The sight of bed bugs is enough to put a damper on your vacation, but the bites can cause a variety of symptoms from allergic reactions to secondary skin infections like impetigo and ecthyma and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis, which can impair breathing and require a trip to the emergency room.
Some simple steps when you arrive at your room could help avoid hassles and expenses after check out.
It might sound extreme, but to be safe, put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter the hotel room. Bed bugs prefer hiding places that are dark and creviced -- places like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture and even inside walls. This typically makes the bathroom a bug-free safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters.
Check the sheets, mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs. Look for dark, rust-colored spots and exoskeletons -- the casings the bugs leave behind. Don’t forget to look at the head of the bed and in, around and behind the headboard, too.
Be sure to lift and check under the mattress, too.
It's important to take action if you do find anything suspicious. If you find any signs of bed bugs alert the manager immediately and ask for a new room in a different part of the hotel as infestations can spread from wall to wall.
Even if your room is clear, Consumer Reports said it’s a good idea to keep your luggage and clothes on off the floor on a hard surface or luggage rack, clear of any potential bed bug zones.
Consumer Reports said when you get home throw all of your clothes into a hot dryer for 30 minutes. And store your empty luggage in your basement, garage or a hot attic.