Tips To Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

Make It A Point To Avoid Bed Bugs!

As the problem of bed bug infestations in the United States continues to grow, it is becoming more and more important to make bed bug prevention a part of all travel plans. Bed bugs are hitchhikers that ride into hotels, motels, and other accommodations within the belongings of other guests. When they do, they can hitchhike right back out again inside your belongs, or attached to your clothing. And, when it comes to protecting yourself and your family from these hitchhiking bugs, prevention begins before you even leave the house. 

a bed bug on linen in an east tennessee home

Before You Start Your Trip 

It is always a good idea to check reviews for the places you'll be staying, and do a search for bed bugs. 

On Your Way To The Airport or Terminal 

We often think of bed bug prevention as something we do when we arrive at our destination but, the sad truth is, bed bugs can be anywhere along the way. If you take a cab ride to the airport, bus terminal, or train station, it is a good idea to look for the following signs of bed bugs: 

  • If there is a bed bug infestation there may be a smell. Bed bugs release a pheromone scent that some describe as a moist locker room towel. If your cab smells, you may want to wait for the next.
  • Bed bugs shed their skins as they develop. If you see shed insect skins, there may be a problem. These skins will be tan to brown in color.
  • Bed bugs leave excrement and blood stains in the areas they infest. Examine your seat for black, tan, or brown stains.
  • Bed bugs leave their tiny white eggs in crevices and seams. Take a quick check for these. They can be in a small batch or littered around.
  • Know what bed bugs look like. If you shine your cellphone light around and see bugs on the floor or seat, check to see if they have six legs, two antennae, and a slightly transparent tan to brown body with black internals visible inside their abdomens. If the bugs have fed recently, their abdomens will be red from the blood inside. Be aware that immature bed bugs are pale, not rusty-brown, like adult bed bugs. 


When you get on the plane, train, bus, or boat your bed bug prevention should continue. Keep an eye out for the signs listed above as you take your seat. If you see a tiny, pale to tan bug with a bright red abdomen feeding on your skin during your trip, use a piece of tape or a ziplock back to capture it and present it to someone in charge, and request a new seat. 

At Your Destination 

When you arrive at your destination, it is time to do a quick inspection of your room to uncover any obvious bed bug infestations. We say "obvious" because bed bugs don't make it easy for humans to discover them. 

It is a good idea to leave your bags outside the room or on the tiled floor of the bathroom while you do your inspection. Use the light on your cellphone, or a flashlight, to search for black streaks, black droppings, brown blood stains, tiny white eggs, shed insect skins, and the bugs themselves. Search for these signs in the creases of mattresses and box springs, in crevices and recesses of bed frames, along baseboards, around outlet covers, and on the stitching of upholstered furniture in the room. 

Leaving Your Accommodations 

Do an inspection of all of the creases and seams of your luggage as you pack to go home, and be sure to check for the above bed bug signs as your travel. 

When You Get Home 

Check your bags thoroughly for the presence of tiny white eggs. Bed bug eggs do not need the mother bed bug in order to hatch. These eggs can be tucked in seams and creases or stuck to clothing. Do a check for any tiny pale, tan, or rusty-brown insects hiding in folds, pockets, and other hiding places. 

If a bed bug infestation ever appears in your home, let us know. At All-American Pest Control, we use the most advanced and trusted bed bug protocols to quickly resolve bed bug problems. Reach out to us anytime for immediate assistance. We're here to help.


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