flat and barrel-shaped. They have six legs and two antennae and are reddish-brown in color. They measure around five to six millimeters in size.

Bed bug eggs

Bed bug eggs are very small, about 1mm in length. They are transparent to pearly white in color. They are quite difficult to spot with the naked eye on their own, but if in clusters against dark wood furniture, they can be visible.

Blood smears

When a bed bug is crushed after a meal, they will leave blood red stains on the sheets or mattress. This is because of the undigested blood meal in its body.

Dark or black stains

These are the bed bugs’ feces stains which they excrete after a meal.

Shed skin

A bed bug sheds several times in its life in order to grow and move on to the next stage of their life cycle. Once they reach full maturity and become an adult, they will no longer shed their skin. Finding shed skin is usually an indication of a large infestation that has been going on for a while.

What do I do if I find bed bugs in my hotel room?

1. Keep your luggage away from the bed

Remember that not all people who have stayed in a hotel room infested with bed bugs will bring them home, but it is best to believe as if you will be picking up a couple of bed bugs and bringing them home with you. The most probable place for you to get bed bugs is on the bed. Lower the risk by keeping your luggage away from the bed.

2. Separate all your belongings

The most important step to do once you discover the room is infested is to separate your belongings. Bringing the bugs home is the last thing you want to happen. Put all the clothes and items that came into contact with the bed in a plastic bag and keep it sealed. Avoid leaving your clothes on the bed.

3. Secure evidence by taking pictures

Take plenty of pictures of the room, bite marks on your body, red and black smears on the bed, mattress, and pillows. If you find bugs, place them in a small baggie.

4. Inform the hotel

If you find bed bugs in your room, there is a chance that the hotel management team is unaware of the bed bug infestation. They might offer you a different room or contact a pest control company to contain the issue right away.

Approach the hotel management in a calm manner so you can explain your side properly and in a civil way, upping your chances of getting a refund. Show them the evidence you have so they know that you are not just making it up. Define the clear outcome you want. Inform them if you want a refund for your stay or if you want the hotel to cover the expenses of replacing or cleaning your belongings.

5. Leave the room

Disregard the price of the room, it will not matter when the bugs take over your belongings. Do not worry about what you paid for the room because in most cases, the hotel will give you a refund. But if they do not give you a refund, be firm and insist because it is unacceptable for them to not give you a refund.

6. Avoid scratching your bites

If you get bed bug bites, do not scratch them because they might become open wounds and could be infected. Wash them with soap and water and apply a topical antihistamine or corticosteroid cream while avoiding the itchy regions as it will make you prone to infection.

7. Wash the clothes from your trip immediately

Once you get home, take the exposed clothes you sealed in a bag and put them directly in the washing machine. Put the clothes in the washer on high heat for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then put the clothes in the dryer on the highest temperature setting, also for 30 minutes. Tie up and dispose of the empty bag right away after you unload the clothes into the washer.


When you find yourself in a hotel room that you suspect to have bed bugs, the first thing you need to do is to separate your belongings from the room immediately. You can do this by taking all your luggage into the bathroom. Next, gather evidence by taking pictures of your bites, blood and feces stains on the sheets, as well as any bugs and eggs. If you have a tweezer, pick them up and place them in a baggie.

Take the evidence and show the hotel’s management so they can give you a refund. Make sure to not scratch your bites to avoid infections.

When you get home, wash all the clothes you took on your trip, including the clothes you wore on the trip home, and place them in the washer and dryer. The heat will kill the bugs that hitched a ride.

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