Do you want to know how to prevent bedbugs? Well you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve been bitten on 3 separate occasions and trust me you want to do everything possible to avoid bedbugs. Unfortunately, being bitten is mainly down to luck and the unfortunate disposition of possessing that oh so “sweet” blood.
However, if you follow our tips on how to prevent bedbugs you won’t be putting yourself at risk. Nor will you let the bugs hitch a ride home with you!
1. Prevent Bedbugs by Reading Online Reviews
When booking your hostel, actually read some of the more recent reviews before making your decision. It’s human nature to have more desire to leave a review when you are unsatisfied with a service. This behaviour works in our favour when trying to avoid accommodation with bedbugs though. Victims often relish the opportunity to vent their anger. However, keep in mind that tropical areas are prone to the nasty invaders and it’s usually unsuspecting guests that bring them. Our tips on how to prevent bedbugs should stop you being a culprit of this, but please judge the hostel on how they deal with a bedbug discovery and not solely on their presence. A good place will move everyone to another room and fumigate it/use specialist chemicals immediately. Plus, if bedbug comments are 2 months old and recent reviews are all praise, you’re probably safe to stay again.
2. Carry Out a Bed Inspection to Spot Bedbugs
First of all you need to know what you are looking for. Bedbugs vary greatly in size but on average they are the size of small seeds. Colour wise, they tend to either be a dark brown/red or light-brown/yellow colour as shown in the photo.
The bugs are generally more active at night but that doesn’t mean they won’t be visible during the day. Plus, they will still bite you if they are hungry, so check your bed as soon as you arrive. When checking the bed you will often either spot the bugs themselves or signs of their presence. This will be in the form of reddish stains (their crushed bodies) or tiny black spots (excrement). If there’ve been there a while, you may even see pale yellow/white eggshells.
Now don’t forget to check the mattress as well, and take extra care to run along its seams. They like to hide in these and it could save you a whole load of trauma. Also, don’t use the mere presence of bites on you or others as an indicator of bed bug infestation. The rule about bed bug bites looking a certain way (lots of small bites close together) is a myth. Bedbug bites can look just like mosquito bites or other insects, so don’t let anyone (including staff) tell you otherwise. Show them these photos if they don’t believe you!
3. Have a Zero Tolerance Policy if You Find Bedbugs
If you find even just ONE bed bug, alert the management and request to move to a new area. Ideally you want a different room! If you happen to find them during the night, there may only be a security guard on duty. Generally, they can’t re-allocate you, but do not sleep in the bed: you will 100% regret it. Stay up or sleep on the couch if you have too. Trust me from experience, that one day of feeling lousy and tired is nothing compared to the 2 weeks of discomfort and lack of sleep you will have from your itchy bites! Don’t feel bad either about demanding your money back or a free wash of your clothes. Again, a good hostel will want to provide these to prevent the negative reviews.
4. A Sleeping Bag Won’t Prevent Bedbugs
“How to prevent bedbugs” blogs that suggest taking a sleeping bag are full of s**t. The idea is that a sleeping bag will form a barrier, preventing the bugs from getting to you. Let’s just think about that for a moment. The bedbugs have managed to crawl out of the mattress seems. They then navigated around the bed sheet and snuck under the duvet, only to be stopped in their tracks because the thought of navigating up to the hole in your sleeping bag is just too daunting? No chance!
I’ve met sleeping bag victims that thought this way and trust me, a sleeping bag won’t save you. It will increase your chances of taking bedbugs with you though. This is because bedbugs don’t always bite you straight away on the first night you sleep in an infested bed. It’s therefore easy for them to pass from an infested bed into your sleeping bag, with you none the wiser. When you pack it away, they will then proceed to spread to your other belongings that it is near to. The bugs will then emerge once you are long gone from the original source and wreak havoc. That’s both to your body and the guests of your hostel, which will most likely get the blame!
5. Easily Prevent Bedbugs by Keeping Luggage Off The Bed
Putting things on a bed is a mistake that so many people inadvertently make in hostels. You often don’t have much room to sift through your bag so the bed is a tempting place to dump your belongings. However, if bed bugs get into your belongings then it is pretty much game over. You will most likely have to throw everything out: so why risk it? Likewise, if you’ve come out of a high-risk area (jungle etc.) and the bugs happen to be on your bag, you will immediately transfer them onto the bed. Now they will be in in a prime position to actually bite you as you sleep!
I hope you now feel confident that you know how to prevent bedbugs. They really aren’t that common, and if you do your research, inspect your bed and keep your stuff off it, you’ll be safe! Remember though, if you do find bedbugs don’t sleep in the bed: I guarantee you’ll to regret it!