Bed Bugs in Hotel Room

by Vagabond Man
(Honolulu Hawaii)

Bed bugs in hotel room. I awoke at 2am to this!

Bed bugs in hotel room. I awoke at 2am to this!

I was in a hotel room in Waikiki..the twenty third floor. I woke up one night at about 2am....something wasn't quite right so I flew off the sheets and turned the night stand light.

Oh yes, bed bugs. Only one at first. I smashed it right away and yes...blood shot out of it! I turned over each pillow and under neath and hanging on were two more one on each side.

I am a professional commercial trucker. I was told by old veterans to place laundry dryer softeners-you know...fabric softeners under my sheets and inside the pillow casings wherever/whenever you go. I inserted more under my clothes on the bottom of the dresser drawers too. I can imagine if I hadn't done so.

The hotel could not switch me to another room. The hotel was at maximum capacity. They did an excellent job of changing the bedsheets and cleaning the room.

All was well for two nights until...yes...I felt something wasn't quite right again. Before going to bed I saw three little black spots that weren't there from the morning.They looked like black ink spots(possibly bed bug doo doo) Anyways I flew the sheets off again and turned on the light.

Oh yes, hate to say it...oval shaped bed bugs that were faster moving than the previous. I smashed and caught a couple. I made a thorough check all around cracks etc...I informed the front desk again but this time I wanted the girl to go up and take a look. I also took pictures with my digital camera.

She came up with a security the same guy I told the first time it happened. I kept my cool threw the entire episode. The front desk girl made out her report. That morning I checked out and the front desk manager was very sincere with apologies. I commented that his staff are very congenial and professional. The manager took off charges for two nights. A little sugar goes a long way.

I will receive VIP service the next time around. Anybody at anytime could bring in such bugs. We don' want them. Put all of your stuff inside the freezer if possible when you arrive at home. I took long long high detergent showers before I left the hotel. I even shaved my below the beltline hair-all of it!

You don't want to carry those things back home! My soft backpack and camera case went into deep freeze over night. It took two days before the pimples showed up after my return home. I went to see the doctor. He stated there's realty not much they can do about the pimples. I just wanted to make sure .

Good Luck

Editor Comment, Surprise Bed Bugs in Hotel Room

Thanks for sharing your story. It shows that bed bugs can be everywhere. We have a few hotel bed bugs travel tips that might help you avoid future problems.

1. Bed
bug hotel prevention starts before you leave home. Consider treating your luggage with a bed bug travel spray such as JT Eaton. Treat all zippers and seams, inside and out before you leave. It will provide 3 to 6 weeks of protection. I spray all of my luggage the day before I travel.

2. Inspect the hotel room the second you enter and bring your luggage into the room. Peel back the blankets and sheets and check inside and along the seams. If you see any stains, call a manager immediately, as they could have been left by bed bugs. Call if you see ANY stains, particularly small brown feces marks. Keep your luggage zippered at all times and never unpack into hotel room drawers. Keep luggage elevated on supplied luggage racks. If you suspect bed bugs, keep luggage in the bathroom.

Inspect along the bed frame, behind the plastic corner guards on the box spring and along the headboard.

You mentioned that the hotel removed and cleaned the sheets. This isn't enough as a large bed bug infestation could include insects hiding under lamps, inside electronics, under wall plates, under the baseboards, inside hollow legs on the bed frame etc. If you see a bed bug you have to change rooms or hotels. Going back is not an option.

3. Regarding the dryer sheets as a way to protect yourself, I've never heard that one. I bet it falls into the myth section along with the use of Lysol to kill bed bugs. The best tips are to wear tight fitting clothing to avoid exposed skin area and you can also try an insect repellent such as Off or a new natural product called Bed Bug Repellent. You can bring the travel spray with you if you want to apply a quick bedbug treatment.

3.The freezer is a good idea to make sure items brought home are bed bug free. Just know items need to remain in the freezer for 5 days to be sure both bed bugs and their eggs are killed. An alternative is to buy a packtite, which is a portable heat chamber.

Even better, only travel with machine washable clothes, and bring them right to the laundry mat. Do not bring them in the house. Wash in hot water with 20 to 30 minutes in the dryer. I'd throw out any luggage if you see bed bugs in the room where you slept. When in doubt, throw out.

Home treatment can cost $750 or more, so better to be safe on this one.

4. Regarding your bed bug bites, they should go away by themselves in 3 to 5 days. Do not itch as this can cause infection to set in. To help with itch, buy an oatmeal based topical such as Aveeno.

Thanks for sharing your hotel bed bug story. I'm sure your story will help many travelers avoid bed bug problems when traveling.

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Bed Bugs in Hotel

by Damienaware
(San Bruno Ca)

Big bed bugs at the Ramada Inn San Bruno Ca. 500 ElCamino Real. Be careful don't stay there. These bugs left large welts on the back of my neck.They itch and hurt. The line of bites looks like one large bite a raised line welt like what would appear after being whipped. Not fun at all. And if any one could tell me if that's normal in any way that would be great.

Thank you and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Bed Bugs Bite Editor Comment

A bed bug bite could appear as a single bite or as many bites in a row. Skin reactions range from no reaction at all, to conditions such as yours which is a more pronounced allergic reaction.

Assuming you have no other symptoms, the bites should go away by themselves after a few days. Bites tend to itch. If they do, but an over the counter insect itch cream or a product made for Bed Bug bites such as All Stop.

Most hotel managers have experience with bed bugs, so be sure to call hotel management so you can get a refund and so that the problem room is treated.

If you notice a change in the bits, such as infection or puss, be sure to see a Doctor as this might indicate the start of a skin infection. This is usually caused by bacteria which enters the skin when you itch the surface.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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Hotel Bed Bugs Inspection

by D. Hafetz
(Manhattan NY)

I found one bed bug on the top of the sheets in a very nice hotel in Manhattan. I did a sheet check as soon as we entered the room and found one right away. I only found one and two brown spots on the sheets.

If I had to guess based on the pictures above I would say that it was a blood-fed 3rd or 4th instar nymph. I made the hotel front desk aware and we were moved to another room and told that an exterminator was going to be called right away.

Our new room was fine. Prior to check out the next morning I asked for plastic bags to place our belongings in prior to leaving so we could keep all of our belongings separate until they could be properly cleaned.

Editor Comment Bed Bug Hotel Inspection


Thanks for sharing your story, You did exactly what every traveler should do to prevent bed bugs in hotels. Inspect the room before bringing luggage in. Ask for a room change if you suspect anything.

A few suggestions for future trips:

1. Ziploc Big Bags make a great inexpensive luggage liner. Pack your clothes in the big bags. This will keep them bed bug free as long as you keep them zipped. Or at minimum, to your point, pack them so that they can be used if you see a problem. They also now sell bed bug luggage liners.

2. Spray your luggage with a quality bed bug spray before leaving. I personally like the spray from JT Eaton, as it provides 3 to 6 weeks of protection. Spray along all outside and inside seams before packing.

Thanks for sharing this story on how a little bed bug prevention goes a long way when traveling.

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Hotel Bed Bugs in San Francisco

by Andersonn

Example of Bed Bug Marks on Mattress

Example of Bed Bug Marks on Mattress

I stayed at a hotel in San Francisco on August 25-27th, I couldn't sleep at all on first night due to itching and scratching on back arms and stomach.

I checked under the covers and found two small bugs. I removed the bugs and laid back down tossing and turning. Friday I awoke and purchased calamine lotion, I know I had a major rash and red marks on the back of the arms and stomach.

I was in San Francisco to attend a friends grave-site, but because of the condition I was in I did not leave or socialize that weekend.

On Friday night sill no sleep and major headache. I checked out on Saturday in the morning and did not alert the staff as I still did not know the cause of my skin problem. Once I arrived back on the east coast I was able to do some research and found that it was bed bugs.

I went to the hospital and they checked me out and said it was bed bugs. Today is Tuesday early am and I am still itching and scratching and taking benadryl and sleeping pills. I contacted the San Francisco health department and they have opened an investigation. I also contacted the hotel and they apologized for the inconvenience.

- Bed Bug Survivor

Editor Comments

First thank you for sharing your story. It shows how important it is for all of us to learn how to inspect a hotel room for bed bugs.

This includes:

1. Checking the mattress for any brown or red fecal marks as shown in the picture. Be sure to inspect the head board as well, since bed bugs will hide in any tight space.

2. Never unpack your belongings in hotel room furniture. Keep your luggage on the luggage rack elevated off the floor and away from any furniture.

3. Treat your luggage with a quality Luggage Spray before you pack. This provides 2 to 3 weeks worth of protection. If you do one thing to prevent bed bugs, spend the $6.50 and treat your luggage!

4. When you return home, be sure to not bring anything back into the home with out an inspection. I often pack in Ziploc Big Bags, so that I can carry those bags, which are bed bug proof, directly to the wash. Luggage is stored in the garage and inspected.

It cost as much as $5000 to treat a home, making for one very expensive vacation if you bring them home.

Also, it was smart to get to the bottom of what caused the problem and to contact the San Francisco department of health. This will help prevent future bed bug problems at the hotel.

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Who To Contact after bitten by BedBug at a Motel?

by Barbara and Patrick
(Lake George, New York)

My husband and I haven't slept in a motel for over 6 months. I'm positive I got my terrible bite at the Motel 8 in Watertown, MA. this past week-end.(Oct. 1,2,3) We have stayed there for 7 years for a total of 5 days each year. We've never had a problem.

During this stay I was bitten several times on my face,shoulder,and arms. I even got one of the "culprits" and showed it to the day manager, along with MY blood from a second bug-- which I squeezed when I tried to pick it up--YUCK! He agreed that I had indeed been bitten, and he would pass the matter on to the Owner/Manager. We had to stay another night- (no where else to go-and everything LOOKED clean enough). Of course I was bitten again!

When we "checked out" we asked for a full refund. The Day manager called the Owner/Manager, and he said we could only have a refund for the FIRST NIGHT I was bit, not for all 3!

Anyway, I really want to know if there is any recourse in this matter? We are suppose to stay there again at the end of the month, (the room we've stayed in previously w/out any problems). I think we'll only stay there if we're sure they have seriously addressed the problem through-out the motel.

Anyone out there know who I should contact?


Editor Suggestion: Bedbugs in Motel

I believe the Motel 8 or Super 8 in Waterloo is part of the Wyndham Hotel Group. I'd call the CEO of Wyndham, Stephen P. Holmes (214-863-1000), and politely explain to his or her assistant the problem and ask for their suggestion on how to proceed.

My bet is they will take your information and provide a full refund. If they do not, send a letter to the CEO indicating that you had called, and got no response.

If still no response, your next step will be to list the experience on, and the bedbugregistry. A quick look at the registry shows many bedbug problems at Super 8 locations.

Legally, you probably don't have much to stand on other than local codes which state the level of cleanliness required in a hotel. However, I bet it never gets to this point.

As for traveling bed bug free, I'd suggest packing JTEaton luggage and travel spray. When sprayed on the outside of luggage it will repel bedbugs for several weeks.

Another tip would be to either pack some Ziploc Big Bags or use a Bed Bug Proof Luggage Liner to avoid bringing the bed bugs home with you. Treating a home for bedbugs can easily cost $1,000 and lots of heartache.

If you do choose a Super 8 Motel for your next trip, you can also spray the hotel mattress on arrival as a quick spot treatment to kill any bedbugs and bedbug eggs on contact.

Please let us know what happens.

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Bed Bugs Travel Precautions

by Anonymous Reader

Bed Bug Travel Prevention starts with spraying your luggage before you leave home

Bed Bug Travel Prevention starts with spraying your luggage before you leave home

Bed Bug Travel Prevention starts with spraying your luggage before you leave home
Bed Bug Luggage Liners or Use of Ziploc Big Bags as a Liner will form a barrier between clothes and bed bugs
Keep luggage elevated and away from walls.  If it will fit, place entire luggage in a Ziploc Big Bag

How do I keep from bringing bed bugs into my home after a stay in a hotel?

How do I keep from bringing bed bugs into my home after a stay in a hotel?

Editor Suggestions for avoiding bringing bed bugs home

Thanks for your question.

Here are a few bed bugs travel tips for preventing bed bugs from coming home with you:

1. Spray your luggage before you pack: An inexpensive bed bug luggage spray such as J.T. Eaton should be applied to your luggage. This will provide 3 to 6 weeks of protection. Consider it your first barrier of defense.

2. Pack inside a Ziploc Big Bag: Ziploc big bags or bed bug proof luggage liners can be used to protect your belongings. Keep your clothes sealed inside. This forms a protective barrier between your clothes and any bed bugs. Do not unpack clothes in the hotel. If you need to hand clothes, consider the shower as the most bed bug free room.

3. Keep your luggage elevated: Keep your luggage elevated and about 6 inches from any wall. Use the supplied luggage rack. If you have a small piece, place inside a Ziploc big bag for extra protection (just pack a few Ziploc bags in your luggage). Never unpack inside the hotel furniture. The safest place to hang clothes is in the bathroom.

4. Inspect the hotel room for bed bugs: Check the room before bringing your luggage into the room. Inspect the mattress by pulling the sheets off a corner. Look for small brown or red markings. Also look behind the headboard.

5. Only pack machine washable clothes: By packing inside a Ziploc Big Bag you are all set when you return home. Simply bring the clothes in the bag to your washing machine. Wash in hot water followed by 20 to 30 minutes in the dryer. Leave your luggage in a garage our other area. Note that if luggage is left in a shed with freezing temperatures for 8 days, it will kill all bed bugs (not always practical, but good to know)

6. Consider buying your own portable heat chamber: Many frequent travelers are buying a $300 portable heat chamber called a PackTite. Upon returning home place your luggage into the PackTite and heat to required temperature. It will kill 100% of bed bugs. It's perfect for anyone that travels often, particularly to locations known for Bed Bugs.

7. Ask the hotel if there was a bed bug problem: Hotels will tell you if your room or nearby rooms have been treated. Even if they don't, at least you asked.

It's smart to take these bed bug travel precautions, as treatment can cost $900 a room to $5000 for an entire home.

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How To Avoid Bringing Home Vacation Bed Bugs

We stayed in a cabin at Rickett's Glen with bedbugs. What steps should I take to ensure they don't get in our house when we return?

How to avoid bringing home bed bugs when on vacation

This is a common question among travelers that have encountered bed bugs. Here are a few suggestions for how to avoid bringing home these unwanted pests:

1. Pack in plastic ziploc big bags. You can buy these in any grocery or hardware store (or online from the link). Seal the bags, and bring them directly to your washing machine when returning home. You can do the same thing with a plastic bin that has a snap tight lid.

2. Do not bring luggage into the home. Leave it outdoors and treat with a bed bug luggage spray. If it is hot outside, leave in trunk of car as 120 degree temperatures will kill bed bugs and eggs.

3. Buy a change of clothes and keep them separate from infested items. Change before entering your home. Note if you have a car, there is a chance that the bed bugs will move from infested luggage to the car. Consider treating the car with the luggage spray. If you can, bring clothes to a laundromat or dry cleaner instead of your home.

4. Purchase a portable heat chamber called a Pack Tite. This is a popular item for frequent travelers. You place all of your belongings in the chamber before you unpack (large enough to hold most luggage). The unit heats to the required 120 degrees F.

Bed bugs are notorious hitch hikers so you are smart to be cautious. Treating a home can cost $1,000 more not to mention the anguish and stress. All it takes is one pregnant female bed bug to start an infestation. They can hide on clothes, in handbags, luggage, back packs and even in the seams on sneakers.

The best approach is to only bring items into the home that are bagged and then washed. If you are a frequent traveler, another tip is to treat your luggage with the aforementioned spray before packing (it's what I do), then pack clothes in the Ziploc Big Bags to keep any insects out. For small luggage, back packs or handbags you can leave them in the big bags while in the cabin or hotel room. This way you know they'll stay bed bug free.

Best of Luck and thanks for your question.

Bed Bugs Handbook

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