bedbugOK, bed bugs are gross. Ever since the nasty little critters became the topic of every news show and too many dinner conversations, I have been nervous about sleeping in a hotel bed.

Every time I move into a hotel room, there’s a part of me that wants to be vigilant and make sure there are no bed bugs. But there’s another part of me (the part that keeps winning this battle) that just wants to pretend nothing is wrong and go to sleep.

So far, so good. I have never awakened with bed bug bites (which would totally creep me out) and, as far as I know (and, as I’ve already admitted, I don’t really want to know), I have not yet brought the little devils home to infest by house.


Don’t Bring Bed Bugs Home

As much as I travel, though, I fear that I am tempting fate by not paying attention to bed bugs.

In case you’re in the same boat, I share these tips, which arrived in my email courtesy of Top Dog Scent Detection of Armonk, New York.

“One of the main reasons why bed bugs are back is that people are unwittingly bringing them into their homes in their luggage. Fortunately, this can be avoided by taking some simple steps before and after you travel,” said Seth Tokson,  co-owner of Top Dog.

He, of course, recommends hiring his dog to sniff out the critters. (His dog, Trace, has 800 hours of bed bug scent training!) I’m not gonna do that, especially since I live in Chicago, not Armonk.

Luckily, he’s also got some non-dog-related tips for keeping bed bugs out of your home:

  • Inspect your hotel room before you start unpacking. Look around the headboard and mattresses for evidence of spotting (I think that means bug poop) and/or actual bed bugs. Check night table and dresser drawers.
  • Bring a large, black plastic bag with you when you travel.  When you pack to come home put all of your clothes in this bag inside your suitcase.
  • Keep your toiletries in a sealed Ziplock bag when you’re not using them.(Yuck. Does that mean bed bugs are crawling around my toothpaste!?!?!?)
  • When you arrive home, leave your suitcase outside. Take out the plastic bag and immediately run your clothes through the dryer.
  • Inspect your luggage for any evidence of bed bugs.