Hotels: How to check for bedbugs

Last updated 09:08 28/07/2014

UH OH!: A bedbug infestation.

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The most reliable method of detecting bedbugs is to go to sleep in your hotel room exactly as normal and if you wake up covered in itchy red bites, then you have found bedbugs.

Detecting them before they attack requires a methodical approach. When  not on the job, bedbugs like to hang out in cracks and crevices in beds, especially in mattress seams.

Peel back the sheets. You are looking for something flat and dark that resembles a small watermelon seed.

Do not unpack your suitcase on the bed, since there is nothing a bedbug likes more than the possibility of travel to new and exotic places on your clothing.

If you find bedbugs, the only sure way to eliminate them is to burn your mattress, but hoteliers take a dim view of this, not to mention the inconvenience of sleeping on a charred and smouldering bed.

Change rooms as quickly as possible. You may also be entitled to compensation, particularly if a major hotel chain is involved.

If it's a backpacker hotel somewhere in the third world, your claim for compensation will provide the front desk staff with momentary amusement.

If you take the threat of bedbug attack seriously, you will most likely spend many hours of your holiday time fretting over the possibility and tearing your bedding apart.

On the other hand, you could simply do what millions of guests do in hotel rooms all over the world every night and go to bed and dream happily.

If you get bitten, it's no worse than a mosquito bite, and unlike mosquito bites there is no possibility of a virus or parasite entering your body from a bedbug bite.

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- Sydney Morning Herald


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