How to tell if there are bed bugs in your hotel room

Bed bugs aren’t much fun whether they’re in your bedroom or your hotel room, but at least there are preventative measures you can take for the former.

Unfortunately, when it comes to hotels, the issue of bed bugs is almost entirely out of your control, unless you take up a part-time role on the maintenance team during your stay.

They may not be a threat to your health but bed bug bites are hardly pleasant, often leaving red marks on the skin’s surface thanks to them feeding on human blood.

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It also doesn’t help that the bugs are particularly hard to get rid of, let alone actually spot with your own eyes given that they only really come out at night.

According to a 2015 survey, hotels are the third most common place that bed bugs are found and their presence is seldom determined by the cleanliness of the room, meaning even five-star luxury hotels aren’t exempt from visits from the astute creatures.

Fortunately, there are ways to uncover the little creatures, which can be up to 6mm long and are typically dark yellow, red or brown in colour.

According to Matthew Miller from Arrow Environmental Services, bed bugs are typically found in the smallest of places, such as crevices in and around mattresses.

Speaking to News Channel 8, he offered up five tips for dealing with suspected bed bugs in hotel rooms under the apt acronym SLEEP.


Firstly, it’s crucial to search for signs of an infestation. This could be indicated by small red or brown spots left on the bed sheets as a result of blood. Black spots could also be signs of dried out faeces left by the bugs, the NHS website states.


Don’t neglect unlikely areas, such as underneath the mattress or behind framed wall-hangings. The dexterity of a bed bug knows no bounds.


Keep your luggage away from the bed and the walls, ideally on a counter or inside the bathroom as this will prevent any wily bed bugs from crawling into your suitcase.


Be sure to conduct a thorough check of your suitcases before going home, scanning every crack and crevice to ensure there aren’t any savvy bugs getting cosy for the long-haul flight ahead.


Finally, when you get home remember to put all of your clothes straight into the washing machine so as to kill any sly bugs that might’ve made it passed customs.

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