Don't be bugged on vacation: How to inspect your hotel room for bed bugs
Published: February 19, 2013 at 8:54 AM
They are out there, and sadly are becoming more of a problem in hotels across the country. Even our so-called "nice" hotels are having some discoveries of the creepy, crawly type.
You're looking for (and, we hope you will not find) this. A real bed bug's about the size of a head of a pin. File photo via Wikimedia Commons.
After reading all the articles and watching the news programs, my husband and I became very frightened of bed bugs. Before traveling now, we make sure to carry something that can make all of these worries go away. A LED flashlight. You can buy these mini flashlights at your local store for around $5.00. This little tool can help save you a lot of headache and scratching in the end. There are a few simple steps to take to ensure that you, your family, and your luggage do not become infested.
First off, do not bring your luggage into your room before you have checked your beds. This is highly important, because if there are bedbugs, they will get into your luggage, and thus follow you home. Keep your luggage either in your car, or if using Disney's Magical Express, ask the concierge to hold your luggage until you call for it. While vacationing in Walt Disney World at the All-Star Sports Resort, we discovered some bugs in our bed. We were not certain if they were a type of bed bug, since they were more gray than the usual reddish brown. While Disney inspected them, they told us that they would take all of our luggage to be treated if the bugs were bed bugs. If you do not want your luggage and items to be taken for a time for treatment, or the chance of some unwanted souvenirs then do not let your luggage into your room.
Once you are in your room, go immediately to each bed and remove all of the linens near the headboards. This is where bed bugs are most likely to be. With your LED flashlight, look in the creases of the mattresses. Bed bugs are about the size of a pin head. To be on the safe side, we check all over the mattress, even though they typically stay near the top and upper sides of the bed. Once you have done this for each mattress and all is clear, then you can bring in your luggage without worry. If you do discover something questionable, then tell the hotel staff immediately. We called and were put on hold for some time. We decided to leave our room and go directly to the front desk and talk to a manager. We were calm and kept it quiet as to what we had discovered which they greatly appreciated. Once all was checked we were moved to a different building and room. We were also offered dinner vouchers to anywhere of our choice for the inconvenience.
We were told that our bugs were not bed bugs. This was a relief, especially since our youngest son ran into the room with his stuffed animals. When dealing with Disney and bugs (as this was not our first encounter with bugs on Disney property), I suggest that you always go in person to talk to someone about it. While staying at Bay Lake Tower the previous year, we had an ant infestation in one of our bathrooms. Each call to the front desk was ignored. I sent a long detailed email after we had returned home about this to Disney. I was called immediately by Disney Vacation Club (since we are members) and told to call them directly next time we find something amiss in our room. We were given a refund of points to use on another vacation. Disney will work with you if you talk to the right person.
Though we all cringe at the thought of finding something, do check your room. You will be able to easily lay your head down after a long day if you know without a doubt that you are bug free.