Did you know that nearly 43 states in the USA have a bed bug infestation? This massive outbreak is not going to diminish anytime soon thanks to confusing laws and lack of education of the public. Majority of people do not even know that they have brought bed bugs home from a hotel. In many home infestations; problems first arise when someone with bed bugs on their clothes or in their luggage stays at your place. So, in today’s guide, I will be covering some very important points starting with signs and symptoms that show if you have brought bed bugs home. We will also cover the all-important topic about hotel bed bug compensation and what you can do if you find bugs in your hotel room.
Bed bugs travel on clothing!
Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They travel on our clothes and in our luggage from the hotel rooms and buses and airplanes all the way into our homes. You could easily acquire bed bugs if a guest brings them to your place.
How Do I Know If I Have Brought Bed Bugs Home?
Know the signs
Bed bugs leave behind several signs. First of all, you and your loved ones will experience bites and may even wake up in the middle of the night with an itchy sensation all over your bodies. Bed bugs resemble tiny apple seeds measuring about 1/4th to 1/8th of an inch. If you are lucky, you might catch one feasting on your blood. In most cases though, bed bugs are rather good at hiding and very rarely will you catch one in action.
Fortunately, bed bugs also tend to leave other signs like rust colored stains around the corners of the mattresses where they discard their outer shells or drop their fecal matter. Crushing a bedbug will leave behind a sweetish, sharp odor that faintly resembles rotten almonds. Other signs of bed bugs could be seen on your skin: bed bug bites appear as reddish and swollen welts which are itchy and painful.
Someone with bed bugs came to my home!
Bed bugs can easily hitchhike into your home on the clothing or inside the luggage of your house guests. If you start noticing signs of bed bug activity post their departure, you will need to take immediate steps to restrict the bugs to one room. Chances are, the person/s responsible for bed bugs in your home is a good friend of yours, so you may want to tell them about your predicament. Who knows; they might offer to pay for the bed bug extermination.
Now consider the other scenario: that of you living in an infested motel.
What do I do if I find bed bugs in my hotel room?
Carefully examine your entire luggage to ensure there are no bugs on it. Pay special attention to the folds, crack and crevices of the bags and clothing. It is best to store the luggage in the hotel bathroom instead of keeping it on the designated table, shelf/cabinet or the bed in the room itself. The reason being; bed bugs very rarely venture into bathrooms as they are not likely to find a host for feeding upon. You can also carry large plastic trash bags to store your bags in. As soon as you sight bed bug activity in the room, call the hotel management. You can ask for a room change or get your money refunded.
The chances of you bringing back bugs from the hotel can be minimized greatly by taking basic preventive measures. I have covered this topic in detail here, so do go through it to educate yourself. Once you are home, open your luggage outside in the garage. Wash all clothes and spray the empty luggage with insecticides. Cover and seal items in small plastic bags. You can also freeze these bags as long as there are no delicate items within. Do not forget to inspect your shoes for bed bugs. You can spray them with bug repellents or wash them where applicable.
Hotel bed bug compensation: Can you bring a lawsuit against infested hotel?
The best way to get your hotel to pay for compensation is by showing them hard evidence. If you have seen signs of bed bug activity, make sure you bag at least one critter and show it to the hotel management. If you have seen discarded bed bug shells and feces of bugs around the mattress, invite the hotel supervisor to have a look. No hotel wants negative reviews on popular review sites like TripAdvisor. So politely remind them about it.Make it clear that you are truly shocked and traumatized by this situation. You may be offered another room in the hotel but it is very likely that that is infested as well. Your best bet would be to go find another hotel.
Request a full refund for all the nights that you have stayed in the infested hotel. Make sure you also get refunded for bills incurred from purchase of plastic bags for your luggage or shoes as well as for medical treatment and bed bug bite creams. You can also ask the hotel to pay for luggage fumigation costs.
In case you are not happy with the way the situation was handled, make sure you talk to someone higher up in the organization. You can also reach out to the complaints department of the hotel.In worst case scenario, you may consider venting out your anger on online review forums so other guests are pre-warned about your ordeal.