On the Road Without the Bite: A Traveler’s Guide to Bedbug Prevention

Traveling fills our souls with adventure and memories. But there’s one souvenir no traveler ever wants to bring home: bedbugs. You must have heard about the recent bed bug infestation in Paris.

What you need to know about Europe’s bedbug panic

These pesky critters can be a nightmare, but with the right knowledge, you can prevent an encounter or handle one if it occurs. Here’s your comprehensive guide to sidestepping these tiny hitchhikers.

Know Your Enemy: Recognizing Bedbugs

Firstly, let’s understand our tiny foes. Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects, akin in size to an apple seed. Unlike mosquitoes, they’re silent biters, so you may not even know you’ve been bitten until you spot the evidence: tiny, reddish or rust-colored stains on your sheets or red, itchy spots on your skin.

Traveling Bedbug-Free: Prevention Tips

1. Check Reviews Before Booking:
Sites like TripAdvisor or Booking.com offer user reviews. If someone’s encountered bedbugs at that place recently, there’s a good chance they’ve mentioned it.

2. Room Inspection:
When you first enter your room, resist the urge to flop onto the bed. Instead, use a flashlight (your phone’s will do) to inspect the mattress, especially the seams, for tiny bugs or dark, gritty droppings. Check behind the headboard and inside drawers, too.

3. Wise Luggage Storage:
Bedbugs are drawn to luggage. Instead of dropping your bag on the bed or carpet, use luggage racks, preferably metal ones. If none are available, the bathroom’s tiled floor is your next best option.

4. Sealable Bags:
A simple hack to ensure peace of mind is to store your clothes in large ziplock bags, squeezing out the air before sealing them. This minimizes

the chances of bedbugs sneaking into your attire.

5. Mosquito Spray – Does it Work?
Ever wondered if that mosquito spray in your travel bag can double up against bedbugs? Here’s the deal: while your trusty mosquito repellent is fantastic for those pesky mosquitoes, it doesn’t quite cut it for bedbugs.

You’ll need a dedicated bedbug spray for that. These specialized sprays, some even boasting natural ingredients like tea tree or eucalyptus oil, are tailored to fend off these tiny terrors. So, if you’re hopping on a train or settling into a movie theater, a quick spritz can make your seat a whole lot less inviting for bedbugs. Packing the right spray can be your secret weapon to enjoy a bite-free trip!

Bitten by the Bug: Handling a Bedbug Encounter

Alright, let’s say the unimaginable happens, and you find yourself sharing a room with these pests. Here’s your action plan:

1. Isolate Suspected Items:
Put any items you believe might be carrying bedbugs into plastic bags and seal them. This includes clothing, bags, or souvenirs.

2. Notify the Management:
Inform the hotel or hostel staff immediately. They should offer you a different room, preferably in a separate area of the building.

3. Clean and Sanitize:
Upon returning home, don’t bring your luggage inside immediately. Instead, vacuum it thoroughly outside, wash all your clothes in hot water, and then dry them on the highest dryer setting for at least 30 minutes. Heat is a guaranteed bedbug killer.

4. When in Doubt, Seek Expertise:
If you’re worried about a potential infestation at home post-travel, it’s a good idea to call a professional exterminator. They can provide specialized treatments and advice to ensure your home remains bedbug-free.


While bedbugs can be a nuisance, they shouldn’t be the reason you cancel your travel plans. With a little preparation and alertness, you can ensure your trips remain filled with fun memories and devoid of unwanted critters. Here’s to adventurous and bug-free journeys ahead!

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