Bedbugs are on the rise in California and it’s becoming a major concern on a statewide level. According to a recent report released by Orkin, several major cities in California ranked in the top 50 American cities with bedbug problems.
Los Angeles was the fourth worst city in America for bedbugs, the Bay Area came in at 16th and Sacramento jumped 14 spots to 27th. It seems that only San Diego made significant improvement from 2013 as they fell 13 spots to 39th. For the third straight year, Chicago has led the country in bedbug problems.
This report isn’t to be taken lightly. Bedbugs are a serious problem across the country. Most people who encounter bedbugs do so when traveling. Unfortunately, they don’t realize their encounter until it’s too late. They’ve not only been bitten but they’ve also brought the bedbugs home with them.
If you are planning to take a trip through California in the near future, here are some quick tips on how to avoid hotel bedbugs:
1) Read user reviews of the hotel prior to booking the room and before your trip. Check to see if anyone has reported bedbugs.
2) Upon entering a room, place your luggage on an elevated counter or in the bathroom. This will help to prevent any initial exposure of bedbugs to your belongings. Bedbugs can be on the floors and typically do not reside in the bathroom.
3) Check carpeting around the bed. Look for any small dark spots which can be bedbug excrement or even bedbugs themselves. I highly recommend a pair of latex gloves before moving on to the next steps.
4) Check the top of the covers, sheets and pillows. If you don’t see any bugs, or suspicious spots, then diligently move onto the next step.
5) Check the mattress by pulling back the blanket and the sheets. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, look for the following:
- specks of blood
- any shedding of outer skins (exoskeletons)
- small black spots
After checking the top of the mattress, lift it up and look underneath. Bedbugs are notorious for hiding under mattresses, in seams and corners of the bedding.
6) After you have thoroughly checked the mattress, examine the box spring both on top and underneath. A flashlight may be needed to look under the bed.
7) If there’s any furniture or curtains nearby the bed, examine them too. The goal is to slowly work your way from the bed area out through the rest of the room.
What to do if you find bedbugs?
If you see any bedbugs then immediately grab your belongings and exit the room. Go down to the front desk and notify them of the problem. Request a new room that’s at least a few rooms away, preferably on another floor. You do not want a room next door due to the increased chance of a bedbug infestation.
Tips for after a hotel stay
Check for any bite marks. Also, examine all of your belongings outside of your house for bedbugs. If you are still concerned, throw all of your clothes into the washer and the dryer both at hot settings. If possible, the National Pest Management Association recommends using a hand steamer to clean out your luggage.