If you’re not careful, you may bring home more than just happy memories, lovely photographs, and pretty souvenirs after taking your dream vacation. You may also end up bringing home tiny blood-sucking creatures if you happen to stay in a hotel room with bed bugs as they can hitch a ride in your luggage.
You can protect your luggage from bed bugs by placing it in the bathroom or on a rack. Next, conduct a room inspection for signs of bed bug infestation. Consider buying a luggage cover and liner before travel. Finally, use a handheld UV vacuum to remove bed bugs from your belongings.
Bed bugs are quite common in hotels all over the planet due to the practically unlimited blood supply. Refrain from assuming that budget hotels are the only ones that may have bed bugs.
Even expensive hotels may also harbor bed bugs. This is why you should be very careful to avoid bringing home some of those critters.
How to Protect Luggage From Bed Bugs
Fortunately, you can keep your vacation from becoming a nightmarish experience by minimizing the risk of bringing the bed bug infestation from your hotel room to your own bedroom.
There are many steps that may be taken to keep your luggage from allowing those bed bugs from getting a free ride.
Here are some simple tips on how to protect luggage from bed bugs…
Inspect the Room For Bed Bugs With UV Flashlight
Especially if you just took a long-haul flight, nothing can be more tempting than hopping into a hotel bed.
But if you don’t want to wind up with a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s a must that you thoroughly conduct an ocular inspection first.
While looking for some telltale signs of bed bugs, keep your luggage outside the room.
Are you 100% sure that there are bed bugs in your hotel room? Then demand to be given a different room on a different floor. Better yet, ask for a full refund and head to another hotel.
One of the easiest way to inspect the hotel room for bed bug infestation is by using a UV flashlight, like this:
Keep Your Luggage in the Bathroom
Just because it seems like the coast is clear doesn’t necessarily mean that the coast is indeed clear. Other than being great hitchhikers, bed bugs are also excellent hiders.
To make sure that no bed bug will end up in your luggage, place it in the bathroom — and make sure that it stays there throughout your hotel stay.
Bed bugs do not like slippery surfaces.
It’s because they find it difficult to crawl on them. Since bathroom tiles are some of the most slippery surfaces in a hotel room, bed bugs tend to stay away from the bathroom.
Get a Luggage Cover To Protect From Bed Bugs
For people who travel a lot and do not want to end up with a bed bug infestation in their respective bedrooms, bedbug-proof luggage covers are considered as must-haves.
Put simply, a luggage cover is a bag that can accommodate your luggage, thereby keeping it off-limits to those blood-sucking critters.
While a bed bug luggage cover can help considerably lower your risk of bringing home some bed bugs, unfortunately, it can make it highly inconvenient to take out and place items in your luggage each time.
Purchase a Luggage Liner
Other than a luggage cover, you may also rely on what’s called a luggage liner (#ad). You can think of it as a luggage cover, except that it goes inside your luggage instead of around it.
Perhaps you have already come across the tip that you should place your clothes in Ziploc bags to keep them off-limits to bed bugs.
Well, you can think of a luggage liner as one big Ziploc bag.
Thanks to a luggage liner, which can be easily machine washed each time, you can enjoy some sort of bed bug-resistant luggage when you travel.
Use Bed Bug-Resistant Luggage
If you feel that the use of a luggage cover or liner is not an option, fret not. That’s because you may simply get your hands on luggage that is designed to keep bed bugs at bay.
The product comes with a smooth hard shell, which makes it extremely difficult for bed bugs to cling to it and potentially wind up in your bedroom.
Can bed bugs get into hard shell luggage? Well, they still can get inside it if the zipper is open. Needless to say, it is a must that you keep it zipped up to keep bed bugs away.
By the way, these days, there are bed bug-resistant luggage options that use infrared technology to heat their contents to as high as 140°F, which is more than enough to kill bed bugs.
While effective at killing bed bugs, these products do not come cheap. The price tag of one can range anywhere from $250 to more than $300.
Place Your Luggage on a Luggage Rack
If your hotel room has a luggage rack, use it — just make sure that it’s not placed next to the bed. You can think of this nifty piece of furniture as a bed bug protection for travel that you don’t have to pack.
What makes a luggage rack work effectively is that it keeps your luggage off the floor, which makes it harder for bed bugs to access.
For best results, place the luggage rack as far away as possible from your bed. It should also be placed a few inches from the wall as well as furnishings.
Have a Handheld UV Vacuum
Earlier, we talked about how the use of luggage that can heat its contents using infrared can protect you from a bed bug infestation.
If you find the price tag of one to be simply too high for your budget, you may instead invest in a handheld UV vacuum, which is available for an average of $100 only.
Just like what the name says, it is a compact vacuum cleaner that uses UV to heat up surfaces. You can use it to kill bed bugs in your hotel room as well as in your luggage before checking out.
You don’t have to quit traveling just because you don’t want to bring home some bed bugs from a hotel room.
By taking the right steps and getting your hands on the right devices, it is possible to considerably lower the risk of those pesky bed bugs hitching a ride by getting in your luggage or clinging to its surface.
However, do take note that it is still important that you wash your clothes in hot water for at least 30 minutes as soon as you arrive home from your trip. So, in other words, you should head straight to the washing machine.
It’s also a must to disinfest your luggage.
A lot of people swear by sealing their luggage in a large garbage bag for several days, spraying a little bed bug insecticidal spray or bed bug spray for luggage, or sprinkling diatomaceous earth beforehand. You may also leave it under the blistering sun for a few days.
Just Before You Pack Your Luggage
Prior to heading to the airport, make sure that you know the steps to take on how to protect your luggage from bed bugs. Doing them helps considerably lower your risk of bringing home some bed bugs.
Keep in mind the simple tips above, and you can keep your trip as hassle-free as possible bed bug-wise.
Will leaving my luggage in a parked car kill bed bugs hiding in it?
Bed bugs will die if they are exposed to at least 113°F for not less than 90 minutes. A parked car can reach 180°F to 200°F on a hot day.
Is there a product that I can spray in my luggage to eliminate bed bugs?
You may spray your luggage with commercially available bed bug insecticidal spray and seal it in a large garbage bag for a couple of days.
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